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Someone PLEASE help the new guy!

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by Rooster, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. I have a fly rod that has been collecting dust for about 5 years now. The few times that I have actually attempted to use it, I’ve been lucky if I caught a few chubs. My lack of ability has kept the fly rod at home. I know that I’m going to catch fish with spinning gear, and I know that I’m going to catch trees with the fly rod. That makes it difficult to take the fly rod when it is a two-hour drive to get to the nearest trout stream.

    I’m thinking about giving it another try (the trees are in BIG trouble). This time however, I want to start with smallmouth. They are very plentiful, easy to catch, and I don’t have to drive 2hrs to get to them. Hopefully, they will be easy enough to catch to keep me interested in using the fly rod.

    Now, I have NO idea what I’m doing with this gear, and I have never even fished with anyone that knows what they are doing. Let me repeat that I have NO idea what I am doing! So, I have some really stupid questions:

    Do you even use the reel when fighting a fish? I’ve never been it that particular situation

    You don’t use the reel when working the fly…do you?

    I think that my rod is a 6wt (whatever that means), and I have some yellow floating line on the reel. Will this be sufficient for smallmouth fishing?

    Can I use a fluorocarbon leader, or should I get some of those Orvis leader things? The yellow line has a loop on the end?

    Do I work a streamer like a grub or a jig?

    Would it be easier to learn to fish (cast) a larger fly (bass popper), or something lighter like a streamer?

    Will the dude at BPS know what type of flies I should get?

    Any information that you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  2. Rooster you are doing the right thing,find someone to show you the basics.TOOO much to learn by yourself :)

  3. creekwalker

    creekwalker Moving water...


    I am no expert, but I have been using a fly rod for about 10 years, but only 10-20 times each year. I normally stick with the spinning gear.

    Any time you want to hit a stream together again, we can pack the fly rods. I usually switch over to a fly rod as the heat starts to set in and fish it late in the evening for smallies with top water flies.

    I think what you have will be sufficient for smallies. I think mine is a 5wt. Getting the rod rigged up is sometimes a bit of a trick depending on whether or not you use a loop, leader, tippet, etc. etc. Plenty of options...I keep it simple :D

    As far as what flies to use, basically the same imitators as your spinning gear, just a little smaller, except for any top water stuff like grass hoppers, black gnats, etc. I usually stick to the normal smallie stuff like crayfish (Clousers, et. al.), hellgramite patterns, Dahlberg divers, chartruse poppers, and some wooly buggers. I suspect these are the same ones the BPS guy will point you to. I would definitely stick to these for starters.

    FYI, I went to BPS and picked up a white deceiver (about 6 in. long) to try for the wipers when they come up into the creeks. Should be fun if we ever get any rain to bring them up into the creek!!

    Streamers usually "work themselves". Things like wooly buggers, I usually let float with the current, maybe a twitch or two for good measure. The current/water makes the body fill out and move a little. I suspect this is very similar to your tube presentation, however you will likely get snagged on the bottom a little more with streamers as most are not weedless.

    I think the easiest thing to learn how to cast on your 6wt rig would be a medium sized popper. I found it easiest to learn with it because I could see what I was doing a little better and too little weight or too much weight on the end when you are first learning is tough, IMHO.

    Anytime you want to try it, let me know. I'll PM you when I get back from WVa (where I'll be doing plenty of fly fishing for both smallies and trout :D), maybe we can set something up.
  4. I picked up some 2X knotless leaders, a few 2” flies that look like crayfish, some poppers, and a 3” beast that is supposed to look like a hellgrammite.

    However, my rod is a 4wt…I guess that I might have some trouble casting these BIG baits?

    I’m waiting for your return Terry, but all the Ohio smallies are going to seem like dinks when you get back from WV!
  5. I would suggest getting either the panfish and bass dvd from bass pro(its by scientific anglers and also covers pike). It will help out tremendously while learning on your own. I had to do it that way and it took a while. Since you got a 4wt i woulds suggest targeting panfish. white river is a killer place if you live below dayton for gear and advice. if you live closer to dayton mad river outfitters would be the best place. I have been fly fishing for about 3 years now and rarely do anything else except when cattin even tho my first nympher without a strike indicator was a cat, and fishin erie for the eyes. it may take a minute to learn but once you got what you think is a big one on and its only a gill, your hooked.
  6. Rooster,
    1) You do not use the reel in working a fly.
    2) I fish bass, panfish, trout & have taken a 22" channel cat on my 4 wt...can't remember putting any of 'em "on the reel"...they aren't "runners" like steelhead & the like.
    3) A 4 wt rod is will limit you a bit as to heavy/bulky flies.
    4) Line with the loop is nice..makes it easy for changing leaders. Actually, 3x is the heaviest I go...that's 8 or 8 1/2 lb test tippet, but the 2x is ok. If you fish real clear water, try a 5x.
    5) Fluoro leaders are great for "sub-surface" work-less visible, but they sink, so go with mono leaders for surface work. Also, get a spool or 2 of tippet material (regular mono is fine). When you cut flies off & shorten the leader, just tie a 2'-3' section on. I have seen folks cut leaders down to a couple feet & throw them need to do that. Good rule for leader length is 1 rod length.
    Creekwalker gave good advice on flies & working them. Other advice also excellent & Mad River Outfitters in Columbus is a great shop & very helpful. You can also watch videos there...they will NOT rush you!

