OT: Fly Fishing

So, I want to learn to fly fish. I’ve always fished with spinning gear. Ultra light, but I want to learn the art of fly fishing. I love trout fishing. It’s my favorite by far.

What do I need to get started? I know a rod and reel, but I dont know what is good and what is bad. Are there any good teachers in Northwest Arkansas?

I don’t know enough to know what I dont know at this point.

Thanks for the help

Where is that face (like a smiley face) that just acts like it’s screaming?
Mercy I can’t think. Several on here. And rest assured it’s not me.
But I can’t think past a guy called, well what’s his name. :slight_smile:

O Mr. Clay Henry. That’s it. IF Clay Henry doesn’t know the answer then
the world will be ending as we know it today. Poof gone. :wink:

Their are others but calling Clay Henry!!

I would get a 9 foot, 5 weight rod. I point people to Michael McLellan’s Fly Shop just off College in Fayetteville. The TFO rods are fairly cheap, but outstanding. I’ve pointed a lot of folks that direction and they’ve all been happy. I bought my daughter’s first rod from Michael, a TFO rod that sends a little money to Koman. It’s made in Korea, but owned by Americans, including Jake Bequette’s maternal grandfather. You can’t go wrong with a TFO. I have three of them. I also have some made by Scott and Sage that are top end. But the TFO – and the Lefty Kreh series is good – is no slouch. Many top end fly fishers have them, as do I.

When my good friend Dennis McCarty passed away, his widow asked me to take one of his rods. He had seven. There was a Scott and a Sage. I took a TFO finesse 4 weight. I did because it is one Dennis used.

Now, after you have a rod and reel, some fly line and a few ruby midges, I’d suggest hiring my son in law, Kristopher Bouldin, for a day on the White River near Cotter. He can show you a lot. Michael will give you some casting lessons, especially if you shop at his place.

Thank you, Clay. I will head down there.

There are places to go close, like Beaver tailwater. You won’t catch big trout there, although some have been caught that surprise me. There are not many over the slot range there. But it can be a good experience. There is also Roaring River State Park just north of Beaver in Missouri. Cheap trip. I think you have to buy a day tag and a daily Missouri license and all of that is going to be $10 or $12.

I started out with a 6 wt. St. Croix rod. I thought it would be a combo rod that I could bass fish with, but it turns out I don’t bass fish with my fly rod. So that one got handed down to a friend. I have mostly 5 wt and 4 wt rods. There is a new 3 wt that I used on the meadow streams in Colorado for little brookies. It’s a Scott G2 and is pretty sweet. I also have a Scott G2 in a 4 wt. And, I have a 10 foot Scott Radian in a 5 wt. I also have several split cane bamboo rods that I love to fish. They aren’t better. Just different and there is nostalgia associated with fishing the bamboo rods. OK, now you know more about my rod collection than most should know. I will say that when I pass, I want my wife to sell them for what they are worth, not what I told her I paid. She doesn’t tell me what she pays for her shoes and I don’t know how many pair are in her closet. I do not think she knows how many fly rods are in the man cave. Hopefully, we don’t do any true research on any of that. Our marriage will be safer if we don’t.

I have a couple of the really fast rods that many young fly fishers crave. There is a Sage One that is a 10 foot 4 wt. It’s fast. But I prefer the softer Scott rods. They somehow fit me better. I like the way they load and feel on shorter casts, but I can get them out there pretty far if needed. I’m a self taught caster and have faults. But I do alright once the line is on the water. My drifts are good and that is more important than the casting. The rig and the drifts are the key in catching fish. So many times I see fly fishers casting too often and with too many false casts and they are spooking fish. Leave the line on the water and you will catch fish. Seldom do the fish hit a fly when it’s in the air! Yes, that’s joking, but it’s the truth.

I fish the beaver tailwater quite often with ultralight tackle. I also make it out to the White below Bull Shoals, usually at Gaston’s. I want to do more fishing in the Mountain Home area, but life keeps getting in the way.

I also want to fly fish for large fish around here. I’ve read a lot about carp on fly roads and I would love to hit some of the streams and rivers around here.