3 Basic Fly Fishing Tips

By Andy Whitcomb

Nov 13, 2019

Fly fishing can be intimidating to beginners. Here are three basic tips to get you started.

Fly fishing can be an intimidating technique for novices. Not only are there special lures (flies), equipment, knots, and terminology but the cast itself takes a lot of practice to master. However, many anglers ultimately find fly fishing to be greatly entertaining. Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Learn How to Cast.

There are volumes written which teach anglers different fly fishing tips for methods to propel an often weightless fly forward, sometimes amazing distances. Casting requires practice; dedicate some time in an open yard, free from nearby tree limbs, laundry lines, and garden gnomes. If you are self-conscious, you can begin your training in the basement with that broken rod end lying in the corner of your garage with 5 feet of yarn tied to it, timing the rod motion so the yarn lies flat in the air, instead of forming loose aerial loops.

2. Find Fish.

In general, fly fishing is shallower than traditional fishing methods and thus, there is a great deal of sight fishing. And not just for trout. Various sunfish species, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and pike can be a blast on a fly rod. Seeing fish helps with your presentation and allows you to watch how fish react. Most lists of fly fishing tips also mention that you’ll have greater success if you try to keep the fish from seeing you first.

3. Keep It Simple.

Initially, you don’t have to invest in a pile flies and fly tying kit components. Just start with a few basic flies for fly fishing based on water column depth. For example the difference between dry vs. wet flies, is that wet flies such as streamers are worked below the surface, while dry flies ride on the surface. Nymphing techniques, such as with a heavier beaded nymph can be bounced along the bottom.

Fly fishing doesn’t have to be expensive and intimidating. A basic starter kit and a couple of flies for fly fishing such as a wooly bugger and an Adams dry fly, can lead to a fun new fly fishing experience on many bodies of water, catching anything from trout to bass. Also, when picking up your new fishing license check out the fly fishing locations that may be listed in the regulations booklet.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.