Fly Fishing Basics

Enjoy your surroundingsriver

The first basic rule of fly fishing is just to enjoy all of the amazing surroundings. Whether you’re fishing a lake a stream or a river, take a look around and take in the wonder that is the amazing outdoors. I always think when I am out fishing that I am privileged to be on the water and I am part of the lucky few that are able to enjoy this great sport. Me and my fishing buddies have a saying “It was just nice to get our feet wet” Take advantage of the outdoors and hopefully you will be lucky enough to catch some fish.

Basic equipment needed

Fly fishing equipment can be intimidating at first. All you really need though is a quality rod, reel and fly line, this will get you started fishing, all the other gear will come along as you progress. Its important to remember that you don’t have to buy the most expensive equipment out there but It does need to be quality. Quality gear will help to make casting easier and fishing more enjoyable, Click here for our suggestions about quality rods and reels, fishing is fun, keep it simple and enjoy.

Take advantage of the information out there

It may be obvious, but YouTube has some amazing instructional videos that truly take a lot of the guess work out of basic casting as well as understanding where fish may be holding and waiting for their lunch to float by.

Go to the local fly shop, if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby, I have found that the people that work at fly shops are there because the love to fish and with that they also love to talk about fishing. Make friends and ask questions, you will find that they are happy to help not only about fishing gear but more importantly about what is fishing well and what hatches are going on as well as what fly patterns are working the best. I seriously popped into a fly shop, that I had meant to visit, the other day and ended up spending over an hour talking to the staff. We exchanged knowledge and fishing stories and I left learning something about one of our local river hatches that I wasn’t aware of. I’ve been fishing for over thirty years and am still learning about this great sport.

Practice and repetition

With any sport you need to practice, practice, repeat and practice some more. I suggest going out in the back yard or the park or even a school yard, when the kids are out of school of course, and practice trying to hit a target say twenty to thirty feet away. You will gain confidence as well as understanding about your abilities when you get on that river and are actually casting to a fish.

Don’t get overwhelmed

Remember that fly fishing is not easy but it’s so much fun. There are a lot of moving pieces and parts involved and they are not always the same from day to day. Weather, temperature, water flows, wind, time of day and even the phase of the moon all come into play regarding fish behavior and eating patterns. Do not, I repeat, do not let any of this distract you from a fun day on the water. I’ve tried to study moon phases, hatch charts, temperature and water flow changes through my fishing career and for the life of me I still can’t figure it all out completely. Just enjoy the time on the water whether it’s with you and the family, you and your buddies or just you. Have fun! get your feet wet and make memories. Don’t worry about the small stuff Just enjoy the day, your family and your friends.

Keep these fly fishing basics in mind and you are sure to, not only, have a great time but hopefully catch a nice creel of fish. Keep in mind that fishing doesn’t necessary mean catching, fishing is fishing, it’s not a guarantee. Enjoy the time out there and make some memories, have fun and give respect to the great outdoors.


 Check out this video


For more information check out my friends at take me fishing

Hitting the banks and making mistakes

Fly fishing the banks means technical casting but that’s what makes it fun! Has this happened to you? Trying to get that perfect cast where you anticipate a fish will be waiting to pounce on your fly. You try to cast your fly inbetween two tree branches and twelve inches away from the bank expecting that if you pull it off there is a hungry fish just waiting to dine on your offering. however you miss your target by a foot and snag on one of the branches you were trying so desperately to avoid. You immediately think, what was I thinking, that was an impossible cast. Then you realize that now you have to try and retrieve your fly and  that your fishing buddies are upset. Upset because not only have you caused everyone else on the boat to stop fishing but retrieving, or trying to retrieve, the fly will no doubt scare all the fish away from that area. This happens to me all the time. I get so caught up in trying to make the perfect cast, as well as over estimating my casting abilities that I sometimes seam to hook, or catch, more trees than fish. That’s what makes fly fishing challenging as well as fun and rewarding as well.  Although it doesn’t always work out, once you do make that perfect cast and put your fly in that impossible place and then your rewarded by a nice fish taking your fly, all the miss haps and tree snags are well worth it.

