Getting Started in Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing has these myths of being an expensive hobby to start, difficult to learn, and only for trout. None of these could be further from the truth. A person can start fly fishing with a basic rod/reel/line combination($140), a leader, spool of tippet, a nipper, forceps, and a hand full of flies. You can practice casting your yard, then go to a pond at one of the local parks or the shoreline of one of the Madison lakes and fish for bluegills. This exercise can take you from your first cast to first fish in a short amount of time.
At some point you’ll want to take your skills to the next level, and this is where professional instruction is helpful. Your neighbor down the street may be a seasoned fly angler, but they may not be a good teacher-this can both overwhelm and confuse a person. Seeking out a professional fly casting instructor and guide at the local fly shop will help you move up the learning curve a lot faster. A good fly casting instructor will fix your bad casting habits, and make it easier for you to cast longer distances in windy conditions with better accuracy. You can learn more from an experienced fly fishing guide who is a good teacher in 1 day than you will figuring things out on your own in half a season. Think of the fees for these services as “tuition”-you can take full advantage of the opportunity to hone current skills and learn new ones. You can also learn where good trout streams and the best fish holding waters are located. Finding where the fish are is often half the battle, getting fish to eat your fly and landing them is the other half. Then you can go out on your own and practice your new found skills.