One of our favorite Camping Activities is Fly Fishing. We stumbled upon it when we were looking for something to fill our time during a working trip to West Virginia. My son and I decided to hire a Fly Fishing guide to teach us how to fly fish. We were warned by MANY people that it is extremely difficult to learn and will take A LOT of time on dry land to learn how to cast. When you are paying $300 for a 1/2 day guide to teach you to fly fish, you do not want to be on dry land the entire time! It is challenging but not impossible. With a little bit of instruction, the right equipment and the correct fishing lure, we can help shorten your learning curve and teach you some shortcuts we learned.
This is a multi-part series, with videos, that will include Equipment, Lures, Reading the Water and Casting.
First off, you need Fly Fishing equipment. Forget everything you know as a spin fisher because it will not help you with fly fishing. The equipment is different as well as the technique. Trust us… just forget everything you know as a spin fisher and start from scratch as a fly fisher to make this go easier for you. Here is what we recommend for basic fly fishing equipment:
- Fly Fishing Rod
- Fly Fishing Reel
- Backer Line
- Floating Line (for freshwater)
- Tippet Line
- Flies for Your Fishing Area (more on that later)
- Waders or Water Boots
- Fly Fishing Vest or Lure Chestpack
- Wader Stick (although this is NOT optional in our family)
- First Aid Kit
- Metal Snips for cutting the hook
- Fishing Gloves
You could buy a rod/reel combo that is cheap and already setup like this one but we really recommend against it. It will not last, will not be a true representation of fly fishing and probably will anger you when you lose the first fish that hooks. What you do want to do is buy a decent rod with an inexpensive reel with very good quality backer, floating and leader line. This will give you the best lasting experience for fly fishing.
Our Exact Beginner Fly Fishing Setup and What We Recommend:
- Fly Fishing Rod, 8′ – Weight 5, from Rise Rod Company We love this company’s product.
- Fly Fishing Reel, 5/6 Weight from Fiblink. Any decent reel will do. It’s the rod that matters more.
- Backer Line, 20lb, 100m/109yd from Goture.
- FLoating Fly Line, 5F, 100ft from Goture.
- Tapered Tippet, 5 Pack, 4x, from Piscifun.
- Fly Fishing Net from Southern Fox Outfitters. We highly recommend the plastic vs the black net.
📌 The reel is just the taxi for the line to the fishing hole. The Fly Rod is what gives the “action” aka flexibility and strength to catching fish. For that reason, it is highly recommended to get a very good quality fly rod and an inexpensive fly reel.
Saltwater vs Freshwater:
You will buy your equipment based on where you fish: saltwater or freshwater. Your rods, lines and lures will be different for both. For the purposes of our blog, all of our equipment and discussion is based on freshwater. We want to point out the differences:
Saltwater = Water that has salt in it such as oceans, ocean coastlines.
Freshwater = Water that does not have salt such as ponds, rivers, lakes and streams.
Once you try out fly fishing and determine if you want to continue, the optional items above will no longer be optional. You will definitely want a good set of waders and wading boots (check to see if felt is allowed in your State) to help you get into the river Riffles and Tailouts.