Starting your fly fishing journey

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I hope that fishing has been good and that some of the tips I have given you have been helpful. Remember that if you have specific questions or want to tell fellow readers of some good places to fish, please email me and I will share with readers.

This column will cover the basics of fly fishing. There are several distinct components to fly fishing and I will try to introduce you to them all. If you want to be successful at fly fishing, there is a great deal of research and practice that goes into becoming an accomplished fly fisherperson.

You will need a specific fly line, leader material, reel and rod. I would suggest that you start with an eight foot fly rod that takes a seven to eight weight line. The line should be a floating double tapered line. The reel should match your rod so you have a balanced system. Here is where that tackle store that has knowledgeable staff is helpful.

The next step is to learn to cast a fly. With spin fishing, you are casting heavy baits or lures with a light line. In fly fishing, the fly is extremely light so you are actually throwing or casting the heavy fly line and the fly is just along for the ride. This technique takes a lot of practice and having someone to help or mentor you is very beneficial.

The LaHave River Salmon Association offers fly casting lessons in four week packages in January, February and March. There are also folks that teach fly casting one-on-one or in group sessions. Bucky Devine, an accomplished fishing guide and fly casting teacher, offers a drop-in every Wednesday at the HP Studies complex in Bridgewater where he introduces equipment and evaluates your casting technique.

Now you have some equipment and you have the basics of casting; so what flies are you going to use? The types of flies you need will be determined by the species of fish you want to catch, the type of water you are fishing in and the time of year you are fishing. Flies are created to look like what fish eat so: “What are they eating now and what fly do I have that looks like that?” Hence the term “match the hatch!”

I know that I have probably created more questions than answers for you after reading this column. The reason for that is you are going to need help to start fly fishing. Do some research and then go to the tackle stores that can help you pick out your own equipment. Take some courses and practice, practice, practice. Fly fishing is a lifelong journey and a continuous learning experience but well worth the effort. There is nothing quite like catching a fish on a fly rod. E-mail me for dates and times of future courses.

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