While there is a definite art to fly fishing, the basics are quite simple—knowing the right type of fly to use, casting smoothly and accurately, presenting the fly in an enticing way, and knowing how to reel in fighting fish. In today’s blog, we here at Fish Habit Outfitters are going to take a closer look at these basics.

If you are looking for a fishing guide to lead a group or solo trip, contact us. We have a variety of fly fishing experiences for you. Whether you are a seasoned fly fisherman or you are gearing up to buy your very first fly rod, our fishing guides can help tailor the perfect trip for you.  Read on to learn about some basic fly fishing tips.

Point and Control Your Cast

We all know that the fly will follow the rod tip. Similarly, when using proper form, we know that the rod tip follows the thumb—or even index finger if you are an exception to the general rule. This is an important tip to keep in mind. Being cognizant of where your main stabilizing finger is on the grip will give you more control and make your cast more accurate.

For a lot of beginners new to the sport of fly fishing, one of the biggest mistakes they make is going back too far on the back cast. A clear indication that your doing this is when you hear the line slap the water or the rod tip hitting the ground behind. The reason beginners often make this mistake is because their wrists are cocked too far back. Remember that the wrist is like the steering wheel. When training to correct this, you can try wrapping a thick rubber band around your wrist and the rod butt. If the band is flexing too much, you are likely cocking your wrist too far back.

Mend Sparingly

Mending is the technique of tossing a bend in your line in order to get the drag free drift. It is an essential part of nymphing and dry fly fishing. The trick to excellent mending is knowing how much and when to mend. Finding the balance between mending too aggressively and not enough is what makes a good fly fisherman.

Another sign of a good angler is knowing when to let a bad cast go. Say you spot a big trout rising in a riffle. You cast and…miss your mark. So what do you do? Load up and try again as fast as possible? If so, this is a bad move. If you miss your mark, don’t quickly and hastily try to recast. Be patient, let your fly float out of the fish’s range of vision, and then give it another try.

Choose Fly Wisely and Present It Enticingly

Before settling on a fly before to take some time to observe your settings. What do you see on or in the water? Do you know how to match the current feeding ecosystem of the fish you are after? Often times, it’s not so much that fish are being selective with what they eat, it has more to do with the time of year in which you are fishing. This is also a big advantage of fly fishing with a fishing guide. Guides have a vast fishing knowledge and understanding of both the target fish and fishing locations. All flies have different characteristics, and it is up to the angler to know how to adapt their presentations depending on the situation.

Tread Softly

If you ask any fly fishing guide or expert what their biggest pet peeve is, many of them will tell you that it is when anglers clumsily barge into a fishing spot. Although fish don’t have years, they are able to detect movement and vibration in and around the water. This means that when you rush toward a run, you will likely scare fish away.

Similarly, when you are fishing large rivers or stillwaters from the bank, first fish the close water. Many times fishermen will get too ambitious and cast over fish because of that initial excitement. Believe it or not, many fish are actually caught simply with little short casts.

Ready to book your fly fishing trip? We have earned a reputation for being some of the best northern California fishing guides, and it’s now a point of pride for us. Whether you are looking for a Sacramento River fishing guide or an experienced guide to lead your American River fly fishing trip, we have the experience and knowledge to make it happen. Learn about our California fishing trips and contact us today to book your package.