Zach Matthews is the editor of The Itinerant Angler website, a fly-fishing writer, and a photographer. He’s also a former Trout Bum of the Week. A while ago, he put together these two informative videos that will help beginning anglers get their fly-fishing set up ready for the first time. Since trout season is about to kick off for many of us in the northern part of the country, I figured that this is a good time for a primer on the topic. Even if you’ve fly-fished before, this primer will serve as a refresher.
In the video above, Zach demonstrates how you attach backing and the fly line to you reel. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- your trout reel
- a spool of “backing” (for trout, 20 lb. test is typically plenty)
- a fly line
- some 20 lb. monofilament, and
- a tapered leader.
In the second lesson, Zach explains how to add tippet to your leader, how to tie on a fly, how to add split shot, and how to attach a balloon strike indicator. In the process, you’ll learn the double surgeon’s knot, the clinch knot, and a mid-leader slip loop.
If you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll need the following items:
- a knotless tapered leader
- a spool of tippet material
- a fly
- some split shot, and
- a small balloon or some Poly Yarn for an indicator
A few notes on the techniques described here:
1. Although Zach is correct in saying that the easiest way to squeeze a split shot is to use your teeth, I agree with a dentist I once guided, who asked, “What fish is worth a chipped tooth?” I use my hemostat to squeeze split shot now.
2. The method that Zach uses to attach the balloon indicator will also work with Poly Yarn. You simply thread a piece of yarn through the loop, and tighten up the knot at the center of the yarn.