So you’ve decided you want to learn how to fly fish, or at least look into taking it up – this will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made! Fly Fishing is, without doubt, one of the most rewarding sports I’ve been involved in. It’s not just about catching fish, in fact far from it. Fly fishing has taken me to some of the most beautiful places in the world, just me, my rod and nature. It will take you to places that very few people in the world will ever get to experience and it will only cost you the gas for your car to get there!
So what’s so great about fly fishing and why should you learn? Picture this; a crisp morning, you’re sitting beside a mountain fed river that has been there for thousands of years longer than you. The sun has not yet come up, you’re waiting for it to get light enough so you can see you’re line on the water. While sitting there you are contemplating what will be the result of your first cast of the day. Last night you spent hours tying flies, setting up your rod in front of the fire while having a beer with mates, talking through the prospects of the next day. The sky begins to brighten, you decide it’s time!
Standing in crystal clear water you strip out line, preparing for your first cast of the day. You lift the line off the water, elevating the two flies you selected as your killer flies for the first part of the morning. You’ve got plenty of line in the air, you decide it’s time to throw the first cast onto the water, the line loops out on itself, softly cutting the water. You see the flies present themselves to the water, now you’re fishing…
You follow your line as it makes its way through its drift, waiting for the first chance of a strike. The sun is slowly starting to come up, you know it’s breakfast time for the rainbow trout you’re about to fool. You see an indication of your line going under the water, STRIKE! Then the greatest feeling you can get on the water – tap, tap, tap on the end of your rod, the fish is on! You’ve successfully fooled your first fish of the day into swallowing the fly you tied last night using natural materials, a bit of thread and a hook. Adrenaline sets in – “Did I hook it well, where will I land it, how big is it?”, are thoughts rushing through your mind. You softly play the fish, it takes you back into the main flow, runs down stream and then runs toward you, it’s more of a challenge landing the thing! Eventually the fish tires and gives up, you’re able to net it, get your mate to take a quick picture then return the fish to the river to allow it to fight another day.
Catching fish isn’t what it’s all about. Fly fishing offers so much on so many levels – I’ve taken dozens of first timers out on the water and every single one of them have loved it, fish or no fish, they’ve all appreciated the skill of the sport, the environment in which we’re lucky enough to practice in and the sense of accomplishment at even just getting the flies on the water.
In two minds about whether to Learn to Fly Fish? Didn’t think so; see you on the water…
Article by Fly Editor