There’s something about fly-fishing that’s so relaxing and beautiful, and you’ll soon learn to love it if you haven’t already. The team at Aqua Design is a group of avid fly fishermen (and women); after all, that is how we first came up with the idea of creating our outdoor apparel business. It all goes back to our passion for being in the outdoors and casting a line to a lively trout sipping files on the water’s surface. You may or may not already have the right fishing gear to go with your new fishing rod, but that’s easily sorted.
But do you know the fly-fishing basics?
Of course you’re going to learn how to fly fish along the way, but there are few things you need to know before you try to catch that trout.
You probably have millions of questions…
We hear questions, which admittedly are often quite humorous to us, about trout fishing from first-time fishermen and women. That’s why we’ve decided to share a few trout fishing questions with you so you’re not faced with having to ask some of these questions.
1. Why do I need to think like a fish?
It might sound like a stupid question, but one of the most important things when learning to fly fish for the first time is to observe your surroundings. Such as, reading the water seams, slots, tailouts, and undercuts while you’re fishing a river, looking for surface activity from fish, or observing an insect hatch. You also need to understand what things a trout (or whatever other fish you’re fishing for) need to survive.
Without going gun-ho and getting too carried away, slow down and take a moment. Look around you and observe what’s going on. If you don’t stop to take in the surroundings and observe the water quietly, it’s quite possible you’ll walk straight past what you’re looking for. You might be one of these city slickers, who’s used to the fast pace of life, but that’s not going to help you in the wild.
If you were a fish, what would you do?
2. Do I need any special accessories to spot trout?
It’s difficult to spot fish, especially brown trout. They’re camouflaged – it’s nature’s way of helping them out.
They say patience is a virtue, and this is exactly what you need when learning to fly fish for trout.
Your fishing accessories are also important. Get yourself a good fishing hat and a pair of polarized sunglasses. This will allow you to spot the trout more easily. The sun and the water’s reflection can often create optical illusions and a bit of a glare, which is why the above-mentioned are essential. Not to mention you need a quality fishing hat to protect you from the sun as well.
3. Why are bugs so important?
To many people, generally bugs are disgusting. Especially the ones that fly about and hover over stagnant water. But these are considered to be a blessing when fishing – they are the trout’s dinner after all.
This is why you should also pay better attention to bugs close to the water. Fish are like all other living creatures looking to survive – they migrate to where their food is. Think of a river as a food conveyor belt.
But contrary to popular belief fish are smarter than you think. Of course they’re going to situate themselves where the food is, but they’re not going to leave themselves open to their prey. Especially prey that comes from above the water that includes birds and anglers like you.
Again, you need to think like a fish. Where would you go if you were hungry in the water and trying to avoid detection? Think big stones, rocks, riverbanks, logs, and what not.
4. How do I avoid scaring fish?
Imagine you’re the fish again. Suppose you’re in the water and these mammoth things (your legs) come crashing through the ripples of the water, disrupting your peace and scaring the living daylights out of you. You’re not going to stick around, are you?
Sound travels much faster in water. So your wading (even if it seems like you’re taking baby steps) can really freak a fish out. If you have to do it, you have to do it, but wade softly, concentrating on fishing the water close to you at first – this is what it means to stalk fish!
5. What are nymphs and do I need them?
To clear a few things up, we’re not referring to the mystical creatures in Greek mythology. A nymph for fishing is basically a pseudo bug that’s weighted. It acts as a lure, because at the end of the day approximately 80% of the trout’s diet is under the surface of the water, so that’s where you typically need to fish.
6. Do I need to maintain my fishing hooks?
You’re probably expecting “No”, but you’re wrong. You need to keep your fishing hooks for trout nice and sharp.
If you want a successful day trout fishing, sharp hooks are a must. Of course if you’ve gone and purchased an array of brand-new fishing hooks together with your floppy fishing hat, fishing mask (more about this later), and special camouflage shirt for fishing, your hooks are going to be super sharp, but like anything sharp, they will eventually become dull over time.
Carry around a hook sharpener with you or alternatively, you can change your hooks on a regular basis. Keep a good selection of hooks that can be changed out in your fly-fishing shirt with utility pockets. If you fancy a bit of drift fishing and want to try bouncing your nymph along the bottom of the river bed, be warned – your hooks will need to be changed more often than usual, but then again, that’s all part of the adventure!
You know the old story of the “one that got away”; well this can all be blamed on a dull hook. It’s likely that at least 50% of your missed bites can be attributed to a dull fishing hook. And also keep an eye on your leader and tippet which can easily fray when used around rocks. Knots should also be checked to verify their integrity.
7. There are so many different colored flies; can I use any?
As tempting as it may be to use your more extravagant flies, you need to “match the hatch” and select files that resemble the color and size of what trout are feeding on. It all goes back to the notion of observation to discover what fish are triggering on, below or above the water’s surface. Again, because you’re fly-fishing shirt has so many useful pockets, you can dedicate a pocket to your flies – to be honest, very few people rarely carry a tackle box with them these days.
8. Do I really need to wear a fishing mask?
Our fishing experts at Aqua Design suggest covering up as much as possible when out fishing for the day. When you’re fishing in the midst of nature, you’re more exposed to the elements.
With the alarming increase of skin cancer cases, you need to protect your skin from the sun, even on those greyer overcast days. A fishing mask will protect your face completely from the sun, especially those hard to reach places such as your ears and neck, which always seem to get burned no matter what. Look for a fishing mask with a UPF 50+ rating to ensure you’re getting maximum skin protection.
Your fishing mask is versatile and can be worn in so many ways; it’s really worth purchase. It doesn’t just protect your face from the sun it also protects you from colder weather and the wind as well. Aqua Design has a selection of camouflage fishing masks that will help protect your skin while you blend in with the environment.
Of course you’re going to have many more questions about trout fishing, and that’s normal. It’s a life-long pursuit that will bring you relaxation, excitement, and adventure for years to come. If you’re looking for any fishing apparel, Aqua Design has a full range to suit your fishing needs and style.
Now that you have the gear, find a friend or family member who can help show you the basics. If you don’t know anyone who fishes, there is a lot of information online and in your local library. The main thing is get out there and enjoy the outdoors, and as soon as you land your first fish, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.