FLY FISHING MADE EASY   Leave a comment

Fly fishing is often thought of as a sophisticated sport that requires a complicated combination of tackle. Major tackle manufacturers and retailers have taken much of the mystery out of the selection.

With some basic education, the novice fly angler can enjoy a great summer in the rivers and lakes. Many contain trout or have our usual game fish that will also take a fly if properly presented. Bass and sunfish are particularly active when it comes to taking a fly.

Most rods are made of either graphite or fiberglass. Some are of bamboo construction but they are well out of the price range of the beginning anger. The graphite rods are lighter than fiberglass. They allow for a decrease in the wall and diameter size. To increase sensitivity the fibers are wrapped on a bias. Lighter rods allow us to use them longer with less arm fatigue.

Fiberglass rods are heavier with less sensitivity.

Fly rods come in lengths of six to 12 feet. The recommended lengths are eight and one half to 9 feet. Shorter lengths are for special situations. In areas with open coves and a low overhead tree canopy a shorter rods works better.

The industry rates rods by weights. For trout and panfish, a weight of four, five, or six is right. For bigger fish like bass a seven, eight, or nine weight rod will do well. Most fly anglers like the eight weight rod for bass and a five for trout. A compromise of a six-weight rod works well for both species.

The selection of a fly line is where the confusion seems to greet most of us. Line on a fly-fishing reel is composed of four sections. Working out from the spool, the first part is the backing.
Backing attaches the fly line to the reel and allows the fly line to form larger coils. That reduces line memory and aids in winding the line more quickly when the fish is hooked. It also allows the fish to make longer runs.

The fly line itself is what is cast in fly-fishing instead of the lure as in other fishing. Fly lines are rated to match the fly rod. The rating is printed on the spool and package.

The leader is a length of tapered monofilament that attaches the fly to the line. The thick part, the butt, is closest to the reel. Next is the taper and finally the tippet. The tippet is the thinnest part of the fly line and attaches to the fly.

The fly has no appreciable weight. The lines movement propels it. The rod is drawn back, called loading, and then cast forward, called unloading. The forward movement is “shooting the line.”

With a little basic instruction, we can learn to be fly angler. Instruction can come from an instructor or from a video. There are a number of good ones on the market. DVD’s are particularly helpful because it is possible to move to a particular section that you want to concentrate upon with ease.

There are a number of ready-to-fish combos on the market now and available from mail order companies like Cablea’s and Bass Pro Shops. Some other sporting goods stores also carry them. The Concept line from 3M Scientific Anglers offers rod and reel, with the line already spooled with backing and tapered leader. Some packages include an instructional video and booklets. An expert already completes all the tackle selection.

Those who have never tried fly-fishing owe it to themselves to add this equipment to their arsenal of fishing tackle. It is another element in angling and a very relaxing way to spend a day at the river, lake or pond near home.

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