Fly fishing is a favorite pastime for many people who enjoy a blend of relaxation, the peacefulness of nature, technicality, and skill. It’s a sport that necessitates patience and strategy while being low-stress and even leisurely. If you’re a first-timer, you’ll want to check out these fly fishing tips.
While there are definitely better times of year to do it than others, it’s an activity that you can do on your own time or in shared company. While the sport is not remarkably tricky, you will save yourself some frustration by going in prepared. Here are a few pieces of advice from avid angler Cody Moxam:
Fly Fishing Tips from Cody Moxam
Know the Basics of Fly Fishing
You already know to educate yourself on the necessary equipment and motions, but it’s worth repeating the importance of understanding the basics as you begin. You’ll see better results if you know how to leverage all of the tools involved properly. Do you know the difference between an arbor and a spool release?
Do you know how to read an X code, which refers to the size and material of leaders and tippets? What about the advantages and disadvantages of different fly types, and when to use each one?
Fly fishing entails much more than hooking an artificial fly to a line, tossing it into the water, and hoping to attract trout. For instance, “dry” flies float on water, while “wet” flies, also called “nymphs,” sink. Cabela’s offers a comprehensive overview of fly fishing basics, so familiarize yourself with the multiple nuances.
Fly Fishing is Half Location So Pick a Spot That You’ll Love
Fly fishing is much more enjoyable if you love where you’re at. It’s hard not to love any spot on a beautiful river surrounded by forest, but everyone has their favorite locations and places they swear yield the best catch.
As a former student of the University of Florida, Cody Moxam enjoys local spots to fly fish. According to Wide Open Spaces, the Florida Keys is one of the best fishing locations in the country because fish are active all year (though early spring or late winter is preferable for fly fishers in particular). Are you looking to catch species like bonefish and tarpon? Then the Florida Keys might be for you.
Another recommended sport for people only in the state for a short amount of time is Lake Kissimmee. It’s usually a dependable source of fish (especially bass) and full of perfect wading spots and docks where you can access the water without a boat.
Take Advantage of Attractors
Attractor flies are designed to catch a fish’s attention. Curious fish go to check out whatever is disturbing the surface of the water, but attractor flies are not designed to look exactly like any existing species of insect—they are simply meant to be potentially mouth-watering, and their size may be off-putting to fish.
Once you use an attractor fly, though, you can follow up with a different, smaller version that a fish will be more likely to attack. Attractor flies are advantageous if the fish are keeping to themselves below the surface, and you need to provide them with an incentive to swim their way up.
Pay Attention to Your Wrist
When first starting out, you might be tempted to use too much of your arm strength to get the fly where you want it to go. You’ll overshoot, though, and you’ll have to try again. Much of fly fishing’s performance depends on the movement of your wrist.
Don’t make your arm extend too far backward; instead, let your wrist dictate where the line goes while your arm powers the motion. Don’t power your cast with only your wrist either, though, or you won’t get enough momentum to make the fly rest where you want it to.
Be Patient Before You Try Again
Bad casts are inevitable. They happen all the time. You might think you’re going to cast your fly right where you intended to, but a spontaneous burst of wind ruins the whole thing. You’re not upset about it, so you do what’s instinctual and try again. As Field & Stream notes, however, your mistake is loading up and trying again immediately after.
If you have a bad shot, let it sit for a moment so that it exits a fish’s range of vision. You can try again immediately if the fish did not see the fly, but if it did, then recasting to soon could ruin your chances on the second attempt.
Fly fishing is not remarkably difficult, but there is a learning curve to be aware of that requires patience. With these fly fishing tips, even if you’re planning a first time experience, you’ll be well on your way to success. When will you try fly fishing for the first time, if you haven’t already?