How do I start...


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Lifetime fisherman, part-time fly fisherman here... A cute dental hygienist / fishing guide???

>> Any advice?

Yes - find that girl, apologize for your apparent miserable failure and try again! ;)

Beyond hiring another guide, since you should already know the basics, and assumably have a fly rod and the basics, just focus on casting in your yard or wherever. Once you can cast without much effort. Start casting on the water. As you probably know, first step in fly fishing is learning how to cast. Catching fish should be the least of your concerns until you get the casting thing down. I'd avoid getting distracted with fly tying at first. You can get flies/advice at the local shop and then order from places like

(now I notice this was a resurrected post from a year ago... ;) )
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Start out with some basic fly fishing/casting class at a local fly shop. Fly fishing is unique and some really enjoy and others try it out and do not. Using a fly shop will allow you to use their equipment for the casting class which also allows you to possibly tailor your casting style to the right rod. Like all fun sports, you can spend a ton of money in a hurry when "outfitting" yourself. If you can borrow or rent a rod/reel the first time or two to figure out what you need versus what you want. Going out with a guide is a great idea, but it will be a frustrating day if you go out without some basic fundamentals first. Just remember...its fishing not catching so don't get frustrated if you don't get into fish the first few times your out there.
As this post has been brought back to life, I’ll toss in a thought or two.

First, don’t get sucked into the elitist approach. The best fly fisher I ever knew was the lead planer operator at a local saw mill.

Second, do a little research. In the 1960s-70s, YouTube was a few decades away, but “The Curtis Creek Manefesto” was (and still is). It’s folksy wisdom in cartoon form, and it contains sage advice in about 100 pages. I recommend getting a copy.

Join a club. Find like minded, compatable people that share information and fishing ethics.

Learn to cast. Whether it’s YouTube, the Manifesto, or a guide. It’s not too hard. Tie a piece of yarn on the tippet (leader) and practice in the backyard, park or local green space.

Support your local fly shops to the highest degree possible. They’re good folks, and they typically will share information about everything but their favorite places to chase fish. The latter might come once they know and trust you.

Decent kits aren’t that expensive. You don’t need the newest technologies to catch fish. After the addiction, that might change...

Have fun... Don’t kill fish unless you intend to eat them. Learn how to release fis with a minimum of stress to them.

Lastly, did I say have fun, because it is.

Boss Hog

Casting lessons from an IFF certified instructor will get you on the right path with your cast, accelerate your learning, & prevent any bad habits before they get started. Just like learning a golf swing. Practicing what you’ve learned is just as important. Focus on accuracy and presentation-distance will come. Most of your casts likely won’t need to be more than 20-30 yards anyway. Being able to cast well is an important skill to develop that increases your enjoyment on the river.

That said, casting aint fishing. I know more than a few anglers that are great casters but can’t catch a cold. But all good anglers can cast at least moderately well.

Clinch knot & surgeon’s knot are the two most used knots you should know.

The absoloute best thing you can do is have a knowledgeable friend take you fishing. If you don’t have a friend, then as others have suggested, join a club. Orvis has fly fishing 101, 201, and 301 classes. For free. Hell, I’ve learned a lot just by going to the river and watching from a respectful distance. And most anglers are willing to talk your ear off after they’re done and are loading up for the trip home.

Find a fly shop you like, ask questions, get out on the water, and then come back with more questions. Rent rods and reels until you find what you like. Lots of good options. Keep an open mind and try a lot of different setups.

Fly fishing is a gear intensive sport, and it can get pricey quick. When you do buy a setup, spend more upfront for quality. There’s a reason certain boots and waders are cheap! You’ll replace cheap gear more frequently and regret it.

A 9’ 5# 4 piece (905-4 in rod-talk) is the standard first rod for many people and the rod many people have their quiver built around. Consider (initially) one rod and a reel with different spools with different lines for different setups. Put a 6# line on it (called overlining) and use it for streamers. Put a sinking tip with a strike indicator on it & use it for nymphing. Of course, a standard weight forward floating 5# goes without saying. An extra spool will cost you around $100.

I know guys with 30+ rods. Myself, I have x2 3 weights (an 843-4 for drys & a 103-4 for nymphing), a 5 weight, a 6 weight, and a 7 weight. I’ve been fishing for 10 years and wait for deals, closeouts, etc. Many people go odd-number weights when building their quiver (3-5-7) or even numbers (4-6-8). The blanks will definitely get filled in over time if you enjoy it!

Im rambling because I can’t sleep. Sorry. Good luck out there!!