Fly fishing is a pastime that has spawned quite the industry behind it. As such, there is no shortage of gear you can purchase for your fly fishing trip. But keep reading as we cover what you absolutely must have in order to make your trip a success. We’re not guaranteeing any huge catches; we’re just saying it won’t be for lack of gear.
Obviously, you won’t get far without a fly fishing rod. Given their simplistic construction, especially when compared to so many conventional fishing poles, you might think there’d be nothing to picking out a fly fishing rod.
Quite the opposite, though. If you’re just starting out, you should ask about a “fast” rod which means it will be stiffer. This lends itself well to someone who comes from a conventional fishing background. If you’re an experienced fly fisherman, then you probably know the qualities you look for in a rod.
The Reel and Line
When it comes to fly fishing, the reels really are simple devices. Unless/until you start raising monsters from the depths, your reel is nothing more than a device to hold your line. For this reason, the main thing you’re looking for in a reel is one that is lightweight. This will decrease your chances of fatigue.
The line you choose will ultimately come down to preference. However, if you’re beginning, you probably want to pick a line that’s going to be lighter. Just like with the reel, this will make for less fatigue, meaning you’ll be able to cast more with better technique.
Leader and Tippet
Lastly, to complete your rod, you’ll need a leader and tippet. The leader is a monofilament strand that connects your bait to your line. It’s designed to taper from the butt, where it’s thickest and attaches to your line, to the tippet, where it’s thinnest. This thin material makes it more difficult for the fish to tell your lure is a trap.
A good rule of thumb is that the smaller the fish you’re hunting, the smaller your leader and tippet should be to avoid detection. You’ll also want the leader to be long enough that the fish won’t be able to detect it when you’re casting.
Those who are just starting out can probably get away without waders if they like. You can elect to fish from the shallows in just shorts and sandals, use a small boat, like a kayak, or find an accommodating stretch of shore.
However, if you intend on getting in the water, waders are highly recommended. Waders come in all different sizes from the overall versions to smaller ones that go up to past your knee. Your choice will depend on the depth of water you’re fishing in and how much you’re willing to spend.
Lures and Hatch Charts
Whenever you go fly fishing, it’s important you understand what the fish you’re hunting eat. In order to do this, you should purchase hatch charts for the area your fishing hole is in. Hatch charts tell you what kind of water-borne insects are currently prevalent in the area. This is important because this is what the fish in that area will be accustomed to. The same fish from two different bodies of water will often have different tastes.
Once you understand what your target fish hunt themselves, you’ll know what lures to use. Usually the bait shop you purchased the hatch charts from also sells the corresponding lures. Of course, for those of you who are more experienced, you might elect to construct your own.
If you’re just starting out, don’t get lost in the weeds when it comes to equipment. You have plenty more to worry about at the moment. Those of you who are veterans probably have a good idea what your next purchase will be and why. Either way, all you really need to fly fish is the components of your rod, the right lure and a bit of patience.
Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!