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Basics of Fly Fishing

Updated on March 12, 2011

For hundreds, if not thousands of years, anglers have been trying to imitate insects with their own creations made of fur, feather or hair. The idea is to convince trout, grayling and salmon - commonly called came fish - That the imitation is the real, living insect.

Plies are obviously very light, so to cast them any distance from the bank you need weight. The weight is in the fly line itself, and a very flexible rod is capable of throwing this line many yards. Some of the flies float — these are the dry flies. Others sink — wet flies. Similarly, some fly lines are designed to float and others to sink. If you want to get down deep to fish lying near the bottom, you can use a sinking line, but if you are using a dry fly, then you'll use a floating line.

Don't be too afraid about some of the exorbitant price tags you might see on some rods, reels and lines in the tackle shop or catalogue. There's an enormous variety of tackle available in the fly-fishing world but believe me, you really can buy something at the bottom end of the market that is cheap but reliable and will serve you very happily for years. 

Tackle For Trout Fishing

My feeling is that you won't be starting with something as exotic as salmon, and that it's best to learn the trade on something more accessible. So let's look at rods, reels, lines, flies and accessories for the trout angler. The sort of rod to start off with is something round about 9 feet (2.7m) long that will carry any line weighted between No.6 and No.8. Rods and lines are given these figures so you know how to match them up. A No. 1 weight, for example, is very light indeed for trout fishing on tiny little streams, whereas a No. 10 outfit would be ideal for a big reservoir in very windy conditions. However, something between 6 and 8 is pretty well ideal for the beginner, and will suit virtually every condition.

Spending a lot is not necessary when choosing your first rod, although obviously the more you pay for your rod, the more sophisticated the product. Take the very best advice that you can find and, if at all possible, try the rod out for yourself. Many tackle dealers now have a pool behind their premises upon which you can have a few practice casts. This will enable you to make sure that you like the feel of your chosen rod and reel together. Harmony is the key word in fly fishing. Rod, reel and line should all be in balance, and you shouldn't feel that you are straining in any way.


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