Monday, August 24, 2009

Getting Started in the Driftless Region

As a beginner, all of the options for gear can get pretty confusing! After a couple years of really figuring out what I need and don't need, it is all about being simple. To get started all you need is a 4 or 5 wt. fly rod if you are going to be fishing on these small streams. The length of your rod should be 8-9ft. long. A weight forward floating fly line is all you need on your rod. An expensive reel is not needed as most fish you catch won't be peeling off 50-60 yds. of line. I feel that the color of your floating line is a personal choice.(I prefer green)
--> Tippet & Leader- Leader is the line you will be attaching to your WF Floating line and the Tippet is used to make your leader longer (when you keep tying flies on, your leader will begin to get too short and you can use tippet to extend the life of your leader) I use Orvis leaders 9ft. 5x and I use Orvis Tippet Material in 5x.(The 5x or 6x and so on that appears on your tippet or leader package represents the strength/lbs. of your line. 5x is normally around 4lbs. and is the most commonly used tippet/leader.
--> Flies- You do not need an extensive amount of flies. Keep it simple- some basic nymphs, dry flies, streamers, and terrestrials.
Some choices for flies for each category would be: Nymphs-(pheasant tail,hares ear,copper john,prince nymphs.) Dry Flys-(Royal Coahman, Royal Wulff,Adams,Blue Winged Olives,Sulphurs,&Elk Hair Caddis) Streamers-(Wooly buggers,Zonkers,Clouser minnow,Muddler Minnow) & Terrestials(Daves Hopper, Letort Hopper,Black Ant,Beetles)
I also recommend getting a pair of Polarized glasses. They are a great help for spotting rising trout, emerging insects, and seeing yellow flashes as a big brown is feeding below the surface.
You will also need a pack to carry your arsenal- I prefer a hip/fanny pack over chest packs because I get warm very easily. I use a hip pack by Fishpond. William Joseph & Fish pond make great affordable packs!
All you need below:
Fly Rod-4wt./5wt. 8-9ft.
Fly Reel-4wt./5wt. WF Floating Line (any color line)
Leader/Tippet- Normally 9ft. 5x (Experience with different brands)
Polarized Sun Glasses
A fly box- that consists of Nymphs,Dry Flies,Streamers,& Terrestrials.
A good pack that is comfortable for your style & conditions.
Waders & Wading boots(Wet Wading for summertime conditions) You can find all kinds of waders by searching on the net.
Last but not least a couple of gadgets(Clippers,Fly Floatant,& a Retractable Cable to hold them!)

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