SAN JUAN RIVER FLY FISHING - HOME
Fly Fishing - Getting Started
This series of notes is directed to those who have never fly fished or are novices. If you consider yourself an expert* don't bother reading any further because [as most experts like to point out] everything everyone else says in fly fishing is always wrong.
Fly fishing is a delightful sport which attracts all age groups and interests. To the uninitiated, it seems a little intimidating. And that is the fault of the industry. There is nothing complex in Fly Fishing, and there is absolutely no reason to be intimidated by the sport.
So why would we say that it is the fault of the industry? Simple. For some reason some in the fly fishing industry pretend that it is something more than trying to fool one of God's creatures with a brain the size of a pea. Its not.
Anyone with very basic equipment can try fly fishing and be successful. We do it all the time with beginners who go out on guide trips and catch fish first time out. Sure, if you watch "A river runs through it" and want to cast a fly line like Brad Pitt, it will take a little time. But the truth is there is absolutely no need at all to be a great caster.
So here is a simple attempt to introduce you to the basic requirements for the sport.
What equipment do I need?If you have never fly fished and want to see if you like it before buying any equipment, we would suggest that the best way to start would be to take a guide trip for half a day out on a river. Make sure when you are engaging a guide that it is someone who is truly interested in imparting knowledge and teaching you the basics. Try and get a recommendation if possible.
That way you would get some basic instruction, and get to use equipment before having to invest in any. Thereafter it you enjoy in enough to want to continue, you will be familiar enough with the basic requirements to be able to make a rudimentary purchase decision.
How much should my initial equipment cost? We have provided a detail cost of an intial cost to enter the sport. We suggest you can start for $387.16. You can see the details here.
So that's it. Once you have your licence you can be set for a season of fishing. Your only addiitonal costs will be a few flies and maybe some other items such as a dessicant and floatant (e.g. Fish Pimp - Shake 'n Float) when fishing dry flies. Fishermen love gadgets so when you start to look at the terminal tackle items in a fly shop, you will understand what we mean. But most of it is not necessary.
After the intial outlay, you are set. Unlike golf where it costs to play each round, or skiing where a day ticket would pay for a years supply of flies, fly fishing costs are minimal. What does it cost to take the family to a theme park for the day? Or the cost of an adult and 3 children to go to a movie? Compare that to the cost of a day on the river with a sack lunch and the chance of maybe bringing something home for the dinner table. Even the intial cost of a bike and riding gear exceeds the cost of setting up for fly fishing.
And don't worry if you think it might be too complex. After you learn a few basics, if your local fly shop is truly a full service fly shop, the staff will gladly give you advice to help you improve your sport. If you go into a shop and they aren't prepared to spend time talking with you and giving you information without first asking for your credit card, it isn't a fly shop. It will be a clothing store masquerading as a fly shop.
That's why going to big box stores for your fly fishing equipment isn't recommended. You won't get the advice you actually need for a days fishing. Ask the shop assistant (assuming you can find one) when he was last on the river. Then you will know if the advice is going to be worth anything.
We have a policy of having guides in our shops most of the time and they will be guides who were on the river a day or so ago so they will know exactly what was and is happening.
The worst thing you can do is go into a fly shop and have someone stitch you up with high cost gear you don't need and leave you completely unprepared for the river. It will leave a nasty taste in the mouth. Its not how we want prospective fly fishermen to start out their experience. As we suggested at the outset, perhaps a half day on a river with a guide might be the best way to get you started.
* For the purposes of this article an "expert" is someone who thinks he or she is an expert. It has nothing to do with those whom others have judged to have such qualities.