I’ll be the first to admit for someone looking to get into fly fishing it can be a little intimidating. With the waders, the vests/packs, the net, the flies, fly tying, the rods and reels, the list goes on. Also don’t forget that hat and $80 Orvis shirt! But contrary to belief you don’t need to look like Brad Pitt in “A River Runs Through It” or spend a small fortune to get started. Sure,  part of the fun with hobbies is building your collection of all the gear that goes with the sport. Everybody loves new goodies, but not all of these items are  a must to enjoy fly fishing. Trust me, once the addiction sets in you’ll acquire all of these accessories quick enough.

However their ARE a few necessities that you’ll need, a rod being one. Sure you can go out and drop 1k plus on a “top” brand rod, but if you’re on any sort of budget their are plenty of great options to get you going for under $150. I haven’t cast many rods but their is such a thing as too cheap! You don’t want to spend your day putting your rod back together or be wore out an hour into your day.

A reel is something else your going to need. Essentially a fly reels main purpose is to store line, unless you reeling in some BIG fish that require a good drag, an inexpensive reel will do the job. A little secret, Cabelas “Wind River” reel is a nice reel that can be scored for $19 on sale.


Line & leader, this is one place I wouldn’t hold back too much. Quality line makes Casting so much more enjoyable and a lot less frustrating.

As far as flies go you don’t need to be an entomologist or know the Latin term for every bug you’re going to fish with. Just look up fishing reports for your area or try asking the feller working at the local fishing shop (not always recommended).

Now you have the gear to get started there are countless techniques and opinions of  the “right” way to cast so try a couple and see what works for you. You don’t need to be able to cast across the widest part of the river. Fly casting legend Bob Jacklin once told me the majority of fish that are caught are caught on casts within 15′.

There are unlimited resources for fly fishing knowledge, blogs, forums etc. and more books than you could read in a lifetime. But the best way to “master” this thing is to quit listening to the “experts” and get out there and do it!

You’ll have plenty of time to collect all these fishing toys, So throw on an old pair of shoes, grab a box of flies, and get out there and wave your rod around!

Be warned you have stumbled onto quite an ADDICTION!


  1. It is nice to read a how to article that doesn’t tell you to go out and spend a fortune just to start. I could not agree more with the advice about just get out there and find what works for you, as long as you are catching fish and having fun, that is what it is all about. Great job Jory.

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