Delaware River Club
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  1. #1
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    Newbie here to fly fishing

    Hey everyone, I've been fishing most my life so i'm not a complete novice. I am looking to do a fly fishing trip one day this year and I'm looking to go to NJ. I bought a "starter" combo and I believe it just has the line on the reel. No backing, leader, tippet. Still confused a bit on how to rig it up. That's why I'm here. Also here to get some input on where a decent place would be for me to start out...trout especially, but open to go for smallmouth, etc. So basically I'm looking for a soup to nuts advice on setting up my rod/reel, as well as places to try it out. I live in Staten Island, NY and NJ is the closest "real" place to me. Thanks in advance to all tips shared...P.s., Also not a fly tyer so some advice on what types of flies I should buy to start out would be most appreciated....as well as any other gear essential to a successful outing. Thank You!!

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  2. #2
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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    take the rod and reel to Shannon's in Califon, they will get you set-up with what you need, they can also suggest and sell you flies, although, for some reason they don't carry the "iris caddis' one of the best flies whether caddis are hatching or not....I recommend starting with soft hackle pheasant tails as there is really no wrong way to fish them, as long as they are in the water....pheasant tail nymphs, Gold ribbed hares ears, RS-2, caddis pupae, midges and more midges in the winter, or consider streamers...woolly buggers are a great place to start, egg patterns for beginners are great also....if you don't catch fish, keep at it, you will. P.S. learn to fish without an indicator first, as it will help you understand drifts and currents....find a clear stretch of water and use a fly you can see, and watch what it does underwater, a good natural drift is paramount to your fly choice, unless of course it's an iris caddis...Good Luck, and ignore Macfly, he is a boob!!!

    The Ken Lockwood Gorge always has fish in it, they get a lot of pressure so they can be finicky..

    "I'm not out on the river to win." -Kieth Rutherford

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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    Consider hiring a guide for a half day (4 hour) trip. It will be the best $$ you spend on the sport. A decent guide can give you basically a year or more of experience in a few short hours, and you will be able to fish on your own after the trip with at least some confidence that you will catch trout on the fly.

    A sinking fly is closer to Hell - ​Unknown

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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    All good suggestions.
    If you don't have anyone to show you the fly fishing basics, it might be a good idea to take one of those free (or very inexpensive) classes that Orvis and LL Bean give throughout the year. When I decided to pick up fly fishing a couple years ago, I didn't know anyone who was into ff, so I signed up for one and it was pretty good. They had it at a State Park in NJ and there were only 4 people there. The instructor was a nice guy and he explained the gear, the basic cast as well as knots and how to rig up your line, etc but it wasn't a hard sell to buy their products or anything. I think they figure they'll get it back in spades if you get the fly fishing bug. They were right about that.
    Good luck and enjoy!


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    Rusty Spinner (01-30-2018)

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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Spinner View Post
    Consider hiring a guide for a half day (4 hour) trip. It will be the best $$ you spend on the sport. A decent guide can give you basically a year or more of experience in a few short hours, and you will be able to fish on your own after the trip with at least some confidence that you will catch trout on the fly.
    Jeepers Rusty,
    Where could a guy find an experienced guide who is a really nice guy?

    and I agree; it would be well worth the money, not to mention the wasted time making all those newbie mistakes and getting into bad habits that would someday need to be broken...

    John
    Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.--Henry David Thoreau

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    Rusty Spinner (01-30-2018)

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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Future Fanatic View Post
    Jeepers Rusty,
    Where could a guy find an experienced guide who is a really nice guy?

    and I agree; it would be well worth the money, not to mention the wasted time making all those newbie mistakes and getting into bad habits that would someday need to be broken...
    I actually no longer guide except for repeat clients that request me. Too busy with work these days. Besides, I'm not a nice guy

    A sinking fly is closer to Hell - ​Unknown

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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    Definitely check out the local fly shops, there is a wealth of information, help and advice. If you are a TU member or even if you are not, check in with one or two of the local chapters. There are plenty of people willing to help you on the water and many of them are guide quality or better (no dig on guides, but if you can get it for free, why pay?).


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    Rusty Spinner (02-02-2018)

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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    You could also keep your pride, not hire a guide and make it a DIY exploration trip. You’d probably learn a years worth of what you’d learn from guided trips on that single DIY trip. May even feel like a man after it all.


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    lightenup (02-01-2018)

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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by lightenup View Post
    take the rod and reel to Shannon's in Califon, they will get you set-up with what you need, they can also suggest and sell you flies, although, for some reason they don't carry the "iris caddis' one of the best flies whether caddis are hatching or not....I recommend starting with soft hackle pheasant tails as there is really no wrong way to fish them, as long as they are in the water....pheasant tail nymphs, Gold ribbed hares ears, RS-2, caddis pupae, midges and more midges in the winter, or consider streamers...woolly buggers are a great place to start, egg patterns for beginners are great also....if you don't catch fish, keep at it, you will. P.S. learn to fish without an indicator first, as it will help you understand drifts and currents....find a clear stretch of water and use a fly you can see, and watch what it does underwater, a good natural drift is paramount to your fly choice, unless of course it's an iris caddis...Good Luck, and ignore Macfly, he is a boob!!!

    The Ken Lockwood Gorge always has fish in it, they get a lot of pressure so they can be finicky..
    All good, but, for spring, I strongly recommend an olive bh woolly Bugger on NJ rivers.

    Also, being that you are on SI, look into striper on the fly... the small ones are a gas on a fly rod. But, you'll need completely different rod and rigging.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk


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    Re: Newbie here to fly fishing

    Welcome, and you have some great advice above. From Staten Island you can get to some quality trout water on the South Branch of the Raritan and Musconetcong in an hour or less. Have fun!

    NJPB

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