Think fly fishing is expensive and complicated?
“There are conceptions out there that fly fishing is an exclusive, expensive sport to get into,” says Cole Glenn of the San Juan Angler in Colorado. “That’s not necessarily the case. You can have a great time fishing and not break the bank.”
Here’s a basic kit to get you in the water:
1) Rod and reel
There are plenty of $900 carbon-fiber rods on the market, but you don’t need one. Glenn says something simple and basic is just fine.
Look for one about nine feet in length. And for the reel, something that has nice action is all you need.
2) Line, leader and tippet
A fly fishing line is actually divided into four parts: the backing, the fly line, the leader and the tippet.
The backing connects the reel to the fly line, the fly line is connected to the leader, and to that is the tippet, on which you tie the fly.
Lines are designed to float and remain visible on the surface of the water. The leader tapers and the tippet is the tiny thread for the fly. Glenn says you can get a good started package including rod, reel, backer, line, leader and tippet for just over $100.
3) Hemostats and nipper
Used for removing hooks from your catch, Glenn and his fellow anglers also use them to remove the barbs from hooks to incur less damage on fish when caught. These guys take care of their fish. The nipper – think fingernail clipper – clips the tag ends of knots.
4) The polar factor
“One thing you’re going to want to have is a nice pair of polarized sunglasses,” says Glenn. The polarization of lenses cuts glare and breaks through light so you can actually see into water. It’s like x-ray vision for anglers.
Having a selection of flies to match the insects at your local fishing hole is half the battle.
“That’s all we’re doing,” said Fly Fishing Team USA member Brain Capsay. “Trying to match what the fish are eating out here.”