Camping activities are many, depending on the season, natural terrain, and the regions' attractions. Fishing is a popular camping companion activity. But one type of fishing usually draws the attention of those who haven't tried it yet — fly fishing.
Fly fishing has for decades been regarded as the method for gentlemen to catch trout. Books, movies and other publications of old portrayed this idea to the public, which helped cement this image. Fly fishing may intimidate some, with the casting of line to and fro, an artful display of rod and reel control that may appear to be for the highly skilled. Well that view of fly fishing continues to be wiped away and the reality, and extremely enjoyable, method of fishing is experienced by newcomers more each year. Here is a quick intro into to fly fishing and how you can add a fly rod and a few flies to your next camping trip.
The primary difference between "regular" fishing and fly fishing is casting the lure. With a spinning reel and matching rod, a weighted lure or weight added to the line propels the lure to the target when casted. A fly rod is used to cast the line, in many sizes and tapered shapes, with lure attached to the target instead of a heavy lure or added weight. The nearly weightless fly is simply along for the ride as the fly line is the "weight" that carries the combo to the target. A 5-weight rod and fly reel combo fits many fishing situations — it's also perfect for learning to fly cast.
Choosing which fly to use for which species can be a confusing at a glance, so let's clear it up. These are the basics of fly design and intents: dry flies — floats on top of water; wet flies — fished underwater; streamers — represents baitfish; and other aquatic life such as crayfish, terrestrials — imitations of spiders, bees, ants, and other non-water dwellers. Understand what the gamefish species you're fishing for prefers to eat, and then simply tie on a fly that imitates such.
Many useful tools and gadgets dangle from fly angler's vests which may appear to be a doctor's surgical kit. Again, keep it simple. A pair of forceps will hold flies while tying, remove flies from a fish's mouth, and reshape bent hooks. The other tool to be sure to have is a clipper, similar to fingernail clippers (which works) to cut lines and trim knots. As with any sport, much money can be spent on gear, but it's not necessary. A nice, beginner's outfit can be had for less than $100.
After you get that new fly rod and reel home, tie on a small piece of brightly colored yarn as a fly and begin practicing your casting. Attached to the end of the fly line is a tapered leader, or there will be as soon as you tie a leader on the line. Your equipment dealer will inform what leader you need to match your fly line. Begin casting without bending your wrist. Keep your forearm and wrist as one and bend your elbow, forward and back. Looking up at the fly rod tip, on the forward cast stop at 11 o'clock and the backcast at 1 o'clock. Waiting in between each forward and back cast for the line to straighten out before going the other way.
As soon as you set foot in the fly fishing world, you'll soon realize the aged myths of fly fishing are only that, just a myths. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to pick up a fly rod and join the fun.