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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Lake Fork Weather Forecast



Hi: 79

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 50


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 75

Monday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 53


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 68

Tuesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 47


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 70

Wednesday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 55

Lake Fork Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 3/27: 401.49 (-1.51)

Lake Fork

Fishing Report from TPWD (Mar. 22)

GOOD. Water Stained; 55-62 degrees; 1.64 feet below pool. The cold front dropped the water temperature down 10 degrees in some areas slowing the bass bite. Use a slow bait presentation with Texas rigs, baby brush hogs or beaver type baits on the outside edge of the grass. Darker colored baits like V & M chopsticks in Texas smoke have been fair in 3-6 feet. Look for the bite to improve by the weekend as the water temperature warms and bass return to beds. Frogs and baits worked on top of the grass and in the pockets of grass should be great by the weekend. Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Pro. Cooler weather is affecting the movement of the black bass, as the water cools the females are not committing to the beds, but as the water warms activity will increase. Search warmer clearer water in the backs of coves and creeks for active fish. Crappie are beginning to move towards the banks, try small bead heads fished slowly 3-4 feet. Carp and gar are spawning in shallow water. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. The crappie fishing on Lake Fork is getting really hot. Seeing great numbers and lots of big fish each day. The fish are making huge moves shallow this week and will for the next month. Areas in 2-13 feet are finally beginning to see more fish that are spawning. The 14-32 feet staging areas are also still loaded with fish and reloading daily now. Seeing lots of fish roaming in open water but the best luck is still coming on fish on timber or brush. Small hand tied jigs in chartreuse or orange are getting crushed right now, and you can still catch fish well on soft plastics and minnows. Report by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins’ Guide Service. The crappie are biting in the main creek channels about halfway back in the creek. With the cooler weather most of the crappie are laying on the bottom. Once the sun comes out fish suspend up in the water column around 15 feet. Success with Snacky lures FS200 matched with the eye hole jig or crappie

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