A Quick Guide for Beginners: How to Fly Fish for Trout

By Alycia Downs

Dec 16, 2019

Learning how to fly fish for trout. A quick guide for beginners who are interested in fly fishing for trout.

Learning how to fly fish for trout is a nationally-beloved pastime, growing wildly in popularity with the rise in the number of fly anglers. Another contributing factor is that anyone with access to a suitable stream, river, or lake can try their hand at fly fishing for trout for a fairly low investment. Of course, there’s all types of gear available, but to get started, you’ll need a fly rod setup, an assortment of flies, and a landing net.

How to fly fish for trout

1. Fly selection.

The fly you choose is equally as important as your cast (almost!). Flies are intended to imitate what trout are feeding on in their natural habitat, typically insects or baitfish. It’s important to assess the season and what trout are feeding on in order to select flies with a greater chance of success. There are several categories of flies to choose from.

2. Perfect your cast.

One of the keys to fly fishing for trout successfully is in an effective cast. You must be accurate enough to land the fly where you desire so that it drifts past the trout in a natural manner. Mastering these fly fishing techniques for trout comes with study, practice and experience.

3. Master the presentation.

Presentation is the mechanics you employ to make a fly appear realistic to a trout. To do this effectively, you need to understand how the insect or baitfish your fly is mimicking actually moves and behaves. Then mirror it. You control this by how you twitch the rod and strip the line.

4. Setting the hook.

Once you’ve actually convinced an obliging trout to bite, set the hook quickly. To do this, lift your rod tip over your head and tighten the line between you and the fish. The key is to hook the fish securely so you can reel it in and release it safely.

As you learn how to fly fish for trout, you’ll pick up on nuances and learn to make adjustments to improve your capabilities. Most importantly, have patience and enjoy the experience. If fishing for the first time, be sure to get your fishing license before hitting the streamside. Enjoy!

Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at tideandtale.com or on Instagram @tideandtale.