Learn the Basics of Fly Fishing  

Learn the Basics of Fly Fishing  

It is almost that time of year again. The time of year when I start going through all of my fly fishing gear, stock up on what I need and begin to dream about all the days I will spend on the water during the summer. I began thinking that this would be a good time to    summer fly fishing Missoula   write a little for all of those that are looking into starting a new fly fishing hobby this summer.

There are many basics that need to be learned in order to enjoy a great day on the water. Well, that is not exactly true. I could forget my rod at home and I would still enjoy the day, but it is so much more fun when you are catching fish after fish (especially when no one else is).

The Basics

When I first started fly fishing I was about 12 years old, had little money and could not afford the high quality fishing gear that everyone tells the beginners they need. Trust me, my $20 k-mart rod caught more fish… A good quality rod, reel and line does make things more pleasant and are worth the investment, but if you just want to fish, a cheap set up will work until you have the funds for a good Orvis or Simms Rod. Learning to cast can be one of the biggest challenges that one faces when starting this great hobby. Tackle selection is also very important if you want to catch fish day in and day out.


As I said before, you don’t need a $600 rig to catch fish, it is nice and I love mine, but I also guide and fish nearly every day during the summer. If you have the money and are looking to buy some decent gear look for a rod with a line weight that fits your fishing requirements. Usually I recommend a 5wt rod and line for most beginners as it is versatile and the most forgiving for someone just learning to cast a fly rod. Look for a reel that matches your line weight and is machined, not casted. A machined reel costs more, but will last longer and will have a much smother drag.


Learning to cast is one of the greatest challenges that one will face when first beginning and bad habits are even harder to fix, trust me, I had plenty of them. My advice is to go fishing with a friend that has a bit of fly fishing experience, or just find a local fly shop. Most shops have casting clinics to teach beginners. I highly suggest this as it is something very difficult to learn without hands on training.


I always visit a fly shop when I am fishing out of state or in an area I am not familiar with. I do this for several reasons. First I want to know what flies are working best and which areas I should hit. Remember, most guys won’t tell you their hot spots, but they will give you some general areas of where they fish. I always buy a few of the flies they suggest even if I already have some. When stocking basic flies in my boxes, I am sure to have several patterns and sizes of searching drys and nymphs. I also keep some basic woolly buggers as they are one of my old standbys.