How Hard Is It To Learn Fly Fishing?

How hard is it to learn to ride a bike, drive a car, cook a meal, or anything in our lives? For some of us it’s easier than it is for others and often it’s the teacher that makes the difference. My dad introduced me to swimming by throwing me into a swimming pool when at the age of 5 to the vocally expressed dismay of my mom. My grandfather taught me to fish for bream with a cane pole and a can of worms, 1st he taught me how to dig the worms to make sure my experience was complete. 

Recently I was hired by a married couple that wanted to learn flyfishing, beginning with how to cast a flyrod. We met at a local lake that I recommended because of the existence of a swim beach that I mistakenly thought would be easier to practice on, never giving thought to the issue of walking on loose sand and sand in my fishing reels (No more lessons on sandy beaches). 

I began the lesson by explaining the fundamentals of the flyrod itself, how the flex of the rod controls the flight of the line. Then I positioned their hands on the handle of the flyrod and explained how it was similar to the grip of a golf club (they don’t golf).  Next how to position their arms and elbows to properly guide the rod in flight, where to begin and end their swing, and how to hold the flyline in their fingers.

Next, we began simple techniques on the actual wrist movement required to make the flyrod cast correctly. I explained that it’s much like swinging a hammer (neither one of them could relate). A failed attempt at using the 10 and 2 o’clock metaphor was a loser since I don’t relate to it myself, I’m starting to feel like I’m the worst teacher ever in the whole wide world. 

At this point things began to look dismal; they were both looking to me for guidance and wisdom, and I was feeling a lack of confidence in my abilities, so I reverted to my normal fallback and said,” let’s go fishing and figure it out”. So, to the boat we went.

Funny how the world improves when people have a fishing rod in their hands. I quickly realized that the advice I had given them was well received and helpful in their basic understanding of the mechanics of tossing a fly. 

For the next few hours, they fished and laughed, often at themselves, I instructed gently (threatening to scream if they didn’t listen) and patiently. As my clients began to put the pieces together and occasionally get a great cast, the catching became less important as the enjoyment of conquering the challenge of the mechanics became the focus.  

On this day we all learned a little bit about ourselves and enjoyed a great day on the water. So, the question remains, how hard is it to learn to fly fish? My answer is “Just go fishing” and the learning will happen.

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Fishing Report from TPWD (Sep. 21)

GOOD. Water Stained; 78 degrees; 6.06 feet low. Water has warmed back up with the weather. This has slowed the topwater bass bite. Bass are fair early mornings with spinner baits and flukes in 2-4 feet of water on windy points, or 5-7 feet of water if there is now wind. Carolina rigs and shaky heads best around timber on the drops on points and ridges with flukes and 7 inch worms. Shaky heads are good with 4-inch june bug finesse worms, with a few catches using square bill crankbaits. Afternoon has been fishing fair with mid running crankbaits in 7-12 feet of water. Report by Lake Fork fishing guide Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Pro. Lake Fork crappie fishing has been heating up this past week. We are seeing solid limits of bigger white crappie stacking up on trees in 18-26 feet of water. Getting some brush pile fish to bite as well on some days in 12-18 feet of water. Laydowns are loaded with black crappie most days, but slow to bite. Minnows continue to be the most productive baits, but hand tie jigs are catching some fish. Soft plastics should begin to produce as the water temperature drops for the fall months. Report provided by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins Guide Service.

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