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  1. #1
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    How did you get into flyfishing

    Thought my story how I got into fly fishing might be interesting, wondering what others experience might be, so here is mine.
    When I was a young man I took my daughter to Frost Valley YMCA camp in Claryvile NY, Catskills. I brought my spin rod with me and started fishing worms and lures.
    I guy saw me and said, hey asshole what do you think you are doing ? I had no idea what his problem was so ignored him. Then ran into another guy who nicely explained these wild brookies are special and have been here since the ice age. He said he and his wife drive up from N Carolina once a year just for the experience. He further explained what fly fishing is and why we do it vs worms and lures. I thought that is really cool, so I went out and bought a 7 weight fly rod, had no idea what I was doing but brought it with me next time I went. Strange thing is I caught so many fish I could not believe it with the wrong rod and wrong fly (this was following a thunder storm in the summer during a drought) I then ran into a guy who told me I need a much lighter rod so figured if I could catch all those fish with the wrong equipment, imagine what I could do with the correct equipment, surprise, never did that good again in the next 30 years. The lesson learned that got me into the sport is that" hey asshole' is not the way to get people into fly fishing", a gentle education of the values we embrace is the way to go.So many of us think we are elite and worm guys suck, maybe no one ever tried to educate them , after all we are all out for enjoyment, even them. We have some responsibility here to, so glad I ran into the guy who explained this to me rather than make a fool of me. Anyone else have a good how I got into it story ??

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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    I am usually sarcastic about why I got into fly fishing, well, I am usually sarcastic about everything on NEFF, but it appears to be headed in a new and exciting direction, so I may stop acting a boob and be myself for a while.
    How I got into fly fishing.
    I grew up fishing, my grandfather taught me how to fish in central PA, Carlisle to be exact, on the banks of the Yellow Breeches. He would use a fly rod and size 20 treble hooks with meal worms. I used a spinning rod with the same hooks and bait..we caught plenty of fish....I fished at home the same way for many years and caught many fish. I also, in my line of work, met a lot of fly fishermen, who told me I would love it...then one day a guy who wrote a book on fishing was having a book release party at the McDonald's I work at...I got a free signed copy and began to read it, all the while spin fishing.
    One day on The Musky, I saw the fish were very active, looked like they were chasing each other and jumping out of the water...,,couldn't catch a damn thing and left frustrated....well after about an hour of thinking about it, I realized that they were chasing emerging insects, like I read about in that book!!! I had a fly rod and reel, sort of, it was an Eagle Claw switch rod....i took it out, got a line from
    Shannon's and some quick how to set-up from Lenny and headed out. Didn't catch a damn thing for weeks, but kept reading and hounding the guy who wrote that book.....every few days he would stop in and drop off some flies, saying try these.....they were marvels of tininess, and I wondered, can the fish even see these? Well, on fateful day on the Musky, the bend pool at Point Mountain, I was using one of those tiny little flies that. "that guy" had tied and not catching anything, as I looked for birds in the afternoon sky....I heard a noise, a clicking, and I said to myself, what the hell? What the hell? was a 6 inch wild brown that had eaten' my size 20 zebra midge and was taking line on my 20 year old reel....I caught it, and it caught me.........That fella' was Matt Grobert...after a year of fishing that old log of a rod and reel, I had graduated to a Winston IM6 with a Bauer reel, that rod was built by MG, and he took me fishing the first day I used it....the Hendricksons were hatching, like I knew what a Hendrickson was...so again, he gave me a fly, and I proceeded to catch my first trout on a dry, a 15' inch wild brown in the KLG...I had struggles learning, but also had more help than anyone deserves, so!!!!! Mr. Eagle Claw, you are correct,, we all should give back, and I do every time I see some one that may want help..I have given away many flies on the river and answered a lot of questions people might have the best I can...I'm no expert, but have learned a few things....

    I tied my grandfather a few flies before he passed, and my grandmother asked what they were for, when she learned, and found out I threw fish back, she asked, "what the hell is wrong with you? They are delicious"....my grandfather replied..."Anna, he's a sportsman!!" that will stick in my head forever, as will the little wild brown and the large wild brown..Thanks to many generous people and many hours spent learning, looking and fishing!!!!!

