Every so often I need to go back to the basics, my
basics. Sometimes it's my fly-casting, sometimes
it's other stuff, tying maybe, but I still do it;
and I still recommend it. By now you already are
into fly fishing and have at least some gear. You
probably have a good idea of how to use the things
you have. Probably, if it hasn't happened by now,
someone you know will show some interest in fly
fishing and ask for your opinion and/or help.
And you don't feel you are really qualified to help.
Baloney. You bet you can. Just remember to start
with the basics, the questions you ask him will make
the difference. Ask 'basic' questions, he will give
you the information you need to help him.
One good one might be, "What fish do you want to fish
for, and where?"
He might say, "bass in some of these little lakes."
You reply, "what have you been using so far?"
"Johnson Silver Minnow and Jitter-bug."
"With," you challenge?
"Bait casting outfit."
Ok, you now know he has some knowledge of bass fishing,
uses top-water and deep stuff. Translated into fly
fishing that means deer-hair mice and woolly-buggers.
You know these are not size twelve flies, more like
eights or so. Should he have a three weight, five
weight, or an eight weight rod? You KNOW he will
ask you what rod to buy. At this point it is not
so much the brand, but the size (weight) that will
get him started right or wrong.
What you are doing here is balancing the rod to the
fly he will be using to catch the fish he is going
after. Basics. Try not to let him 'fall in love'
with some rod because it is on sale, or his dad
always used a certain weight.
Go with him to the store if possible. As you see now,
if you start at the wrong end, if you start with,
"Gee, I want to get into fly fishing, what rod should
I get?" That's backwards. He will need information
on a fly line. Well, it's bass. What line will pitch
a bass bug? Right, a 'bass-bug' taper. Probably a
WF5F line is in order. (By now you have figured
out he needs a five weight rod, right?)
Now, here is the real hard part. Price! Sure, his
wallet will play a part, but, don't let him spend
too much. Even if he is loaded! Why? In all
probability he will break his first rod. Not
everyone does, but, most do. Remember, he does
not even know how to cast yet, let alone how to
'set the hook,' or land a fish. He's an accident
just waiting to happen.
Brand? It doesn't matter at this point. Make sure
he likes it. The more he likes it, the better care
he will take of it and that is important. Same
with the fly line, get a pretty color. Spend a
bit on the line, as you know lines will last a
while and a good one will out-perform a low-end
Now he needs a reel too. Unless he is starting with
twelve pound 'bucket-mouth' bass, get him something
simple. Forget the fancy disc-drag things, basic
'clicker' type will be just fine. The important thing
is to balance all of his stuff to the original idea,
bass in a pond.
Trout? He doesn't fish bass, it's trout? So? Same
principle. How big are the trout he is after and
how big is the water he is going to fish? Good time
to use the old 'KISS' system; "Keep It Simple, Stupid."
Starting with the basics means start with the fly and
work from there. ~ JC