    Sorry for my rambling...bottom line is...Have FUN!!
  7. creekwalker

    creekwalker Moving water...

    Yeah, the big popper might be a little tough on a 4wt. Main problem will be how much air it catches. I would probably start with some smaller poppers with a 4wt...I have plenty (besides, I owe you one for the tube which I will definitely try in WVa).

    As for the size, I sure hope to get into some big ones down there. Last year, on the first day with the fly rod I was screwing around right in front of the campground and lucked into a nice one. The wind was blowing enough so that about the only place I could cast along the bank where I was standing. It was probably about 18"-20" and about 4lbs. Caught it on a black wooly bugger. The rest of the trip was good, but not quite that good.

    See you when I get back.
  8. I'm a train wreck with a fly rod in hand!!!!!!!

    It is very difficult to catch fish when you can only “cast” 10 feet (including the length of the rod).

    I fished with the Fly Rod from 7:00am to 1:00pm today. After only 5 minutes on the water, I have never wanted a spinning rod and a tube more in my life! The creek was perfect…still clear but rising. The smallies were everywhere, but I couldn’t get anything out to them. I quickly realized that I would be working on my short game. A few dink smallies and rockbass did take pity on me, and let me catch them on a chartreuse popper. The monster below was my BIG fish of the day. However, I was killing the trees!

    I’m dedicated to learning to fly cast, but knowing all the fish I am missing will make it very difficult. I really enjoyed the feel of the few fish that I had on. It seems like a closer connection with the fish compared to spinning gear. I can’t wait to get my first 20” smallie on a fly rod!

    Orvis really needs to work on the quality control for their knotless leaders! I didn’t notice it when I put the leader on, but there were several knots in the leader by the end of the day!

  9. I practiced in the back yard casting and it helped me learn. I found it pretty easy to get a long cast, however getting a long cast to go where I want it is a different story. I saw some guys in the BWCA fishing for pike on flies! Talk about crazy. I didnt see them catch any but can only imagine what that would be like.
  10. I think every fly fisher has been down this road. I know when I first started I was like "why am I doing this to myself?". I just kept at it and got better and now the fly rod is used 95% of the time. Then comes tying...won't get into that right now.

    Those knots might have been wind knots.
  11. Knots " in my knotless leader by the end of the day!"

    .....that's a good one!
  12. ..did you lose my number ? I would be happy to help!
  13. sevenx

    sevenx "I sat by the river" N.Mc

    Rooster, Send me a pm if you want to get together and fish. I have been flyfishing for 31 years, I have worked as an instructor and guide. I should be able to help with the basics. You allready know how to read water and look for and find fish. Just a matter of tearing down the wall between flyfishing and spinfishing. I would be glad to help and I know we fish some of the same water.
  14. Thanks again for all that have offered to help!

    I will be hitting you ALL up for help in the very near future. I just need to get to the point where I am no longer a danger to myself and others prior to seeking hands-on fly casting guidance.
  15. gstrick27

    gstrick27 ITS BLUEJACKETS TIME!!!!!

    rooster, i just started fly fishing this yr and forced myself to learn how. i left all of my spinning gear at my uncles house and only use it for tourneys. i did go out and get 3 smallies this weekend this was the first time ive ever gone out and targeted these fighters. caught 3 on saturday, one was 20" the other 2 in the 12-13 inch range, and let me tell you it was awesome. the 20" actually caused one hell of a back lash though lol. try using olive wooley buggers. i just let them drift down stream and then slowly jerked them back towards me. most of the hits came on the slow jerks. caught lots of rock bass too. all i can really say is good luck and dont give up to easily. it is worth all of the time you put into it. try going after gills first, they r a blast and much easier to catch. need help just pm me.
  16. Just starting out, I'd grab a few little poppers and head to a farm pond with some good 'gills. Find one of those ponds without any trees around, and you can really learn to get the rhythm of your cast without worrying about backcast. Besides, 'gills are an absolute blast on a flyrod, and catching fish beats just flinging the thing around in the yard!! Good'll be hooked soon enough..
  17. best practice i've had is in my front yard, standing by the street, and aiming at the flagpole. I move aroudn the front yard, still aiming for the pole, from different directions and various lengths. Sure has helped me out. I was out fishing in Georgia this summer, and landed 18 bass and brim because I could land my fly within a foot of the edge/weeds. My uncle, on his first time out, was landing 3 or 4 feet from the bank and only got one fish with the exact same setup.

    Point is, keep throwing the rod. As you get more accurate, the fish count will rise!!!!!

    Now, IF i could only get my damn flies to stop unravelling, I'd be even happier!!! One hit and the damn fly falls apart. I must be doing something wrong with my whip finish....

  18. Pike


    Try getting some lessons. They are more resonalble that you might think. I believe that the Rustydrake in Centerville gives an hour lesson for $30. You can work on yourr cast and ask any questions you might have.