Monday, June 22, 2015

Super Flies: I am a beginner, what do I buy

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You have spent years telling yourself that someday you will learn how to fly fish.  Well, for the purpose of this post, that day has finally come; your doing it, lessons are scheduled!  What next?  If you're like most beginner anglers, you'll spend many hours on the internet, viewing sexy fish porn photos.  If you look closely at these photos, you'll notice how the angler(s) clothing and equipment are spot-free new; these anglers get paid to model and on a day-to-day basis, may not use much of the equipment/gadgets that you see being featured. Also, you'll probably visit a handful of stores and you may begin to wonder why one fly rod cost $100 vs. another that cost $900 USD.  You may find yourself standing amongst 100's of flies, wondering which to buy. In a short while, you'll end up looking at 1,000's of purchase options, and most likely, be overwhelmed. Unfortunately, based on my experience, many of the items sold to beginner angler's, are unnecessary. With all that said, the purpose of this post, plain and simple, is to help you.  Specific to flies, I'll narrow down your choices to a handful of flies that will catch fish any where in the world.  Before I begin, allow me to lay a foundation for purchasing fly fishing equipment.

  1. Always remember, Less is More.  (you'll be surprised how little you need) 
  2. Don't believe everything you see or read. In other words, just because the model in the photo has all the gear, doesn't mean you need it.  Plus, I have met employee's in fly shops that have no real world experience = they really don't know if the product works (I have also met some fly shop employee's/owners, who are experts).  Bottom line, buying fishing equipment can be a tricky game, so take your time.
  3. If you are on a tight budget, shop Craig's List and visit local yard/garage sales.   In other words, start off with equipment that cost $ vs. $$$$$.  

Super Flies: Beginner vs. Expert Angler

Let's keep this simple:  I'll assume you'll never be able to match the hatch.  Matching the hatch is the process of identifying aquatic insects that fish feed on, and then picking a man made fly that exactly, or best matches it.  So, whether you are a beginner or an expert bug man, if you fished with the following flies for the rest of your life, you'll catch lots of fish.

  • San Juan Worn. Size #10, #12, #14.  Color: Red, Pink, White. 
  • Egg Patterns.  Size #10, #12, #14, #16.  Popular Colors: Pink, Peach, Yellow, Orange.
  • Wooly Bugger.  Size #06-#10. Color: Black, Green, Brown.
  • Rubber Leg Stone Fly/Sexy Stone/Pat's Rubber Leg Stone Fly/Turd Fly (all the same fly, just depends on location).  Size #06,#08,#10. Colors Vary. 

San Juan Worm's are fish magnets! Tied on a straight shank and curved hooks.

Why San Juan Worm?

  • If you have not noticed, rivers are filled with worms (not the worms you buy in the store).
  • It WORK's any where in the world and they will catch a wide variety of cold and warm water species! 
  • If you are a beginner angler, and can not determine which nymph to use, put on a SJW and get ready to catch a lot of fish.
  • Worldwide, it is readily available in ALL fly shops.
  • It's one of the most inexpensive flies that you can buy.
  • If you tie, it's SUPER easy and very cost effective.  I have taught kids how to tie this fly in less than 5 minutes.   

    Standard Egg Fly.  There are many variations.

    Why Egg Patterns?

    • During spawning seasons for cold and warm water species, egg patterns can be extremely effective.
    • They WORK any where in the world and they will catch a wide variety of cold and warm water species! 
    • If you are a beginner angler, and can not determine which nymph to use, put on an egg and get ready to catch a lot of fish.
    • Worldwide, it is readily available in ALL fly shops.
    • It's one of the most inexpensive flies that you can buy.
    • If you tie, it's SUPER easy and very cost effective.  I have taught kids how to tie this fly in less than 5 minutes.

    Bead Head Wooly Bugger, with flash in the tail.  Many variations and colors are available.


    Why Wooly Bugger?

    • They WORK any where in the world and they will catch a wide variety of cold and warm water species! 
    • Mimics a wide variety of aquatic creatures; think cray fish, minnow, leach, and sculpin. 
    • If you are a beginner angler, and if you are learning how to swing flies 1/4 downstream, most anglers begin by using a Wooly Bugger.  Experiment with various sink tips to get the right depth/presentation.
    • Worldwide, it is available in ALL fly shops.
    • With some practice, it can be easily tied. 

    Rubber Leg Stone Fly

    Why Rubber Leg Stone Fly?

    • They WORK any where in the world and they will catch a wide variety of cold and warm water species! This is my 100% Angus Beef,  bacon double cheeseburger, with Jack Daniels BBQ sauce fly.  No fish can resist it!
    • I use this fly exclusively as my anchor fly nymph fishing.  Add a trailer fly like a San Juan Worm and get ready to catch some big bad fish.
    • Worldwide, it should be available in ALL fly shops, but some shops don't carry them.
    • With some practice, it can be easily tied. 

    How to Fish these Flies?

    The easy part is buying the flies that I have recommended.  Now comes the hard work; how to fish each fly in a variety of locations/conditions.  Specifically, you'll need to learn how to cast, set up your leaders/nymph rigs, perfect your presentation, and properly catch-n-release fish. So, if you try it on your own and don't have much success, this is what I suggest:

    • Get Help: read books, watch videos, join fishing clubs, attend fishing seminars, etc.
    • Working with an instructor/guide may help you avoid years of frustration and stress.
    • Most importantly, if you work with an instructor/guide, be patient, honest,  communicate, and come prepared to learn, not necessarily catch fish (I know anglers who would rather BS all day long about how/why they are not catching fish.  In other words, they really don't want to learn... they just want a guide to catch them a trophy fish). 

    At FCFF, while we are in the USA, we spend more time teaching than guiding. Our rates and programs are designed to take you through series of classes, rather than a one or two day cram session.  If we can help, please feel free to contact us.


    Final Word

    Most seasoned anglers don't call these super flies.  In fact, so called purist refuse to fish with a San Juan Worm because it is not a dry fly or a nymph.  So, why do I call them super flies?  If you are a beginner and if you want to catch fish on your first or second cast, then in the eye of the beholder, these are SUPER FLIES!    

    For information about dry flies and nymphs, read the following:
    http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com/2015/06/dry-flies-i-am-beginner-what-do-i-buy.html
    http://firstcastflyfishing.blogspot.com/2015/06/nymphs-i-am-beginner-what-do-i-buy.html

    Enjoy and thanks for reading.

    Mark


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