Fly Fishing Tips for Beginners – Start Now!

Fly fishing is a fun activity and an amazing sport enjoyed by anglers across the world. The best part is that it helps you get close to nature so that you can appreciate the beauty and serenity and catch some great fish such as walleye, crappie, and perch.

For beginners, fly fishing may seem overwhelming as it is not a sport that you can learn in a day and get an amazing catch the very next. However, once you invest some time in learning the required skills it becomes easier.

Let us look at some interesting fly fishing tips for beginners to catch great fish.

Fly Fishing Tips for Beginners

As mentioned, amateur anglers may find fly fishing a bit difficult at first as you need to learn about new terms, gears, and the perfect casting technique. However, getting it right takes time and effort.  We suggest you take a few trips down the river to know more about the fishing gear and to know the right spots to get the best action.

Also, you need to go through several trials and errors to learn how to cast perfectly as fly fishing requires you to invest sometime.

Best Fish to go for

Wondering which fish to catch on your fly-fishing expedition? Well, you can catch a variety of fish through this amazing technique. Trout is by far the best freshwater game fish that you can catch as it does not fight as much as the other fish such as bass, northern pike and salmon. The other targets for fly fishing include walleye, crappie, perch, panfish and carp.

Basically, any fish that feeds on worms, insects, and other small animals can be targeted for fly fishing. Many anglers have also caught chub and bream on their fly fishing trips.

How to Learn Fly Fishing

Fly fishing attracts people due to many different reasons. Some anglers love the challenge of casting perfectly, while others are curious to know about the fish that thrive in beautiful places such as streams and rivers. However, everyone has the same problem which is how to get started with fly fishing?

It is great to have the right equipment to begin with. You will require a decent bowie knife to cut the line and to carry out other tasks. However, that doesn’t imply that you can jump into the water straightaway. Rather you should practice if you have never done fishing before.

With the advancement of technology, it has become easier to pick up a rod, learn the basic of fly fishing and catch some fish close to the place where you live. There are ample films, websites, blogs and YouTube channels featuring articles and tutorials that can help you get started.

There are also many books written on fly fishing by seasoned anglers and a visit to your local library would be beneficial in getting the required information. Moreover, you can also look out for fellow anglers and see if there is any fly-fishing club in your neighborhood. You are likely to get a lot of help from anglers and many are keen to share practical tips that will help you go a long way!

Also, you can make use of empty parking lots and fields to try and practice how to cast. It is difficult to learn how to cast when you have trees and bushes around you.

You can also visit your local fly shop as the staff would be very knowledgeable about fly fishing. Though the local fly shops may not always be competitively priced, they carry good quality products and provide all the necessary assistance you need for a successful fly-fishing expedition.

Moreover, these shops provide an important service and they can be sustained only if we help them out.

Man fly fishing in a river

Essential Fly-Fishing Gear

Going through the fly-fishing gear can be a difficult task mainly because of a plethora of options available both in the stores and online. However, we always do our best to make sure you find it easy to get the right product for your need.

Read our article on the best fly fishing brands to get an overview what is out there.

As an amateur angler you might find it all the more daunting to navigate the gear sphere. So, the first step is to know which gear is essential for you as it gives you a direction to shop. Afterall assembling a fly-fishing collection is not an easy task.

To make your job easy we have come up with a list of the most important gear for beginners in fly fishing so that you get to save your time and money.


A fly rod is the most essential tool in a fly-fishing kit. A couple of decades ago, the fly-fishing rods were made up of
bamboo and their quality was dependent on the craftsmen as the production required skilled labor.

These days you get a graphite play rod that can produce different types of actions for fly fishing. As fly fishing requires you to cast the line and not the lure, you need to match a fly rod to the line weight that you select.

A 7/8 weight rod works well for larger bass bugs that are resistant to the wind. If you are a beginner, then I would recommend a six-weight rod as it can easily cast dry flies and weighted nymphs.

If you want to make a gentle presentation using a dry fly rod then 4/5 weights rod is the best fit. Go for a heavier rod if you are targeting a larger fish.


There are different types of reels available in the market depending upon the weight of the rod and the size of the line. As you need to achieve a perfect balance during fly fishing the rod, the reel and the line have to work together.

So, any reel that you go for will have a suitable weight range that you can choose from. Watch out for rod and reel deals, which can offer great value.

You should note that in fly fishing you use the reel just to store the fly line after a hard day’s work. As compared to other types of fishing techniques that require the line to be cast off the fly reel, in fly fishing the line is removed from the reel and lies next to you. It may be taken up during the false cast but it is retrieved later.

