Here are some tips to help you find the best gear and equipment for your first fly fishing outings…
These are the basic things you’ll want to have on hand for your first fly fishing adventures:
- It’s best to use flies that mimic insects native to your region, because that is what the fish eat. It will take some practice to learn to replicate these movements. Here’s a tip: size matters.
- Flies are very lightweight, so a weighted line is necessary to ensure successful casting. Weight-forward line will allow you to cast long distances, while double-taper line is the best for short casts. Both weight-forward and double-taper fly fishing line are approximately 90 feet in length. More than one line can be attached to the reel for casting longer distances or for bringing in larger fish.
- While the flies are created to mimic the movements of specific insects, it is the fly fishing rod that creates the correct movement of the fly underwater. Choosing a fly rod is not difficult, just remember to take action, length, and weight into consideration.
- Reel type is not nearly as important for beginners. Most fly fishermen pull their line back manually. However, after you become more experienced, you’ll want to invest in a good fly reel. The better ones are more durable, last longer, and are best for bringing in larger fish.
Beginners and experienced fly anglers alike need a fishing vest and waders.
- Fishing vests are designed to hold a variety of tippets, flies, fly dressing, extra leaders and a knife, as well as a snack. The vest you choose is up to you, just be sure that it has pockets of different sizes and that it’s well-made and of good quality.
- Waders help you stay warm and dry when inclement weather moves in. They are made of a variety of materials and come in different styles. Waders are a personal choice and you should purchase whatever is comfortable.
Besides these basic necessities, there are a few other accessories that will make your fly fishing adventure both safe and fun.
- Nets allow you to land fish easier. With a net, the fish can remain in the water while you are removing your fly. This will cause less stress for the fish if you are practicing catch and release.
- Be sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your ears and face from sunburn. A hat keeps your head dry and warm in inclement or chilly weather (…and protects your head from a fly that is out of control).
- A fly box is a necessity in order to keep your flies safe and organized. Some fly boxes come with Styrofoam pads to hook flies into. Others have a variety of separate compartments. The style of fly box is a personal preference. Just be sure to organize your flies for easy accessibility.
- Sunglasses are a requirement. They protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays and also from errant flies. When you choose sunglasses for fishing, be sure you purchase a polarized pair to reduce sun reflection from the water.
If you have these basic fly fishing items, then you’ll be off to a great start. Additional gear and accessories can be purchased along the way as you gain more experience and fine-tune your tastes.
I enjoy writing about my life experiences — including the fun times I've had while fishing and enjoying nature. In my fly fishing articles I like to share helpful how-tos to help newbies grasp the most basic concepts of fly fishing.