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 (Jun. 5)

GOOD. Water Stained; 76 degrees; 0.86 feet above pool. Lake Fork is high with all the recent rains and gates are open. Bass are good on top waters frogs early in the morning over grass, and Yellow Magics along the edge of the grass Texas rigs and Carolina rigs good around bream beds 3-7 feet. Squarebill crankbaits are good around bream beds 2.5 model bream patterns. Flukes are good on the edge of grass in watermelon candy . Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Guide Service. Black bass are challenging with constant weather extremes, look for the clearest water you can find. Fish points and main lake cuts. Top waters are working in the shallow grass, streamers are working in the shallow banks 0fished slow. Bream are excellent in the shallows, wooly buggers and small poppers should bring a strike. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. The crappie fishing on Lake Fork was definitely moving into the steady summer pattern this week. We are still seeing great numbers of black crappie on lay downs and certain trees in 14-28 feet. You can also find black crappie on certain docks and bridges over the next few months. We have been seeing lots of small white crappie on brush piles but some bigger keepers showed up the last few days. These will continue to get better and better over the next few weeks. Focus on brush piles in 14-22 feet for the best fish. Some summer time trees are also holding white crappie and that will also get better over the next few weeks. Minnows are working well and small hand tied jigs in neutral colors are working just as well when you pitch and swim them over fish. Soft plastics will also get you a bite. The channel catfishing is excellent as it always is on Lake Fork. Bait you a hole near timber in 18-25 feet close to a creek channel. Use cattle cubes or sour grain to attract and hold those fish. Trees that have overnight roosting birds are a great place to make your hole. Use any prepared catfish bait of choice to load the boat o

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