Fly fishing the Green River below Fontenelle dam

Rainbow trout
Rainbow trout

Although the water is high, there are fish to be caught if you decide to fly fish this tail water of the Green River, in Wyoming, bellow the Fontenelle dam. This time of year can be tough as the rivers are full of water with the sping run off. However, if you are determined you can catch a nice fish like this. You should always be prepared for any adjustment in the weather but if your patient and determined you can have a great day on the water. When the water is high and maybe a little murky, don’t be afraid to use a streamer. Wholly buggers, double bunnies or anything that you like. Don’t be afraid to trail a nymph behind your streamer either, its a great way to attract more bits and if they don’t like the streamer they may like the nymph. Two looks for every cast. The fish are always eating, so even if the water is high or murky as long as you are prepared and carful and you respect the water you can catch amazing fish like this…


Rainy days and Sundays always make me want to fly fish

I have had some of my best fly fishing days when its raining. Ill never forget a Sunday on the Duchesne river. That morning as the rain came down a good friend and I debated on driving the 75 minutes to one of our favorite fishing spots, the Duchesne river. Its a medium to small size river east of Salt Lake City. Its also a free flowing river, which means its not regulated by a damn and so its vulnerable to higher flows with run off and large rain storms. Luckily we decided to pack our rain gear and make the drive, its a beautiful drive by the way. As we pulled into one of our favorite access areas. We both had a great feeling about the day. the sky was cloudy to the point that it felt like the cloud ceiling was almost on top of us. After we got all of our fly fishing gear together and put our rain suits on, we made our way down to the river. As we got to the river, the rain subsided, just a bit, and the birds started flying around and I remember saying to my friend, does this seam normal?. Is this a good sign? We soon found out that it was indeed a amazing sign. We had made the choice to battle the suspect weather and found ourselves in the most incredible, and prolific green drake hatches I have ever experienced. Side bar, a green drake hatch is like free crack for fish and birds. Or maybe a better way to say it is, its like telling elementary kids that they can have all the ice cream they can eat in a day. Anyway, as you can imagine the fishing was reeediculous!!! I’m not kidding when I tell you that there were times the birds would attack our flies before they even hit the water. We didn’t catch a bird but we caught an amazing amount of fish. It was one of the most amazing fly fishing experiences of my life. The moral of the story is, just go fishing, you never know what the day is going to bring.

Counting down the days of our fly fishing trip to Key West

I cant tell a lie, one of my favorite things about visiting the keys is the


awesome Cuban sandwiches! There is a little place next to where we stay that serves the most amazing Cuban breakfast and lunch sandwiches I think I’ve ever had. Fly fishing in Key West with a Cuban sandwich and cold beer is heaven. Catching fish is cool too.

Talk about fly fishing for beginners!

Fly fishing on the salt
Lee with his wrong handed cast

In 30 days I’m off to Key West for another amazing adventure in fly fishing. This will be my third trip to this fantastic place. Although I’m a beginner salt water fisherman, I am so excited I can hardly stand it. I cant wait to see our good friends and amazing fishing guides at Key West Pro Guides.

Seven days in heaven! Cant wait to learn more about fly fishing on the salt water.

Getting Started With Fly Fishing Gear

So, when I decided to make the leap into the fly fishing world, I bought my first beginning fly fishing  package, fly rod, real, and fly line, I also got a fishing vest. At that point I was committed so, I planned out how to afford all the fly fishing gear I would need. I first purchased wading boots, good boots make all the difference while wading through slippery rivers, and because it was summer I figured that was all I needed. As winter rolled in I soon figured out that If I wanted to keep fishing, and at that time I was hooked, so I researched and purchased some waders. This was a great purchase. It allowed me to continue fishing in the colder weather and I completely enjoyed. Like any hobby, fly fishing is expensive but if you build your inventory slowly you can learn, have a great time and enjoy a great sport. My list of  how to start is as follows.

  • Fly fishing package. Usually consists of, fly rod, real and fly line.
  • Fishing vest or fanny pack. I like the fanny pack, it can hold all of my flies and everything else I need.
  • Wading boots. I suggest a good boot, spend the money, you will be happy  in the long run. I bought my last pair of Simms leather boots 10 years ago.
  • Accessories, as you go to a fly shop or get on line, if your like me you just cant resist all the cool stuff available. I think I have tried everything. Its half the fun but edit your purchases.