Richards1 Cole Richards Ms. Bennett British Literature 9 September 2011 Fly Fishing for Beginners According to Fly Fishing Things website more than eighteen million people try flyfishing every year. Fly fishing dates back to medieval times when early Germans would fishusing a “feathered hook” or a fly. In the book Fishing from the Earliest Times, fly fishingaficionado Name Radcliffe refers to the early Macedonian method of fishing with a fly. “I haveheard of a Macedonian way of catching fish, and it is this: between Borœa and Thessalonica runsa river called the Astræus, and in it there are fish with speckled skins” (Radcliffe). To seesomething that was used to put food on the table in the early days evolve into a billion dollarindustry is simply amazing. According to Fly Anglers, an online website “The first so-called fly rods were wood, andpretty crude. Fly lines were braided horse hair... Eventually rods evolved to cane, then split caneinto intricately designed casting tools.” To start off an understanding of the basic components ofthe average fly rod is helpful. The average set up contains a rod, reel, and special weighted lineused to cast a practically weightless lure. Fisherman use artificial bugs, hand tied on that lookreal to a fish’s eye. Fly fishing isn’t anything like the fishing you would do in a local pond witha hook and worm; it is considered an art form and very difficult to master.
Richards1 To start off, understand that the number fly rod coincides with the size line used. So afive weight rod will cast a five weight line; as the numbers get larger so does your line and rod.According to Fly Anglers Online “You do not cast the fly rod. You cast the fly line.” A fly rod issimply a lever or extension of your arm.” For every fly there is the appropriate line size used tocast it. One of the most important differences in rods besides the weight is the action. “Action isdefined as the relative resistance to bending as you move down the length of a particular fly rod”(Fly Anglers Online). Slow-action rods tend to be snappier while fast-action rods are notablystiffer. In between is medium-action. The fast-action gives in less but will cast farther, while theslow-action will not put the fly out as far. When attempting to land a big fish by fly it is almost impossible to do without backing.Backing is the extra twenty pound test line that is behind a fly line. Backing helps to move thefly line closer to the top of the reel. Since fly fishing is mainly used for Trout fishing, whatdifferences do different brands of trout lines have? What separate the lines are several differentcharacteristics, including how heavy they are, how delicate they land, and how well they cast.When choosing line, fly rod anglers should consider the depth of the water and any likelyobstructions. For equipment to perform correctly, it should be carefully maintained. “Most experiencedfly rod anglers agree that the fly line is just about the most important part of the equipmentbecause it plays such an important role in the effective presentation of artificial flies.” (FlyAnglers Online). Always remembering to wash reels after use can reduce the risk of rust and
Richards1prolong the life of the reel. Ultraviolet rays, heat, sunscreen and any chemical substance cancause cracks in the outside coating of the line. Cracks in the finish coating indicate that linesneed re-spooling soon to prevent breaking a line. When casting in dirtier waters, the line willtend to pick up extra debris floating on the surface (creating a heavier fly line) so it is sometimesimportant to wipe the line off as you go. After investing in the right fly fishing equipment, it is time to put the pieces together.Looking at a fly rod, it is in many different sections. If these parts were to come apart whilefishing they will most likely be broken. To keep the fly rod from breaking, take the end of thepole and using wax from a small white candle, bond the ends together being careful to line up allof the eyes. Once completed the reel can be housed in its “seat” or position on the rod andsecured by tightening the screws. “To cast, or not to fish; that is the question. If you cant adequately cast a fly line youmight as well not fish” (Fly anglers online), Fly fishing is all dependent on the cast. Learninghow to fly fish is not something that is done in a day. Like everything, it takes tons and tons ofpractice. Most people take a class or learn from someone who knows the correct technique. Toavoid looking stupid, practice alone and out of the water before attempting casting in the water.The basic cast involves several easy steps. First start out by letting-out around twenty-five feetof line. Right handed anglers will feel more comfortable having the handles on the left siderather than the right (most handles come with right and left options). Begin to grip the rod as ifshaking hands with it, always keeping a thumb on top; keeping feet square while casting, theonly movement coming from the elbow. The arm should rotate between ninety degrees and fortyfive no more, no less. Start with arm down at a forty five degree angle with the line going towhere the free hand can take hold. Then take the rod back to ninety degrees and stop until the
Richards1line straightens out behind. Raise the free hand up to the reel and grab the line with index fingerand thumb. Start by pulling excess line in at six inches at a time, forming a circle of line belowthe reel; not pulling out line from the reel but rather just pulling in enough line to make the nextcast possible. To stop the cast, bring the rod to the forty-five degree angle, letting all the line flyout. Perfecting the cast, of course, will take practice and may be frustrating in the beginning. Having the cast down, Where to find the fish? Not every stretch of water holds fish. Fishhave basic needs just like humans: food, cover and somewhere to rest their tail. A good flyfisherman must be able to read the water, as Fly Anglers Online explains “Picture the waterflowing around the rock, and you see a calm area directly in front of the rock, and the current onboth sides of the calm area.” This calm area is where fish like to rest and wait for the current tobring food by on both sides of the rock. Depending on the strength of the current, a rock willalso provide the fish cover from enemies. As waters get colder, fish species will look forshallower water to live in and when it gets hot the fish will look for deeper, colder waters; theseare both signs of fish wanting comfort. “One of the most perplexing problems that confronts the beginning fly rod fisherman isgathering the line during the retrieve. To be effective, the line must be under control at all times”When fishing from a boat, line control is not a problem, but fishing from the water will float theline downstream. One of the more effective ways of retrieving is called the figure eight retrieve.To begin, Fly Anglers Online says to “reach forward and drape line OVER forefinger - thenUNDER the remaining three fingers. The figure eight retrieve method collects the line bymaking a figure eight around the fingers. “Tilt hand downward and route line back BETWEENsecond and third fingers” (Fly Anglers Online).
Richards1 One of the most basic flies is called a mayfly nymph. According to Fly Anglers Online;“Some angler’s claim 90% of the food trout eat is taken below the surface.” Trout hunt for foodin a one-inch kill zone located directly below the water level. This one inch of water contains thefood that is about to emerge to the top of the water. A Nymph is the one fly that stays in this oneinch of water, making it look irresistible to trout. Nymphs can be fished by beginners becausethey only require a simple roll cast to put them out there. When using a basic spinning rod set the hook by pulling up on the rod and reeling, butdoing that with a fly rod will rip the fly right out of the fish’s mouth. So, what is the correctway to set the hook when fly fishing? Even though a fly rod looks flexible it is not so pulling upon a fish will most likely break the rod. To most fly fishing enthusiasts, the correct way to setthe hook is to wait for the fish to turn. When the fish has taken the fly, wait a second for the fishto turn and swim away before setting the hook by just reeling without pulling on the rod. A flashcan be seen in the water as the fish turns because of the suns reflection off the fish’s scales. Mostbeginners choose to fish downstream which although may seem easier at the time, but in the endit will be impossible to hook the fish. Best bet will be setting the hook upstream. The chances ofhooking the fish in the corner of the mouth are better upstream. Through history men have used fly fishing as a stress reliever, sport, hobby, and a way ofputting food on the table. Fly fishing has become one of the most popular outdoor activities inthe world from Russia to Belize; fly fishing is one of the best ways to catch picky fish. Art formor sport, fly fishing is here to stay.