Ok, so here you are. You got the new fly rod, been out whipping
up some foam on a hunk of water, had a great time and you now
realize there are a few things yet to learn about the game.
You may already have found some of the fly fishing shows on
TV. Great place for you to learn the right way to do things.
Things like casting, reeling, playing a fish, landing a fish,
losing a fish and how to break a fly rod. Yup, it's all there
for you. Your job is to sort the 'wheat from the chaff,' so
Here are few things you might see on those shows. Some guy
with a fish clear out at the end of his fly line, or farther,
and he wags his rod to the left and the right to change the
angle on the fish. Big deal, at long distance the only thing
that will notice that is the camera man. Nothing changes
out on the fishes end.
There is the guy from the old western movie, he 'fans' his reel
to pick up the slack he has stripped in (instead of winding it
on his reel). This line is wound very loosely with lots of
overlapping coils and spaces. If the fish takes out any it
will most likely jam into itself and break the fish off. Not
on a tiny fish, but one you might actually want to land.
Try to get the fish on your reel as soon as possible and avoid
the problems of tangling the line around the fish itself, your feet,
the landing net, weeds and some jerk who is going to help you
I love this scene. Our hero has stuck a fish which is, or goes
downstream. He stands, holding his ground, and winches the
thing upstream to him. Lots of luck Charlie. They often are
surprised when it breaks off. If possible, try to get below
a hooked fish, or at least even with it, you will get a lot
closer to your quarry, maybe even land the thing.
When you want to put pressure on a fish, keep the rod low and
pointed at the fish. Keeping the rod low and off to one side
does not accomplish anything. There are times when you may
want to raise the rod as high as you can over your head,
that's to keep the line off of the water and avoid undesired
drag from the water, but that's a special case.
When you are about to land a fish, try not to have your fly
rod pointed 180 degrees from the fish. If he shakes his head
or flops, you may end up with a broken rod tip. Try to hold
your arm way out, elbow straight, bent at the wrist, rod pointed
a bit at the fish, if he wiggles, the rod can absorb it.
Oh yes, do not put your other hand up by the first stripping
guide to put more force on the fish, you will be sending it
in for repairs very soon. If they wanted you to grab it up
there, they would have put another handle up there.
If you get a hit on a dry or a nymph, try not to remove it's
lips or rip it's teeth out on the strike. In fact, forget
about striking all together. Just 'pick up' the slack, make
the line tight and enjoy. The rest will come naturally. Fly
fishing is not a right, it is a privilege, at least many of
us look at it that way. Try to treat it as such. ~
~ James Castwell