novice fly fishing advice

bri

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2004
5,703
26
US
I will head put next week for some fishing. I have 6/7 line weight rig. For smaller streams this seems big for Colorado.

Completely novice. Fairly coordinated. Been watching and some practice.

What should I do a week out from the river.
 

Howski

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2009
1,090
60
Greenville, S.C.
Good luck, temper expectations and simply enjoy the time on the water. You will probably not have a lot of success. I’d recommend dropping by a fly shop for some advice or take a guided trip if you can. I would say your rod is quite heavy especially for smaller water and will not make things easier for a beginner. Get in a ton of casting in the backyard if you can. Do plenty of internet research on any hatches, patterns, weather and fishing techniques for different fly types. There are seemingly endless combinations of factors when fly fishing which can be intimidating and unpredictable

I’ve been fly fishing on/off (mainly off) the past 5 or 6 years. I was lucky to go on a number of local trips with a very good fisherman (and Rover owner) who now guides and is successful in the industry. Even with a lot of hands on instruction it’s easy to keep your confidence up and nothing beats time on the water. These is something I struggle with. A month ago I brought two dozen to hand in half a day while I got skunked this past weekend. It takes commitment and that’s not always easy after a shitty day. We’ll see if I have enough patience to get at it again soon
 
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Jimmy

Well-known member
Apr 10, 2006
623
27
Aurora, CO
I started just this year. It was my fourth trip before I caught something, which was two and half weeks ago. The hook set is what challenges me. The advice I was given (in addition to all the things Howski covered) was to find a panfish pond and practice on them. I've done it once, and definitely want to do it again.

The roll cast is handy, but hard to practice in a yard as you need the resistance of the water on the line to get it to work right. Another piece of advice was to not focus on trying to overhead cast as far as you can. Focus on the fundamentals of a good overhead cast and stick with shorter casts. Once you get that right, then work in distance and/or accuracy.

From what I've read, a 9' 5wt is a good all around setup for Colorado so I went with that. I ended up also with a 6'6" 3wt setup by mistake (wife bought both for me, versus one or the other). Neither is an expensive setup (under $100 each).

I'm a fan of the Mad River Outfitters YT channel. They have a pile of good videos, with many of them focused on beginners.
 
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DiscoPhoto

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2012
2,546
54
Vermont
There's really nothing to do but practice. A few different companies sell practicasters, but those wont really resolve your casting issues in a week.

It all depends on how deep you want to climb down the rabbit hole. At one point I "wanted to get into fly fishing", and now I'm tens of thousands into the hobby, from rods, to reels, to flies, fly tying, traveling for it, guides, drift boats, etc. It never ends, and it only gets better as you do it.

For your CO trip, 6/7 is too much, unless you're chucking only streamers. I'd bring a 2/3wt euro rod and 4-5wt indicator/streamer rod. I catch lakers, stripers, and great lakes "steelhead" on my 7wt, it's overkill.

Hit a guide up, there's no substitute. They will teach you as much as you'd ever want to learn in less than a day. Worth every penny when visiting a new place or targeting a new fish.
 
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luckyjoe

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2004
305
25
New Jersey USA
Every chance to fish is a chance to practice, catch or not. I like this type of practice much better than on grass. Starting out don't get too caught-up in rod weight as you'll be too sloppy for those finicky fish anyway.
 
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gimebakmybulits

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2013
1,039
72
Pasadena
Check out these


Also remember to fish close,no long casting needed. So many new people just walk right up to the bank and miss all the fish at their feet.
 
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AbnMike

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2016
1,179
85
Western Slope, CO
Also remember to fish close,no long casting needed. So many new people just walk right up to the bank and miss all the fish at their feet.
I love the idea of fly fishing. I have the Lefty's Library of Fly Fishing books, a bunch of others, a lot of antique flies and fly wallets, a handmade reel case, a cheap rod, a Simms drysuit I got at a Goodwill for $25, and a Filson fly fishing jacket I got at a going out of business sale in Montana for $40.

But I can't fly fish for shit. Most of my life I didn't live close enough to a river to learn.

I went up to one of the 300 lakes on the Grand Mesa in CO last week and caught four 8"-12" rainbows in less than 30 minutes and I'm barely able to cast 20'
 
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bri

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2004
5,703
26
US
I have seen all of those videos! LOL.

I call myself a beginner because I am crap. I can still get the lure/fly out there and I have a superlight spin caster that can get it done. I have even done nymphs and san juan worms with a bubble and weights. It works if my fly casting sucks.

I am going to get a lighter rod and reel for rivers/streams. Everything I have seen is well over $100 though considering line, leader, tippet...

Thanks for the information and comments.
 

DiscoPhoto

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2012
2,546
54
Vermont
I have seen all of those videos! LOL.

I call myself a beginner because I am crap. I can still get the lure/fly out there and I have a superlight spin caster that can get it done. I have even done nymphs and san juan worms with a bubble and weights. It works if my fly casting sucks.

I am going to get a lighter rod and reel for rivers/streams. Everything I have seen is well over $100 though considering line, leader, tippet...

