I am not an expert fly fisherman by any means, but I learned (and am still learning) how to fly fish by immersing myself in the sport. I have found a way that you can learn fly fishing in the dead of winter and become good at it. How?
Allow me to explain.
I am going on a short trip to Colorado soon and thought that I would do a little fly fishing while I was there. I had just started to get into learning about fly fishing and by the time that I found out I was going to Colorado I increased my effort to learn more. I was still very much a novice then and I still am but I decided to try to find the best ways that I could learn how to fly fish. I had all the equipment that I would need, given to me by my father, but I lacked experience.
I set out to learn how to fly fish in preparation for my trip to Colorado.
The first thing I did was start reading fly fishing magazines. One of the most popular ones, and the one that I refer to the most, is Fly Fisherman magazine. It has many great articles about fly fishing and helped me understand a lot more about the sport. I bought some gear guides and started learning more about all of the fly fishing gear that is available (and there is a lot of it). I figured that after I was comfortable with the technique I would go ahead and start purchasing some of the gear to enhance my experience.
But for now I am in learning mode.
Next, I turned to videos. My dad had given me some to help me learn so I had some basic stuff to start with. I went to Netflix to see if there were any fly fishing videos on it and there wasn’t anything to be found. I then went to Amazon and looked for some videos there. There were several to choose from and I thought that I would try out some of the older videos.
There were some training videos online from British fly fisherman that were fun and easy to understand. The first video I watched was called Fishing for Beginners with Simon Gawesworth and Iain Barr. There was a combination fishing and fly tying video called Fly Fishing and Fly Tying for Beginners with Bob Carnhill. I that I thought was a great video not only to learn how to how to fly fish but also how to tie flies. I think that I have found a new side hobby to my main hobby now.
I haven’t had the opportunity to watch too many more fly fishing videos yet but I am going to “load up” on them prior to going to Colorado.
I realize that there are even more resources out there to learn how to fly fish and I have been taking advantage of them. The internet is always a great place to find information and there are two websites that provide a lot of detail about how to fly fish.
The first site that I am going to talk about can be considered the “Cadillac” of fly fishing instruction sites. That site is the Orvis Fly Fishing Learning Center. This site is a great site for anything you need to learn fly fishing. From how to cast, to how to tie knots and even the history of fly fishing, it’s all there for you. I use this site all of the time to help learn more about fly fishing and attempt to enhance my skills.
Another website that’s very good to learn about fly fishing from is Cabela’s Fly Fishing University. This site is an intuitive site that allows you to run through a series of slides that present the different facets of fly fishing. This site gets down to the nuts and bolts of fly fishing and provides you with a ton of information. If you want to know anything about fly fishing, it can be found on the Cabela’s site. Every time I am on this website, I find a new feature and learn something new. It’s a great site and so is the Orvis site.
Of course, there are many books about fly fishing out there which are available to read. I was very careful in selecting the books that I wanted to read and purchased just a few. I haven’t read all of them yet but the ones that I have read have been very informative.
You can’t go wrong with The Orvis Guide to Beginning Fly Fishing by Tom Rosenbauer. This book was very easy understand and presented me with a lot of great information to learn how to fly fish. I was very impressed with the book.
Then you have the Total Fly Fishing Manual by Field and Stream. This was my favorite book of all so far and provided me with step by step detailed instructions on how to fly fish. If I had to take a book along with me to have by my side when I was fly fishing, it would be that book. It’s very colorful, very easy to understand and from what I can tell, very accurate.
There is one more book that I wanted to talk about and it’s one I will bring with me on my fly fishing trip to Colorado. It’s called the Naturalists Fly Fishing Notebook. It is by James Prosek and offers fly fisherman a chance to record their catch and sketch things that they see on their fly fishing experiences. I am going to use this notebook to keep track of my fly fishing experience while I am in Colorado and take notes that might help me in the future. I will also draw pictures (trust me I am not an artist) of my surroundings to remember the trip.
Finally, I have my sights set on visiting a local fly shop when I get to Colorado Springs. The name of the shop is The Anglers Covey. I have read a lot about this place and conversed with some of the people that work there. They are more than happy to help me out when I arrive on early March. They have a huge store full of fly fishing equipment and offer advice as to where to fish.
They rent gear too, so I don’t have to bring all my gear with me on the plane. The only thing they suggested I bring was my flies and I can easily take those with me. If I have something that they recommend then I am that much better off. If there is something I need then they can help me get it. Not to mention I will leave plenty of room in my suitcase to buy some things while I am there.
Good hands on practice is going to get me further ahead. I have a nice big yard where I plan to set up a target of sorts and use the equipment that I have to try to learn how to cast better. As the days get a little warmer (and hopefully stay somewhat warm) I will be able to go outside and practice casting. I plan to set up a small target on the ground and practice aiming for that target. When things get even better with the weather, and that’s if they do, then I plan to go down to a small creek by my house and try it out there.
Hopefully, with all this studying, researching and practicing I will be doing, I will have a successful go of it fly fishing in Colorado. I am really looking forward to the experience and think it will be rewarding. It’s high time that I took advantage of what has been given to me. I was very lucky to get just about everything that I need for fly fishing and am excited to use it.
I will report back on how it goes. After the trip to Colorado comes this summer’s excursion to Alaska where I will bring my own fly fishing equipment and try to catch trout. Stay tuned! I am really looking forward to the experience and think it will be rewarding. It’s high time that I took advantage of what has been given to me. I was very lucky to get just about everything that I need for fly fishing and am excited to use it.
I will report back on how it goes. After the trip to Colorado comes this summer’s excursion to Alaska where I will bring my own fly fishing equipment and try to catch trout. Stay tuned!