3 basic fly fishing tips

Fly fishing can be an intimidating technique for beginners. Not only are there special baits (flies), equipment, knots, and terminology, but the cast itself takes a lot of practice to master. However, many anglers ultimately find fly fishing very entertaining. Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Learn the casting.

There are volumes in which anglers learn various fly-fishing tips to propel an often weightless fly forward, sometimes astounding distances. Casting takes practice; devote some time in an open courtyard, free of nearby branches, clotheslines, and garden gnomes. If you’re feeling confident, you can start your workout in the basement by attaching the broken rod end in the corner of your garage with 5 feet of twine and controlling the rod movement so that the twine is flat in the air instead to form loose air loops.

2. Find fish.

In general, fly fishing is shallower than traditional fishing methods and so there is a lot of sight fishing. And not just for trout. Various species of sunfish, largemouth bass, black bass, and pike can be a blast on a fly rod. Seeing fish helps with your presentation and allows you to see how fish react. Most fly fishing tips lists also mention that if you try to keep the fish from seeing you first, you’ll be more successful.

3. Keep it simple.

First of all, you don’t have to invest in a stack of flies and fly tying kit components. Just start with a few simple fly fishing flies based on the depth of the water column. For example, the difference between dry and wet flies is that wet flies work like streamers beneath the surface, while dry flies ride on the surface. Nymph techniques, such as a heavier pearl nymph, can ricochet along the floor.

Fly fishing doesn’t have to be expensive and intimidating. A basic starter kit and a few fly fishing flies like a wool bugger and an Adams dry fly can make for a fun new fly fishing experience on many bodies of water, catching anything from trout to bass. When you pick up your new fishing license, be sure to check out the fly fishing locations, which may be listed in the rulebook.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and in the US state of Michigan.


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