Thanks for the information and comments.
It's all expensive, no doubt. If you are to weight spending towards one aspect, it will always be the line. The line has the largest impact on your casting and success(as far as presentation). A reel just holds line(until you start targeting species that you'll need to get to the reel) and you wont appreciate a high end rod until you have experience casting.
 

Howski

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2009
1,090
60
Greenville, S.C.
Piggybacking on that don’t go out and buy a bunch of gear right off the bat. I’ve been using a basic Redington 5wt 9’ rod from the start. It’s been a decent all rounder but I am now at the point I’m ready to pick something up to better suit the smaller water I’ve been fishing as of late. If you pick up a lighter weight rod I would not recommend a fast action rod, or at least not the fastest. They can lack feel for what the rod is doing when you’re first learning your cast
 

Howski

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2009
1,090
60
Greenville, S.C.
Maybe it’s because I don’t euro nymph too often but it’s probably my least favorite way to fish. A woolly bugger on the swing and strip is my idea of a good time so I’m biased
 
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DiscoPhoto

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2012
2,546
54
Vermont
No doubt, we call it euro weenie fishing. It's not as fun, but it works better than any other type of fishing.

I bought a 2/3wt 12' fiberglass spey rod for swinging up schoolie stripers in the coastal rivers. THAT is my favorite type of fishing
 
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bri

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2004
5,703
26
US
I love the idea of fly fishing. I have the Lefty's Library of Fly Fishing books, a bunch of others, a lot of antique flies and fly wallets, a handmade reel case, a cheap rod, a Simms drysuit I got at a Goodwill for $25, and a Filson fly fishing jacket I got at a going out of business sale in Montana for $40.

But I can't fly fish for shit. Most of my life I didn't live close enough to a river to learn.

I went up to one of the 300 lakes on the Grand Mesa in CO last week and caught four 8"-12" rainbows in less than 30 minutes and I'm barely able to cast 20'
I am going to be around Weminuche Wilderness, then San Juan and may come back to Larkspur somehow via the Grand Mesa.

How many people were out there, there sure are a lot of campgrounds on the mesa.
 

rovercanus

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2004
9,322
68
I jumped into Euro nymphing this past week. I picked up a Moonshine Rods 10.5' 3 weight and a Lamson Liquid 3 pack (reel with 3 spools. Loaded one spool with nymph line, one with wf5f line and the last spool with wf5f streamer line.
I was catching fish where I always knew they were there but the drifts were always a challenge with weighted flies. Think I may go again Sunday.
 

Jrod

Active member
Oct 8, 2015
38
1
Boise
I've been fly fishing from the time I could walk, almost 40 years. The trick is relax and practice. Find a nice open field or park and then find your groove. The 6/7 setup is certainly robust, but will be just fine for small brooks to steelhead, don't worry about that. Fact is, if you're working a small stream, not a lot of casting will be taken place.

That said, the advice above regarding Tenkara is spot-on. I've been reel-less for a number of years now. My disco has 6', 12' and 16' rods that have taken up permanent residence. Same premise as fly-fishing from winter nymphing, drop shoting in the spring, split-shot for small mouth or simple bobbers and a worm.

My only advice is to not get caught-up in the hype. My son can out-fish most folks in the area with his preferred method using an 8' bamboo stick and a beaded hares ear year round.
 
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AbnMike

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2016
1,179
85
Western Slope, CO
How many people were out there, there sure are a lot of campgrounds on the mesa.
It's starting to hit triple digits here in the valley, so the Mesa will be swarmed, but, as with almost everything, if you drive past the first parking spot in the lot you can find primo parking a bit further out.

We drove up past Ward Lake, and past all the "designated" spots on Eggleston for awhile until I found a nice pull off spot on the side of the road and could walk down a hill with the wife and kid and dogs and set up a picnic area. Since it required stepping over a log and wasn't paved all the fats ignored it. Since it wasn't a designated parking area most everyone else ignored it. It's like a Wal-Mart parking lot. If you ignore all the idiots circling around and around the first section of parking you can usually go farther out and find a nice spot in the shade.

No one around. Of course it was also a Sunday so most people were leaving, pulling their giant plastic and glue trailer houses.

There's a lot of lakes that you have to walk to up there. There's a book called "Colorado Lakes & Reservoirs Fishing and Boating Guide" that has a ton of information and very useful.
 

AbnMike

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2016
1,179
85
Western Slope, CO
That said, the advice above regarding Tenkara is spot-on. I've been reel-less for a number of years now. My disco has 6', 12' and 16' rods that have taken up permanent residence. Same premise as fly-fishing from winter nymphing, drop shoting in the spring, split-shot for small mouth or simple bobbers and a worm.

My only advice is to not get caught-up in the hype. My son can out-fish most folks in the area with his preferred method using an 8' bamboo stick and a beaded hares ear year round.
There's really nothing more beautiful to me than a long rolling cast.

But man I'm really starting to dig this Tankara thing the more I look into it....

I grew up learning to fish from old black guys with bamboo rods catching perch and sunfish and whatever else and most of them could catch more sitting on the end of a worn out pier than the guys in $20k bass boats and 10k of gear going out all day, so....