When it comes to fly fishing, attitude is half of the battle. You need to be able to switch on to a calm mindset that allows you to keep repeating the same technique without becoming frustrated. You must be able to use the surrounding natural beauty as a means of tempering your impatience. It requires forethought, dedication and commitment.
The other half of fly fishing is the equipment. One wise commentator once noted that whoever said one could not buy happiness had never invested in a new fly fishing rod. Now we may well smile at that and think it a bit far fetched, but, there is no doubt that the proper equipment will go a long way toward creating fly fishing success.
Certainly you need things such as a hat to protect the head from sunburn and the occasionally miscast fly and a pair of good sunglasses can make the difference between a painful squint and wonderful look at a natural vista, but the actual tackle that you use is probably the most important aspect of the equipment portion of the fly fishing equation.
However, if you have ever bought equipment before you will know that making tackle and equipment decisions can be challenging. Consider all of the choices an angler must make.
Is an old-fashioned bamboo rod with its natural flexibility the best choice for a day on the creek, or would you be better served by a new composite graphite rod with a far different, but equally enticing whipping action? When choosing a rod, should the fisher look for a particular brand, or are all models of fly fishing rods created at least close to equal? And what about length? Is there a reason to prefer or pass over that slightly longer model seen at the local sporting goods store? Answers to these questions will have a real impact on your success when you go to cast your fly.
Speaking of flies, this is another area where decisions are critical. Are you going to go for a dry fly strategy, or do you plan to use insect replicas? Is there a color to prefer for the morning as opposed to the evening? Will those trout really even notice the difference between your flies or will any in your collection do the trick as twilight hits? Before you even get that far in the process, you have to decide whether you should learn to tie your own or if you are better off relying upon professionally produced flies for your excursions.
The choice of rod and fly is also going to influence decisions regarding the line you use. The size of the target fish may force you to decide to use a lighter or heavier test line. Some lines float, while others will slowly sink to the bottom. Which lines make the most sense for which kinds of casts, strategies and conditions?
There are those who fish with a stick, a string, a worm and a hook. If they are exceptionally advanced, they may add a bobber to their repertoire before dipping their line and taking a nap under a tree by the side of a slow moving creek or dead still lake. That may be a fine strategy for enticing wobbly out from the muddy banks, but that kind of simplicity does not really work for those choosing to fly fish.
Fly fishing is a more complicated proposition, in terms of both mindset and equipment. Both are essential to success. Tackle decisions can and often will make the difference between a catchless day and hitting the limit.
This is why anyone considering fly fishing must learn how to make the right choices. Even a Zen master of an angler will have a disappointing day if his equipment is not up to the task. All fly fishers must take the time to research the sport, the rods, the reels, the flies, the lines and everything else in order to increase their chance of reeling in an impressive trophy catch.
If you are a potential fly fisher and are confounded by the choices available to you, find a solid reference manual that will provide you with answers that can empower you throughout your fly fishing decision making process.