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

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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    Quote Originally Posted by lightenup View Post
    I am usually sarcastic about why I got into fly fishing, well, I am usually sarcastic about everything on NEFF, but it appears to be headed in a new and exciting direction, so I may stop acting a boob and be myself for a while.
    How I got into fly fishing.
    I grew up fishing, my grandfather taught me how to fish in central PA, Carlisle to be exact, on the banks of the Yellow Breeches. He would use a fly rod and size 20 treble hooks with meal worms. I used a spinning rod with the same hooks and bait..we caught plenty of fish....I fished at home the same way for many years and caught many fish. I also, in my line of work, met a lot of fly fishermen, who told me I would love it...then one day a guy who wrote a book on fishing was having a book release party at the McDonald's I work at...I got a free signed copy and began to read it, all the while spin fishing.
    One day on The Musky, I saw the fish were very active, looked like they were chasing each other and jumping out of the water...,,couldn't catch a damn thing and left frustrated....well after about an hour of thinking about it, I realized that they were chasing emerging insects, like I read about in that book!!! I had a fly rod and reel, sort of, it was an Eagle Claw switch rod....i took it out, got a line from
    Shannon's and some quick how to set-up from Lenny and headed out. Didn't catch a damn thing for weeks, but kept reading and hounding the guy who wrote that book.....every few days he would stop in and drop off some flies, saying try these.....they were marvels of tininess, and I wondered, can the fish even see these? Well, on fateful day on the Musky, the bend pool at Point Mountain, I was using one of those tiny little flies that. "that guy" had tied and not catching anything, as I looked for birds in the afternoon sky....I heard a noise, a clicking, and I said to myself, what the hell? What the hell? was a 6 inch wild brown that had eaten' my size 20 zebra midge and was taking line on my 20 year old reel....I caught it, and it caught me.........That fella' was Matt Grobert...after a year of fishing that old log of a rod and reel, I had graduated to a Winston IM6 with a Bauer reel, that rod was built by MG, and he took me fishing the first day I used it....the Hendricksons were hatching, like I knew what a Hendrickson was...so again, he gave me a fly, and I proceeded to catch my first trout on a dry, a 15' inch wild brown in the KLG...I had struggles learning, but also had more help than anyone deserves, so!!!!! Mr. Eagle Claw, you are correct,, we all should give back, and I do every time I see some one that may want help..I have given away many flies on the river and answered a lot of questions people might have the best I can...I'm no expert, but have learned a few things....

    I tied my grandfather a few flies before he passed, and my grandmother asked what they were for, when she learned, and found out I threw fish back, she asked, "what the hell is wrong with you? They are delicious"....my grandfather replied..."Anna, he's a sportsman!!" that will stick in my head forever, as will the little wild brown and the large wild brown..Thanks to many generous people and many hours spent learning, looking and fishing!!!!!
    So...
    Long and short of it is
    Grobert's to blame...

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

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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Future Fanatic View Post
    So...
    Long and short of it is
    Grobert's to blame...
    Partly to thank. There is no blame here, if you had to blame someone, blame me for keeping at it. Who corrupted you FF?

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

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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Future Fanatic View Post
    So...
    Long and short of it is
    Grobert's to blame...
    Yep, according to a lot of wives it's all my fault.


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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    For some reason I was attracted to fly fishing early on (in the late 60's). I did not have extra money to buy fly tackle and fly tackle was not as prevalent as it is today. Right after high school (1972) I bought a Fenwick fiberglass rod kit to make yourself from Cabelas. I cost about 10 dollars and I built it myself. The model was called the "New Englander" and was 7'6" for a 6wt line. So one day I drove up to a fly shop on RT 46 in Mine Hill to get set up. I purchased Von Schlegal waders, a Medalist and a DT Aircell fly line. The guy at the shop asked where I was going fishing and I said don't know yet. He told me to meet him at the Flatbrook which I did and he gave me a bunch of flies and gave me free lessons.


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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    I started off using a good old Marlboro spin/fly combo that my dad smoked his way too for me... Went well with the Marlboro luggage, sleeping bags, camping gear..... I actually still have the luggage and maybe even the fly reel!

    I whipped that thing around on the Rahway to no avail until my Grandma took me to Dunnfield when I was maybe 15. A terrible rod with some flies and dumb wild trout finally paid off and I was hooked. Upgraded to something less shitty (but still pretty low end) and kept fishing the WTS as those were easier for my lack of skill. I still remember posting on NJ Trout that I caught a wild brookie that was clearly a brown. I was fishing a brook, so it must have been a brook trout in my mind. It just went from there, met a lot of smart asses from the forums that taught me a lot more and turned to friends. The rest we know.

    http://www.gardenstatetrout.com
    The sunken ship has risen! Come join the rats!

