Fly Fishing Basics:
Besides fly casting, fly fishing differs from other forms of fishing methods in several ways...
1. You are actively involved every second so if you want to sit on the bank, fly fishing is probably not for you.
2. If trout are your target species, you need to be constantly aware of several things from (a) what specifically they are eating, (b) the water currents, especially between you and the place where you either see a fish rising (eating off the surface of the water) or the place you expect the fish to be ("reading" the water), (c) the angle from which you can best approach and cast to the fish and this depends on things like the wind, the current, the distance to the fish, depth of the water (if you are wading), etc. Although it all sounds really complicated, it is a big part of why so many people love fly fishing. So just relax, it will all come in time.
3. It is ALWAYS important to have at least a basic understanding of what the fish you are targeting prefers to eat, what food is actually available to the fish where you plan to fish and where they like to live and "hang out".
4. Terminology. Like most other "specialized" pursuits (work or leisure related), the words used in fly fishing talk are, in many cases, specific to fly fishing. You will learn many as you go forward, until then, here is a good "fly fishing dictionary" for you to have available...click here... FYI, Reddington, the source of this link, is a very reputable manufacturer of fly fishing equipment (rods, reels, waders, etc.) of good quality and price (value).
If you are now more excited than when you started reading here, I am happy. If you are concerned with all the "stuff", perhaps I have helped to save you a lot of time and money. If it is excitement and/or more interest, here are links to other areas of the website with much more information.
Gear (equipment) - from rods and reels to waders and "accessories", there are links to all major manufacturers, more details on how to choose what is best for you and other specifics not covered here.
Tactics & Techniques - this section looks at various methods and ways to fly fish for many of the more common species that are available to fly fishers.
Casting - this section lists almost all of the different fly casts as well as articles and links to associated articles and videos. Caution: If you choose to go here, do not let the number of casts listed deter, confuse or otherwise concern you. Most of them are "specialized" casts and you may never need to learn them...it will all depend on how and where you fish and the conditions you encounter.
Flies and Fly Tying - this section covers materials, tools, information on imitating various fish food forms and links to more specialized information on the topic.
Entomology (the study of insects) - this section talks about the various insects (mostly aquatic) that fish (mostly trout) eat and the "life stages" of these insects. This is most important if your interest is trout and, to a lesser extent, bass and panfish (bluegill, crappie, etc.)
Conservation - In my opinion, and that of many other sportsmen (and women), both fishermen and hunters, that it is very important to "give back" something in return for the many pleasures that fish and animals provide our chosen sport. The way we do this is through conservation. If we all just catch or shoot and kill, we are doing a great disservice to ourselves, our children and all future generations and the world we have to live in. We all (mankind, fish, animals and plants) depend on each other to do the right thing. We feed and nourish each other in many ways. It is reasonable to ask all involved to do their share. The conservation section describes things we can do as fly fishers to help in this ongoing process and talks about the organizations that do the "heavy lifting" when it comes to meaningful conservation of our fisheries. Please do your part by joining whatever organization that most benefits the fish species or geographical region most important to you. You can and do make a difference...
As we often say in fly fishing..."tight lines". To you beginners, good luck and I hope to see you on the water.