Thursday, April 18, 2013

My New Adventure

     I have decided to start a new project. I am going to learn how to fly fish. I am both excited and a little nervous. A few weeks ago I asked our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ followers for some advice on getting started. Most of you said not to learn on my own, to hire a guide. I want to do this on my own for several reasons. I get very frustrated when someone is teaching me how to do something and starts pointing out what I'm doing wrong and not explaining in a way I understand. My husband is going to be able to help me a little bit and my boss is a fly fishermen, so I do have some people to go to when I need some help. I also like figuring things out on my own and that feeling I have when I "get it". I taught myself how to sew a couple years ago after many failed attempts of my mom trying to teach me. The feeling I got when my tote bag looked like a tote bag and my curtains did their job, was AWESOME! I have a little more practicing to do and I will never be a professional seamstress, but I feel good about learning it on my own, and successfully doing it.
   Other people suggested YouTube videos and this book:
      I love this book. It is so easy to understand and to follow. Thank you to everybody that suggested this book!! I've also spent a lot of time on YouTube. I think I'm going to be able to do this and will enjoy it. I decided to include my adventure in learning to fly fish on the blog.
      I love watching fly fishermen. I am amazed at how graceful they are while they are casting and how they don't get tangled up in every tree along the river. When we went to the International Sportsmen Expo in Denver, I seem to end up standing and watching the fly fishing demos for a long time, just watching the casting. I've always been too nervous to try fly fishing though. With the help of YouTube, Mr. Dave Whitlock from L.L. Bean and some of our supporters, I think I can do it now.
     I get really frustrated fishing the river. I live along a very popular section of the Arkansas River for trout fishing and dread going to the river. When you drive up the canyon along the river, you see lots of great areas to pull off the highway and start fishing. I hate it! I always get tangled up in trees & rocks, I lose lures and I never catch a fish.....ever. I usually end up putting a fly on my line with a bobber, casting it up river and watching it float down river, reeling it in and repeating the process and watching my husband catching beautiful trout on the exact same setup. I decided this year, I'm going to give the river another try and try fly fishing for the first time. Before I head out to the river, I will be practicing my casting a lot to so I won't get frustrated and hate the river again.
    Here we go! Before I purchased any fly fishing equipment I read through the first 2 chapters of the book so I knew what I was looking for and what I needed. Chapter 1 is "Understanding Fly Tackle." I learned about fly line, leaders, tippets, backing, rods, reels and some flies. I was feeling very confident and decided I wanted to get a 6 or 7 weight, 8 1/2 foot two-piece rod with 6 or 7 weight floating weight-forward fly line with a knotless tapered leader. I was confident and ready to go shopping but decided I needed to read one more chapter to make sure I was ready in case a salesman started asking me questions about what I was looking for. I didn't want to sound stupid when I was talking about what gear I wanted.
     Chapter 2 is "Assembling Fly Tackle"........ummmm......WOW!
       So, Chapter 2 was a little overwhelming. I'm glad I read it first before heading out to buy a rod, reel and all the lines. I went to the sporting goods stores with my original specifications and came home with this instead, a 9 foot 5/6 weight four piece rod. The reason I went with this rod is because.....

 it came with all of this:

      The main part was the reel preloaded with 6 weight floating weight forward line, the backing and the leader. The flies (a few of those I bought separately), fly box and DVD were a few extra bonuses. I also bought some tippet that was on clearance to practice tying it on and to practice tying flies on.

     I'm ready to start practicing my casting! Problem is, my practicing area was covered in snow this morning and is now all mud this evening. Luckily I also bought some more fly tying material so I can work on fly tying some more until the snow melts and the mud dries up. There's more snow coming soon so I will probably be posting tippet tying practice and some fly tying next. Be sure to check back soon for the next step in my new adventure.

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