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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    I have been fishing as far back as remember and I was fortunate enough to live near a reservoir that I could walk to and slide under the barbed wire fence. Back then it was worms, split shot, and eagle claw hooks which was all I could afford on a 10 cents/week allowance. Once I was able to ride my bike places I could fish for trout in a couple of nearby streams, all stocked fish but back then waters like the Pascack Brooks and Upper Hackensack River could hold a few trout through the Summer. I fished the Big Flat Brook for my first time at age 12 and caught what I believe was my first wild brook trout (about 7 inches) and naturally I killed and ate it.
    Once I could drive I explored the better waters in NJ and did watch with some fascination the anglers fly fishing. Once I graduated college I read a book by Dick Talleur and jumped head first into fly fishing. I tied flies before I fly fished and they were horrible, but I managed to catch an occasional trout. The best thing I did was get involved with Trout Unlimited and learned truly how to tie good flies and fish them. I used to teach fly tying at TU sponsored events and my skill advanced thanks to the TUers. That was 45 years ago and I am still hooked and also amazed at the progress we have made in protecting many of our quality waters in the tri-State area. My only regret? Insisting that I fish my own flies even though I watched tyers like the Darbees and Dettes make their creations and never buying examples of their work. They were beautiful flies but I was not going to fish them so I would buy a leader or something else after hanging around their shops for an hour.

    NJPB

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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    I grew up spin fishing. My dad started taking me out when I was 5. We'd walk down to the Schuylkill River or up to the Wissahickon Creek and catch sunfish and the occasional bass. 40 years later I had moved down to fishing ultralight tackle. I had been introduced to fly fishing back in the mid-70's when I was in college in NW Tennessee but it took another 15 years for me to take up the sport. I built myself a fly rod and gave it a try. It was a slow process. I carried a spinning rod with me for a couple of years every time I went out but eventually realized that I'd never learn to fly fish unless I just used the fly rod. Actually, repeated the same process when I started fly fishing salt water in the late 90's. Over those years I took a couple of basic fly fishing courses. I've never really lost the 40 years of muscle memory from casting a spinning rod. So I'll never be a shadow caster in the next installment of "A River Runs Through It". I can cast but it ain't pretty. Then the next step, tying flies. I did take several beginner's tying classes. Lucky for me no summer school was required if I didn't do well. I've morphed into a fair to middlin' tyer. I haven't quite abandoned spinning tackle, but 99% of the time these days I fly fish.


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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    When I was 7, my family and two others got together to buy a ski house in Vermont, right across from the Mad River. My father grew up in Big Creek, California and he only really knew how to fly fish. All of the spin fishing for bass and sunnies we did together here in NJ were new to him back then. So knowing he was about to have access to the Mad River and trout, he mail ordered an 8 1/2' flyrod from LL Bean. I was home when the UPS guy delivered this long, thin box. When dad got home and opened it, I was smitten like I had never been before with a piece of fishing gear. That was it for me. That Christmas I got a cheap Eagle Claw "reversible" spin/fly combo. A POS, but I could now fly fish. The rest is history some 45 years later.

    A sinking fly is closer to Hell - ​Unknown

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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Spinner View Post
    When I was 7, my family and two others got together to buy a ski house in Vermont, right across from the Mad River. My father grew up in Big Creek, California and he only really knew how to fly fish. All of the spin fishing for bass and sunnies we did together here in NJ were new to him back then. So knowing he was about to have access to the Mad River and trout, he mail ordered an 8 1/2' flyrod from LL Bean. I was home when the UPS guy delivered this long, thin box. When dad got home and opened it, I was smitten like I had never been before with a piece of fishing gear. That was it for me. That Christmas I got a cheap Eagle Claw "reversible" spin/fly combo. A POS, but I could now fly fish. The rest is history some 45 years later.
    That spin fly combo, is the same thing I used Rusty, it is like trying to cast with a stump......My uncle gave one to my grandfather, and he quickly gave it to me, I know why too....he didn't like casting with a stump.

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

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    Re: How did you get into flyfishing

    Quote Originally Posted by lightenup View Post
    That spin fly combo, is the same thing I used Rusty, it is like trying to cast with a stump......My uncle gave one to my grandfather, and he quickly gave it to me, I know why too....he didn't like casting with a stump.
    I still have both mine and my kid brother's rods. My wife made the butt ends into curtain rod hangers for my two office windows. We finally found something those rods are good for!

    A sinking fly is closer to Hell - ​Unknown

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