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Fly fishing

post #1 of 602
Thread Starter 
I caught the bug in Ireland and while I really don't need another hobby, I live close enough to Roscoe NY that it seems a shame to not take advantage of the opportunity. Probably could do with a few lessons. Any recommendations for a school/instructor upstate?

post #2 of 602
I'm not sure that you need an instructor to get started. You should be able to teach yourself a basic cast by watching youtube videos/reading/fooling around. In my experience, half the fun and sense of accomplishment is learning on your own, and by no means do you need to be able to throw a 90 foot cast to catch a fish. Catching fish is mostly about:

1. Not scaring the fish.
2. Identifying where the fish are.
3. Weather/water/tidal conditions.
4. Pattern selection

Check on the internet to see if there is a fly fishing board near you.
post #3 of 602
Thread Starter 
Fair enough. I just think that an afternoon spent with a decent instructor could save me a few weeks of trial and error. Mounted to the the dining room wall of my Urban Log Cabin is a bamboo fly rod I made as a young man and would love to play with that for a bit.

post #4 of 602
Good point. I am young and poor, so time is less valuable to me than money. Fwiw though, I was able to teach myself a rudimentary cast in 5-10 minutes - it's actually pretty intuitive. Good luck at any rate!
post #5 of 602
practice a couple of basic knots (clinch, blood, surgeons loop, etc.) and read one of the many primers available (recommend curtis creekk manifesto). casting is semi-intuitive, but it's easy to pick up bad habits/form that can be tough to break. the mel krieger videos are good, and the only ones i can think of right now. take a lesson or at least have a competent caster teach you the basics. joan wulff (lee wulff's widow) runs a school up in hancock not far from roscoe, but that is for big-timers. i haven't been up in almost 10 years but things change slowly up there. there are some good online forums that have a wealth of info, and guys could definitley give you the latest on the lay of the land. pm if you want any more info
post #6 of 602
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll check those out. A link to a decent forum would be great.

Little disappointed you don't think me a big timer.

post #7 of 602
You don't mention how familiar you are with your prey, the water you will be fishing, or your experience with fishing in general. A quick Google reveals Roscoe is "Trout Town, USA" so I guess we can assume that trout is what you'll be chasing. These fish can be both leery and finicky and sometimes hard to catch but the reality is that, outside of mechanics, they are reliably catchable once you figure out where they are and what they are eating.

Trout are predictable (as are most fish) in that they are usually in certain spots (think calm water surrounded by current - like in a deep pool or behind a rock). To find these spots you must learn to "read" the water. There are many books, videos, etc. on the subject but once you figure it out (the spots change as water levels lower or rise and water flows more slowly or rapidly) the location of the fish will become pretty easy to determine.

Once you figure out where they are the next step is to figure out what they are eating. There is a term for it, that I forget, but trout are conditioned to eat certain foods at certain times...meaning that they home in on a certain prey and will ignore everything else (to a certain extent). "Matching the hatch" is exactly that...knowing what is currently in the water that the fish are feeding on, whether it be caddis, mayflies, etc., but where it gets kind of tricky is that it changes season to season, month to month, week to week, day to day, hour by hour. If you look at the life cycle of a caddis fly you will see that trout will eat the larvae off of the bottom in the morning and as they hatch in the afternoon sun the pupae will rise through the water (making an easy meal for trout) where they float on the surface becoming adults with wings. Three distinctly different stages with three distinctly different appearances all in different parts of the water column at different times of the day. Etymology is a mandatory subject to consistently catch trout ..carry a net and catch whatever's in the water and "match the hatch".

Apologies if you were already familiar with all of that but back to your original, I can't recommend anyone in that area but, especially if the above info is new to you, or if you've never fished these waters before, you will shorten the learning curve by 30 or 40 days (at least) if you're willing to invest $400 or so in a guide. Be completely upfront with your guide and tell them exactly what your skill level is and what you want. The real value of a guide though is in their knowledge of the water and species. Try to figure out casting on your own. The rod stops at 10 and 2 and the key is to let the rod load on the back cast. Let the rod do the work (not your arms). The motion comes mainly from the elbow and you are casting line, not a lure...make sure your line matches your rod (or it will be impossible to cast). For this river you will need a 4# or 5# set-up.

Anyway, sorry for such a long post. Flyfishing is one of the few pure joys in my life. I'm reminded often of it on SF when I hear about how susceptible leather shoes are to water damage.
post #8 of 602
Thread Starter 
Excellent post. Thanks.

I am familiar with the theory of flyfishing, just need help with the mechanics. There seem to be a large number of guides in Roscoe, so i'll start there, then back to Ireland next spring for salmon.

post #9 of 602
fadedlevi's post +1. of course, sometimes easier said than done. the life stages/cycles can be confusing (little sails covering water & apparent surface feeding, and yet your perfectly matched dun is ignored; fish are actually taking struggling emrgers in the film/just under surface! ), add multiple insect species, plus terrestrials, etc. and you can spend a frustrating afternnon/couple of days. chances are as a neophyte your flyboxes will be a little on the light side , but attractors can sometimes save the day. a guide will know the water & bugs, and should have an inventory of flies that you will not. here's a forum link

*lefty - did not mean to imply you were not a bigtimer! here's the link to the Wulff school:

i see tuition is only $650, but with lodging and and incidentals you will be in for a grand. consdering the price of guide&tip for a couple of days, it may be worth it. just remember you will be in a class that will most likely include a couple of tools - i've develpoed a bad case of LHT and would prefer to go the private route. check on that board and you can get the name of a good guide....
post #10 of 602
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link, mate. There's no way around it, guides/schools are expensive. But I did find a couple of guys who will spend a day teaching and fishing for about $200. That seems fair and there looks like some nice little rivers/streams/brooks to fish. The place I was at in Ireland was a pretty sweet. You stay here: Fish here (on private water): And catch these: The lodge operates a private fishery and releases 50K salmon smolts per year. The fish are notched on the fin and must be killed if caught. Wild salmon must be released. lefty
post #11 of 602

An Atlantic salmon trip is on my list! Spent a day steelheading a few years back - anadromous fish are a whole differnet ballgame
post #12 of 602
Thread Starter 
If you want to try Ireland, look here. I stayed at The Delphi Lodge which has a reputation of the finest private salmon fishing in Ireland. Maximum of 12 rods daily on two loughs and the river, and the beats are rotated on a half day basis so you get plenty of varied water time. They have a few self-catering cabins which makes the trip affordable. After gorging yourself on a couple of full Irish breakfasts, you want to start doing your own cooking. lefty
post #13 of 602
It's addictive and there's no end to the learning process; you're constantly challenged.

With some luck you'll be spey casting, a form of fly fishing, and casting like Eoin Fairgrieve.
post #14 of 602
Thread Starter 
Nice. Very A River Runs Through It.

I may have the opportunity to go to Cape Breton this fall and if so, try my hand at some of the Margaree River salmon.

post #15 of 602
So I decided that I want to try fly fishing in the spring. Its always something that has interested me, but never tried it. I don't have any equipment, so I need a good starter kit. What is a good starter set-up? Links would be appreciated. Also, what the hell makes fly fishing rod/reels so expensive?
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