For many, the lifelong love affair with fly fishing is ignited at an early age. Summer afternoons near the creek or on the banks of a lake provide the ideal classroom for lessons taught by elders who generously pass down knowledge from one generation to the next. Years later, we find ourselves thankful for the enduring memories and opportunities to bond and spend time in the outdoors. As time goes by, an added appreciation for these gestures develops as we become more aware of the patience and understanding required to teach such lessons.
Ultimately, fly fishing serves as more than a hobby, a sport, or an escape, but as a vessel to deliver excitement, valuable experiences, laughter, frustration, and fleeting moments with loved ones—some of whom have passed on, but not before bestowing their insight and passion for fly fishing on us. For adults with children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren, the opportunity to kindle the love of fly fishing in youth presents itself. While the sacrifice of spending time tying on flies, untangling line, and monitoring safety measures may be daunting, perhaps one day the student will become the teacher, eager to continue the tradition of the fly fishing legacy.
Getting your first fly rod is an intensely personal moment. Mine was a one-piece fiberglass model handmade with care and patience by my grandfather.
It was a beautiful thing – a tawny blank of indeterminate weight with black wraps or maybe brown and a wooden handle. Matched to a 7 weight floating line, it seemed to do a great job of casting. I was just getting into fly fishing and was being tutored by one of my best friends.
Although it was undoubtedly a great rod, I remember most of all being embarrassed that my friends all had two-piece rods that could fit easily in the trunk of the car – mine stuck out the window! To their credit, not one of them made any comments – those were good friends.
Have you ever watched a video, heard a story or even just seen a picture of somebody who caught an enormous fish using a fly rod and thought to yourself, “I want to do that!”.
Typically after this thought comes; “What do I need to fly fish”? There are so many different types of fly fishing that it is easy to get blurry eyed when shopping for fly gear. Let’s talk basics. In my opinion there are five items (Categories) that you will need to think about obtaining when making the leap to fly fishing.