Practice at Home
This step is crucial and many new anglers fail because they go from the couch straight to the river. Learning to cast and tie knots ahead of your first fishing experience reduces frustrations and makes for a better overall experience and outcome. Find a few good videos about casting and practice without a hook attached. You can cast in a park or your own yard. An open, grassy area is ideal for practice. Learn to pick up and lay down the line, false cast, and to control the line with your free hand. Add a few hours of basic knot practice to learn the surgeon’s knot and clinch knots and you’re ready to fish.
Choose a Location and Go Fishing
Fly fishing isn’t exclusive to the west, just about every location will have a local opportunity. Find a public pond, lake or river that’s convenient and just go for it. You can catch panfish, bass, pike, trout, and just about anything that swims on a fly rod. Experiment with different flies and invest some time learning about the local species and the food sources. You won’t catch fish on every outing but with some practice, you'll eventually begin catching fish with some consistency. It never hurts to hire a local guide, join a club, or take a class to beat the learning curve either.
Fly fishing is a great way to interact with aquatic ecosystems while learning a new craft. It’s a lifelong sport that can entertain you at home or take you around the world to exotic destinations. Before long you’ll be camping out, fishing from rafts, and enjoying water in new ways. Get your gear, learn the basics and go explore.
Looking for a great location to start fly fishing? Discover some of the best fly fishing destinations around the country with our guide.