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  • Learn to fly fish
  • Learn to fly fish

Learn to Fly Fish

Fly Fishing is a never ending learning curve that has most people hooked from the time a fly rod lands itself in hand.

Fly Fishing is Actually Pretty Simple
If the opportunity ever presents itself to learn to fly fish, take it! Fly fishing is one of the most fun past times you can engage in while hanging out along a river bank. Some people are hesitant to undertake what could be perceived as a technical sport, but in reality it is actually pretty simple. Once you find yourself mastering the basics, you open up a world of new knowledge and curiosity. If you enjoy the outdoors, fishing in general, discovering new places and being by the water; chances are you are going to love fly fishing.

Your Fly Fishing Equipment
To start your journey you really only need a few pieces of equipment:

  • Fly rod
  • Reel
  • Line
  • Leader
  • Tippet
  • A few flies
  • Local fishing license

A fly rod, reel, line, leader and tippet can be purchased in one complete outfit, add in a dozen flies - and you are set. If you can’t afford that, keep your eye open at garage sales, fly rods never go out of style.

Learn the Basics of Casting
Some of the best advice can come from a fly fishing friend or a local angler that can show you a few things about casting, but if you don’t have access to someone, there are plenty of books, online resources, and affordable local lessons that can help you get started. Casting is by far the easiest part about fly fishing. Once you have the casting down, you have to learn to read the water; where fish live, what flies to use and a few basic knots.

Casting Tips
If you have the equipment needed to get started on fly fishing, head to the river and get practicing!

  • A fly that floats on top of the water is a great place to start - a dry fly - this way you can get the visual of what the fly is doing when it hits the water. 
  • Don’t worry about what fly to begin with, the local fly shop will help you get started, it’s more about the presentation of your fly than the actual fly.
  • Start to think like a trout, be sneaky and quiet. After all, fly fisherman only have a fly on the end of the line to trick the fish.
  • He who casts the most catches the least fish, so the goal is to get your fly into the water, let your fly drift downstream looking like a natural bug.
  • Be gentle when trying to get your fly into the water, don’t smack the water with your fly, this might just scare the fish away.
  • Have fun and don’t over-think or over-practice!

Practice your casting and getting your fly to drift in places that you think a fish would live, chances are you are going to have a fish come up to the surface and try to eat it. Trout like to hide where predators can’t get them - off riffles, against the banks, deep pockets, behind rocks and logs. Trout like to look upstream so giving them the longest look at your fly possible will give you the best chances of hooking up, meaning cast upstream and let your fly drift downstream.

Fly Fishing in the Elk Valley
The Elk Valley in British Columbia is a world renowned fly fishing destination because of the opportunities presented for fly fishing, whether you are a beginner or an advanced angler. The Elk River holds a unique and native wild west slope cutthroat trout that are eager to tease and please the everyday angler, unlike many other trout. The local river is accessible and approachable making it one of the best places to learn to fly fish. The trout in the Elk River drainage are keen to rise to the surface to eat natural bugs, as fly fisherman we are using small flies to imitate the naturals and it’s entertaining to see a trout take your imitation that you have tricked him to eat.

Fly fishing takes you into some incredible places, so if someone ever asks you to go fly fishing with them, always say yes! There is always something you will learn whether its about fishing, yourself or your environment. Those who have fly fished for many years will tell you it’s never about the fish that are caught, it’s all about the places that fly fishing takes you. There is something magical about the peace of a river and if you listen long enough you will learn lessons from it’s ever changing movement.

Fly Fishing is not about catching fish, it’s like an epic road trip, the reward is in the journey and not always the destination. Learning the simple fundamentals of fly fishing is part of the journey.

Book a guided trip and learn how to fly fish.

Beckie Clarke
Local Fly Fishing Expert with Fernie Fly Fishing

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