Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting Started

It is probably this way with most hobbies or sports, or anything really.  Getting started seems to be the hardest part.  There is so much gear, so much jargon and lingo out there that makes it seem nearly impossible just to pick up something new and start having fun.  It was like this for me as well.  In this post I will try to break down some of the best things you can do to ease your pain.  It worked pretty well for me so hopefully you will have similar luck.  If you know of something that will help as well feel free to comment.
  1. Find a local fly shop!  I can't stress this one enough.  Unlike most of the big box retail stores, your local fly shop is probably staffed with people who know what they are talking about.  Hell it is probably staffed with people who just went fishing that morning and can tell you exactly what to use that day.  Before I ever bought a rod and reel I wondered around the fly shop pretending like I knew what I was doing, but in reality I was just watching and learning (and trying to find the nerve to actually get some help).  
  2. Read a couple of books.  Here are a couple I recommend:
    • Somewhere deep inside it hurts me to recommend this book but, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fly Fishing is what I read and I have to be honest it had everything I needed to get started.  It was just enough to get me going but not enough to overwhelm me and drive me away.  There is everything from basic knot tying to how to cast, and it even has a teaser on fly tying.  Even though it insults me right in the title, I highly recommend it.  
    • One of the most daunting things for me to get over was what all of the different bugs were, or even what Entomology was (I'm slow ok... leave me alone). The book Hatch Guide for Western Streams helped me a ton.  It is a full colored book and shows just about every bug that will even remotely come close to my streams and then some fly patterns that match them.  Although most journeymen fly fisherman will tell you the imitations look exactly like the real thing, to a novice they look nothing alike.  This book will help you see what they are talking about when they say  "Throw a size 20 Trico Parachute out there".  
    • There are over 4,428 books on Amazon about fly fishing.  The two above I have read but I am sure there are other fantastic options out there.
  3. Buy a rod and reel.  This is very important... because well... it is crazy hard to fish without a rod and reel.  I have this one  Ross Worldwide Essence FS Fly Fishing Outfit it is a basic 9 foot 5/6wt rod.  It comes with an instructional DVD (it is hilarious by the way), a travel case and it is already spooled up and ready to fish.  This rod has served me well for the last year and every time I go into my fly shop and talk about buying another one they slap me around and say that is all I need for a very long time.  I believe them, it is just that some of the other rods are sooooo shiiiiineeeey. Of course you can go nuts here and buy way more expensive rods but as a beginner there really is no need, hell even as a pro there is no need other than just preference of a particular rod.
That is pretty much it for now.  That will get you through the first couple of weeks.  If you are like me you are probably itching just to get out on the water.  The next post I will go over some suggestions about where to start off.  The books above will have some info on that too.

Ohh and just in case you don't live near a "Western Stream"  here are some others:

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