Learning notes from a newbie
The following is a quick summary(from my opinions) from learning about fly fishing the past 5 months. Keep in mind I read a lot and am a very common-sensical type person. I don't 'follow the trends' and I don't just 'follow the leader' either. I hope it helps someone just starting out. If you are a longtime flyfisher and disagree, feel free to correct me. This is from the perspective of a stream trout fisher with wants to bass fish also.
1) Rod and reel. Don't go out and buy some $500.00 rod and a $300.00 reel unless you can just afford to do such. No, it doesn't make you look like you know what you are doing. I bought well-known brands on closeouts and did very well for myself(IMHO). I got a 6wt to start out because I am going to try to bass fish also with it. If you are gonna trout fish only I'd suggest a 5wt. . I bought 5wt rods for my daughters and like them on the stream maybe a little more than my 6wt. I bought a Redington combo kit ($129)with rod, reel and line included. I bought low end Orvis rods( $29.00) for the girls and a Ross reel($39.00) and got a used reel(free) from my father in law for the other rod.
2)Waders. Don't buy cheap crap. Look for a well-known and trusted brand on closeout. I don't know if I'd buy used unless I really knew the person well. I got a Redington Barrierflex wader on closeout for $79.00(regular $180). I liked them so much after using them I bought 2 more. It was a STEAL! I've used both neoprene and Goretex and much prefer the goretex type by a long shot. YOu can wear fleece underneath them and stay toasty warm! The neoprene feels clammy to me. Just opinion here.
-Boots. Try them on with the waders you bought! I can't overemphasize this enough!! Or order from a place you can return to if they don't fit right.
-Felt vs. rubber vs. studded sole. Keep in mind you may have to walk in somewhere after fishing. Felt stays wet and you make a wet mess and studs will ruin wooden floors. First thing is to take into account fishing conditions you will encounter however. You can always take the boots off and put on oversized tennis shoes or the best is those ugly CROCS, also oversized. What I'm talking about is leaving the waders on and going into shops, food joints, etc.
3)Line, leader, tippet. Don't fret it. Just buy something and experiment. YOu're gonna trash so many leaders it isn't worth buying anything expensive. Look into the Scientific Anglers L2L leaders. Worth their weight in gold to a beginner IMHO!!
No knots to tie to get the leader on the fly line(other than a simple overhand knot).
4)Flies. Just ask around what to use for the area you are fishing. The best place to ask is a LOCAL fly shop. They don't want to steer you wrong for fear of you not returning. Joe schmo fisherman next to you in the stream may lie just to keep you from catching anything(not often but it does happen). I wouldn't tie a fly for a while unless you are "just one of those that has 'has to' "
5)fishing technique. All I can say is "learn from fishing". Watch and ask a trusted friend or a fellow fisherman if they are catching fish. Experiment around.....this is the most fun of all. The easiest for my to do is use a wooley bugger but that is just me. Nymph fishing is for later when you know what you are doing IMHO. Drifting with a "strike detector"(BOBBER) is kind of a pain to me but that is just me. The line gets so messed up using a strike detector that it just isn't worth the time for a beginner, again IMHO.
vests, nets, clothing, etc. That is personal taste stuff so I will leave that to you.
hope this helps some
Good fishing technique trumps all.....wish I had it.