"If we carry purism to its logical conclusion, to do it right you'd have to live naked in a cave, hit your trout on the head with rocks, and eat them raw. But, so as not to violate another essential element of the fly-fishing tradition, the rocks would have to be quarried in England and cost $300 each." --John Gierach
May has come to and end, which means the fish are out in Iowa! This years venture is to become proficient (or at least not embarrassing) fly fisherman. A couple of youtube videos on tying knots and learning how to cast, have enabled to to catch over 20 fish in a few of the local lakes and ponds these last couple of weeks! So, it is possible to learn and even more possible to not spend a scrillion dollars in doing so. Many people ask, "Don't you have to be in a river to fly fish?". If someone ask you that politely remind them that fish live in many different types of water. Around here we have a lot of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. I picked this set up to enable myself to catch anything from bass and bluegill to those picky trout (should I ever head north east).
This next series will narrate my set up and a ton of useful information on getting your first fly rig set up on a very friendly budget!
I have pieced together a set up that is probably more than great for a beginner, but there are tons of starter kits out there, which make getting on the water fast, easy as pie. A lot of people who want to try or like having a set up for their friends or significant others go with these starter kits. My girlfriend has a LL Bean Angler II Outfit and is really enjoying learning on it, and for under $100 fully loaded, you can argue the value of getting to learn fly fishing with your awesome girlfriend!
I will save you all the trouble of searching the interwebs by sharing these links to combos and outfits:
LL Bean Angler II - $80
LL Bean Quest II - $100
LL Bean Pocket Water (for those tight creeks and traveling trips) - $285
TFO NXT Fly Outfit - $200
Reddington Fly Fishing Outfits - $100 - $300
Bass Pro Combos - $40 - $495
Cabela's Combos - $40 - $800
In all honesty you can easily invest a solid two hours in going through and comparing these items. At the end of the day, go get started and enjoy being a student and amateur. I personally like products with lifetime warranties and reels that are made from aluminum vs plastic. But hey, you can catch a great fish using a stick and line, so long as you know know how to find the fish!