I've decided that I'd like to get into fly fishing, mostly for the challenge and a different way of fishing. Problem is, like most others (probably more so), I'm lost. I've done a little research but for now I've got a few questions. Fair warning, some of these questions will probably come off as rediculous or retarded. Anyway, here we go...

Is it necessary to have a tippet? Does it hurt not to have one? If using a tippet, do you match it with the leader in terms of lb. test?

Is it possible to use two different fly line weights on a single rod? Reason I ask is because while looking around at Wal-Mart today I noticed a Scientific Anglers outfit labled 'Weight 5/6'. I'm assuming that means you could use either five or 6 weight on that rod?

As far as fishing flies...this is where I really become clueless. How do you fish them? Prior to even thinking about fly fishing, I pictured it as casting and basically letting a fly drift, bringing it back in as it got downstream. Obviously that's not the case. Is it basically the same as conventional fishing? Is the fly brought to life by rod twitches or what? As far as particular flies go, off the top of my head I'm familiar with Wooly Buggers, Streamers, Nymphs, Dry Flies, Poppers and Wet Flies. How do you fish each one? Just a general idea would be appreciated. Again, I'm just plain clueless as to what you do with a fly upon casting it out. That may sound retarded, but that's just how clueless I am.

Bringing fish in...now I've read that it can be done by 'stripping' or utilizing the reel (if the fish is large). The question I ask is does it hurt the reel to use it, big fish or small fish? Or I guess another way to put it is why not use the reel even on a small fish?

Say I cast with my right hand, as far as I know, the left hand is used to bring strip line in or reel in. I've noticed a little slack line out with the left hand out holding it whilst casting with the right. The question here is what is the purpose of holding slack line whilst casting? I might be answering my own question but regardless...is it to let more line cast out or to shorten a cast? Hopefully that makes sense...

Casting cranks, vertical jigging, trolling, drifting, tossing inline spinners and buzzbaits, minnows under a bobber, etc...this is the fishing I've known my whole life -- fly fishing is completely foreign to me but it's something I'd really like to get into and learn as much as possible. I'm sure I'll have another question or two later, but this is what I've got for now. All help is appreciated.