FLY FISHING BEGINNER AGAIN


fly-fishing-beginner

INTRODUCTION

Fly fishing beginner again simply is the most accurate way to describe myself and the contents of this post. I am writing about a sport that I am very passionate about, freshwater fly fishing. Actually, this writing describes my return to it after a ten year hiatus as well as various, random aspects of this favorite recreational sport.

 

fly fishing beginner
Fly fishing photo from wikipedia
They include:
1. EARLIEST FORM OF FLY FISHING
2. GENTLEMEN’S RECREATIONAL FISHING
3. FRESH AND SALTWATER FISHING
4. SPECIAL GEAR & EQUIPMENT
5. NO LIVE ‘BAIT’
6. IMITATION FLIES
7. WOMEN AND FLY FISHING
8. FLY FISHING GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

 

1. THE EARLIEST FORM OF FLY FISHING
“References to fly-like fishing comes as early as the 2nd century AD. In a letter, Roman Claudius Aelianus described a specialized form of angling by Macedonians on the Astraeus River. According to Aelianus, the Macedonians used hooks dressed with red wool and feathers taken from under a rooster’s waddle to catch fish.”
“The history of western fly fishing is much more recent than ancient angling with the first written record of flies found in 13th century English records. The earliest flies were described as tufts of feather tied around hooks used to catch grayling and trout . . .”(1)

 

2. GENTLEMEN’S RECREATIONAL FISHING
gentlemens-sportIn contrast with other types of fishing, fly fishing evolved from a gentleman’s recreational pastime. As a result, it was considered a contemplative even spiritual activity.
A Spiritual Sport
In fact, being one with the mind of the fish rather than at battle against the body of a fish is the way I also experience it. This is the reason why I love fly fishing. In other words, it is primarily a spiritual respite rather than a physical struggle to me.

 

3. FRESH AND SALTWATER FISHING
salt-waterIn contrast to fresh water fly fishing, saltwater fly fishing is typically done with heavier tackle than that which is used for freshwater trout fishing, both to handle the larger, more powerful fish, and to accommodate the casting of larger and heavier flies.

 

A Physical Sport
In contrast to my passion for freshwater fly fishing, saltwater fly fishing holds no interest for me. How ironic. Since I live so close to the Atlantic ocean. Actually any kind of saltwater fishing would be easily accessible to me.
4. SPECIAL GEAR & EQUIPMENT
special-gearEarly images of the fly fisherman often show this sportsman in a dress suit simply with a rod and reel. In contrast the gear and equipment of today is much more complicated.
In fact, from head to toe there are clothing, accessories as well as equipment specific to the properly prepared angler.

Besides the requisite fly fishing rod and reel, additional essential items can include:

a. chest high waders with waterproof boots
b. hat or attachment with a band for flies
c. a catching net
d. basket for caught fish

 

5. NO LIVE ‘BAIT’
fly-fishing-beginnerOne of the very first lessons I got in fresh water fly fishing was that live bait is prohibited. Related to this, is a quick story. The first time I went fly fishing I had a choice between two shops. The former was an Orvis Outlet.
At that location, a group of fly fishing beginners was gathered around an outdoor table studying the etymology of flies. In spite my being a fly fishing beginner, I knew this was not the way I wanted to begin. This is because what brought me to try fly fishing in Colorado was fishing, not studying.
My Kind Of Place
As it turned out directly around the corner was another much smaller shop, Frying Pan Angler. My discovery was the proverbial local ‘hole in the wall’ type place. It was situated between a gas station and a small yogurt shop with a no live bait sign boldly displayed on the door. Immediately, I knew this was the place for me.
Don’t Kiss the Fish
Despite my being a fly fishing beginner on a short vacation, I still got to spend some quality time with the staff and guides. My mentor told me that live bait will kill the trout and then the water will become toxic. He also warned me against kissing the fish I caught that would be released. Human germs and trout streams do not mix. This ultimately explained reasons why imitation flies along with fly tying are essential to this sport.(2)
6. IMITATION FLIES

Here’s a video illustrating how a freshwater fishing fly is made.

Since freshwater fly fishing fake flies must mimic their live, seasonal version, one needs many hand tied flies to match the season and the kind the fish one seeks to catch. Therefore no flyfishing sports person can have too many flies. In conclusion, one needs a place to store them. So many boxes are designed to hold them.
women-fly-fishing
Women and Fly Fishing doning FisheWear from True North Trout.

7. WOMEN AND FLY FISHING

Alison, Begins Fly Fishing Againfly-fishing-women
Eureka! So here I am (was) where the Roaring Fork River meets the Frying Pan River in Basalt Colorado. In fact, I’m fly fishing for the first time. To my delight, I found it to be as wonderful in real life as I always dreamt it would be.
Reunion
Actually, the above was ten years ago in Colorado. So my return to ‘catch and release’ had a ten year lapse so that makes me a beginner, again. My return took place on Saturday, Sept 17th, 2022 at the Connetquot State Park Preserve on Long Island, NY. It was, in fact, through my attendance at the 3rd Annual Women’s Fly Fishing Expo.
fish caught and released
Alison, instructor Ed, and rainbow trout at the 3rd Annual LI Women’s Fishing Expo 9.17.2022 at Connetquot River State Park Preserve. Photo taken by my husband.
Famous Women in Fly Fishing
Although the amount of men who fly fish still outnumbers the number of women, we have made our mark. To prove this point, refer to the fascinating article Six Women Who Are Revolutionizing the World of Fly Fishing
Famous Women in Fly Tying
“OKAY BOYS, GET OVER IT: women have made some of the most important contributions in the fine art of fly tying.” So begins the article below, The Women of Fly Tying.
8. FLY FISHING GOES TO HOLLYWOOD (Via Montana)

It comes as no surprise that the film, ‘A River Runs Through It’ is part of the Brad Pitt trilogy sprinkled with gold. Besides the awards it accumulated, it has also won over new fans to fly fishing. Without a doubt, it has also rekindled the hearts of those like myself who already have a strong sense of connection to this spiritual sport.
SOURCES & RESOURCES

A. History of Fly Fishing

B. Fly Fishing – Everything You Want to Know

C. History of Fly Fishing: A Short Guide

D. Fly Fishing from Wikipedia

E. (1)History of Fly Fishing

F. Fly Fishing History

G. (2) Image compiled from ‘do not enter sign’ and ‘worms’ website

H. US Womens Fly Fishing Team

I. Six Women Who Are Revolutionizing the World of Fly Fishing

J. Women in Fly Fishing

K. The Women of Fly Tying

L. River Bay Outfitters in Baldwin on LI, my local source for everything flyfishing

fly-fishing-introduction

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