Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fly Fishing, The Top 10 Myths

The old myths are shattered. You'll be introduced to fly fishing in an entirely different way. Fly fishing is no longer considered difficult to learn or expensive to participate in. You'll soon come to realize that this sport is easy to learn, and will reward your efforts with many fantastic days on the water!
Learning to fly fish is an excellent way to utilize all of the natural resources that are available to everyone -- world-wide. Oceans, streams, lakes, bays and estuary's literally teem with game fish, and are easily accessible . By learning to fly fish, you will enjoy the natural world around you, get some easy exercise, relieve the strain of everyday life, and even better, there are no greens fees or country club dues - no membership tab, and no lines to wait on!
Here's the list of myths:

1. Fly Fishing is difficult
Fly casting will take a few practice sessions to become proficient enough to hit the water -- but that's all you'll need to get started. Why not take a look at some online fly fishing lessons (see the resources section at the end of this article) -- then practice in a park, your backyard or another private place. Hit a lake or pond, where you won't find many obstructions behind you to get in the way. Catch a few pan-fish, learn to land fish - now you're ready for the stream, ocean or wherever you'd like to fly fish!
Mar. 30, 2010 - Missoula, MT, USA - Fly fishermen catch early season cutthroat and brown trout near Missoula, Montana on a beautiful Spring day. The fisherman caught the fish on dry flys, nymphs and emergers with fly rods. The conditions varied between cloudy, sunny, rain and wind.

2. Fly Fishing is expensive
It simply is not. Fly fishing can be expensive if you spend a lot of your hard earned mullah on premier, top of the line (dare say - overpriced?) fly gear. Don't go bottom of the line either - inexpensive equipment is hard to use because inexpensive materials are heavier and not as stiff as quality graphite. Very inexpensive gear simply does not hold up to rugged fishing use - and we are rugged, aren't we?
So -- look around. There are some great deals on beginner fly fishing outfits -- don't let the word "beginner" scare you away. This gear is not only fairly priced, but the rods are specifically designed to be easier to cast and will last a long time if you take care of them. Take this from a fly fisher that broke his very first (and precious!) fly rod in the hatchback of a Toyota Celica! Some fly rod outfits even come complete with a protective rod & reel traveling case!

3. You can only Fly Fish for Trout
You get the picture. Trout stream, pipe in mouth, tweed jacket, leather patches, wicker creel...
Wrong. Today's fly fishing is so much more exciting than that (but if the above excites you - by all means - knock yourself out!).
I took up fly fishing in my early twenties as the result of a childhood memory of my father and other fly fishers on the famous Beaverkill in Roscoe, NY. Let's just suffice to say that there was a lot of tweed and wicker in the '60's. Today the world has changed! Now -- picture this forty-something year old with his wife on the flats in the Florida Keys hunting down barracuda, bonefish and permit. All tropical, all cool, all hot, we were fishing machines -- it was everything you'd ask for in the excitement department!
Species: so many - let's see, OK - trout, bass (large-mouth and small-mouth), carp, pike, pickerel, perch, sunnies, crappies, steelhead, salmon (many varieties - and Lox is not a variety of salmon!), then there's striped bass, bluefish, false albacore, bonito, weakfish, bonefish, barracuda, permit, mangrove snapper, snook, Spanish mackerel , jack crevalle. Oh the list goes on! But I'll stop.

Mar. 30, 2010 - Missoula, MT, USA - Fly fishermen catch early season cutthroat and brown trout near Missoula, Montana on a beautiful Spring day. The fisherman caught the fish on dry flys, nymphs and emergers with fly rods. The conditions varied between cloudy, sunny, rain and wind.

4. Fly Fishing has to be done in Exotic Locations
Although the Florida Keys are very nice, as well as New Zealand, Christmas Island, Belize and the like...
There are so many places close to home that can and will provide you with the total fly fishing experience. Your local park probably may have a stocked pond. That pretty little stream with the bridge that you cross every day -- may be a trout stream. The beach that you take the dog to for a run -- there are fish to catch there! Fly fishing is a great sport in that it enables you to open your eyes and enjoy the world around you.
Then again, a vacation sounds nice too!
Places: rivers, streams, creeks, brooks, tributaries, lakes, ponds, farm ponds, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, bays, estuaries, jetties, flats, reefs...

5. You need a PhD in Biology to Succeed
You won't need a PhD in any subject to succeed in fly fishing! You might think so after conversing with some fly fishers. The reality is that you can over-complicate this sport as much as you'd like. Yes, here are times that fish are selective (won't take the fly you're fishing) --- but in most cases you can dupe them with a selection of about two or three flies properly fished.

6. You have to be an Olympic Athlete to Fly Fish
Just as in any other sport, you can participate to the level of your physical abilities and derive complete enjoyment! Groups continue to build handicap access sites on streams and lakes -- all over the US (and worldwide), and you can find a location to fly fish right outside your car!

7. You can't learn to Fly Fish on your own
Many have, and many will. Guides, fly shops, fly fishing schools and the like will try to convince you that you'll need those expensive lessons to get started. We disagree. And here are the key words -- "to get started". There are so many great resources for the beginner fly fisher -- just read a little, online or off, and get out on the water and fly fish!

8. I thought you had to attach a real live fly to the end of the line
Negative. Fly Fishing is all about imitating fish food with a hand-made "fly", often constructed of fur and feathers, but can also be constructed from man-made materials. The key here is imitating the natural food of the species of fish your are fly fishing for. For instance, saltwater species often feed on small minnows -- and saltwater "flies" often imitate small fish or minnows.

9. I can't do it, I tried once
Here's the thing about fly casting: You are not casting any weight at the end of the line as with a spin rod. You are casting the fly line itself. Here's a simple analogy: pretend that you are holding a stick with an apple pushed onto the top. You want to toss the apple across the room to your friend. You would have to swing the stick and abruptly stop the swing to let the apple fly off the top of the stick and hurl across the room to your waiting friend. Just imagine now that the stick is your fly rod, and the apple is actually your fly line. Fly casting is much the same as the analogy: your forward cast will start, just as when you swung the stick, and then stop abruptly to allow the fly line to hurl forward. See the resources at the end of this article for a cool animation that you can view, explaining the basics of fly casting.

10. You have to cast really far to catch fish
Most fish are you'll be targeting are within 30 ft -- or, you can get to within 30 ft of them. To cast to a fish this far away, you only have to be able to cast 21 - 23 ft of fly line, taking into consideration that most leaders (your terminal tackle) are 7.5 to 9 ft. We know, for certain, that with one or two practice sessions -- you'll be casting at least that far! [] is an online resource for beginner fly fishers that combines online fly fishing lessons (with animations, video, and photos) with a fly shop that offers fly fishing combos, fly rods, fly reels, and accessories. Check out a couple of the resources below for fly fishing information and gear. When you're ready to fly fish -- make your first stop on the Internet!
I've included a couple of resources for you to check out:
Online Fly Fishing Lessons []
Basic Casting Animation/Lesson []
John Incantalupo - EzineArticles Expert Author

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