On the fly: your first fly rod

When working in a fly shop the question we answer the most is “What should I look for for my first rod?” For the newbie to the sport, the number of different rods, weights, lengths and actions can be intimidating, to say the least. Like everything else in this world, you can keep it simple or make it as complicated as all the outings.

A local brown trout. (Sam Merrill / Courtesy photo)

For your convenience, look for a nine foot, five weight rod for most trout fishing here in the Roaring Fork Valley. You can fish ponds, lakes, streams, streams and rivers here with this one rod. Five weights can effectively fish dry flies, nymphs and streamers with ease. Most rods these days are “quick acting”, that is, stiff rather than soft and flexible. Medium to fast acting rods are perfect for beginners learning the various casts of these fishing techniques.

Newbies also ask about reels and lines to add to their rod selections, which are great questions. Reels usually come in a variety of sizes, and any fly shop can advise you on choosing the appropriate size. Most businesses use a numbering system, and sizes 1.5 to 2 are usually just on the money.

Fly lines are even more complicated than fishing rods, so keep it simple and select a forward floating line with the appropriate weight (five weight rods require five weight lines etc.). Yes, there is an intermediate dent, a full dent, and plenty of other options, but a floating line is really all you need to get started.

Once you start to master the sport, you will need different rods for different situations. A soft, light two-weight is a bit more fun to cast over small streams for small fish, and a heavier six or seven weight is optimal for casting large, heavy streamers. You’ll get there, but for now find a reasonable weight of five and find some ready fish!

This report is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or at TaylorCreek.com.

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