You should also note that in case you catch a really strong fish, you will have to release the loose line. Then you will have to use the reel to fight the large fish as you reel the line in.

Tackle Bags / Sling Packs / Vests

These equipments are a boon for every angler. You should always go for a gear that has equal weight distribution on both the shoulders because it can get tiring to carry the gear while you are out there for long hours. If you are going for a fishing vest then ensure that it has a collar. Also, make sure that all the gear is padded so that it does not irritate your skin.

All the vests, sling packs, and tackle bags have a number of pockets for storing different types of items. As an angler you would have small and mid-sized tools that can be accommodated in the gear.

Any fly-fishing gear should have minimum 10 pockets so that you can put all your tools while your hands are free for other tasks. However, it is important to know that having a good number of pockets is essential, but too many pockets are unnecessary and irritating as they make your fly-fishing gear heavy.

So, make sure that your gear has just enough pockets that meet all your requirements. Actually, waders can also have pockets to store different items in.

According to your requirements you can decide which manufacturer you want to for but get the one that has sufficient number of pockets for housing your tool boxes, flies, rings, wallets, and other accessories needed to have a great fishing experience.

Fly Tying Equipment

A growing number of of fly anglers prefer to tie their own flies. It is because they can make the best fly according to the type of fish they want to catch.

Moreover, it will give you immense satisfaction to catch a fish using your handmade tie. Trust me handmade flies are any day better than the ones available in stores.

As a beginner, making your own fly can seem to be a daunting task. Also, when you search for the right equipments you might get confused with the hundreds of choices available. Fortunately, we have made a list of equipments that a fly-tying kit should have so that you get a clear picture of what you need. A fishing kit should include the following:


  • A vise that helps you hold the hook while tying the thread and other materials
  • Scissors to cut threads and hairs
  • A whip finisher that helps you tie the knot to finish the fly
  • A bobbin that is used to hold the thread and helps in winding the thread around the hook shank
  • Hackle pliers that are instrumental in providing a tight grip on the feather’s stem
  • Lastly, a bodkin needle that is used to pick out dubbing and to apply cement and glues


Fly Lines

A fly line is another important piece of gear on the water. As mentioned before, the fly line should be chosen according to the weight of the rod. You will find the weight near the rod butt. The next step is to decide which taper will suit the fishing conditions. Fly lines have various types of tapers such as double, level, shooting, and weight forward tapers.

A double taper line has a tapering section which is 6 to 10 feet long on each end of the line. It has a level section between them. Double tapered lines are considered the best for beginners because they have a more gradual taper as compared to weight forward lines. This design is instrumental in increasing the precision of the cast.

Weight forward lines are a good option as the line is measured in 30 feet. So, most of the weight is at the end of the line and this allows anglers to load their rod quickly and provides more casting power. This helps in making the casts longer. However, the fly presentation in weight forward lines is not as gentle compared to a double taper line.

Level lines are not that successful in fly fishing mainly because they don’t have a taper to transfer the energy gradually as they have a diameter thickness across the line. These lines are relatively cheaper and are hard to cast.

Moreover, they are not as accurate as double taper or weight forward lines.
Shooting taper lines are of a comparatively smaller diameter. They are short sections of fly line that are linked to a separate running line.


Take some time out for fly fishing and do not rush through the process. If you are a beginner then it is a good idea to bring a friend along as you will have someone to make your fishing experience all the more fun.

The most important thing is to not feel frustrated if you are unable to get a catch for days or may be weeks. Be prepared for the times when your line might get caught in a tree or when you might slip and fall as all this is a part and parcel of your fishing expedition.

You should know that fly fishing takes time and its only with experience that you get better at this sport. So, enjoy the journey without worrying much about reaching the destination.

Lastly, avoid spending a fortune on fly fishing gear. Getting all the equipment at once might burn a hole in your pocket. So, start with getting a simple graphite rod and reel, a basic line, and some flies. These are all the things that you need to get started.

Once you get acquainted with fly fishing you can purchase more accessories. Or, why not consider asking for a fly-fishing gift from family or friends?

Still not sure if fly fishing is for you? Check out our comparison of fly fishing vs. spin fishing or the great (German-speaking) forum fliegenfischer-forum.

Ready to catch some trout, walleye, crappie and perch? Gear up to have a fun fishing experience and continue reading our special tips for these fish!