Go Back   Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum > Main Category > Fly-Fishing Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-02-2022, 03:01 PM
ABHUNTER88 ABHUNTER88 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 12
Default New to Fly-Fishing - Beat ways to Learn

Hello everyone,

I am new to fly-fishing. I have been out a few times in the past couple of years after watching a few YouTube videos, but have never been successful and have no real idea if I am doing any of it right. I am wondering if it is makes the most to learn from the internet and apply it in the field, take a class, or find people to go out with and learn from them? I currently have a 9í 6wt and live in close proximity to the bow river (NW Calgary - when I have gone, it has been near Shouldice Park). Any suggestions for learning would be great, as I feel like I am missing out on a great apportinity in Calgary/Alberta.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-02-2022, 03:04 PM
freeride freeride is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 934
Default

The bow is a tough place for new people. It gets hit regularly and the fish have seen it all.

Keep practicing and having fun. Learn how to cast. Then try out some smaller mountain streams in the summer that aren't hit as often and you will see your results.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-02-2022, 04:13 PM
Lornce's Avatar
Lornce Lornce is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 2,554
Default

If ou can afford it hire a guide, it will be money well spent.
__________________
Often I have been exhausted on trout streams, uncomfortable, wet, cold, briar scarred, sunburned, mosquito bitten,
but never, with a fly rod in my hand have I been in a place that was less than beautiful.

My blog - casting on the waters

fishing regulations and facts on fish handling
Fishing Regulations
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-02-2022, 05:30 PM
Jayhad Jayhad is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,045
Default

After drifting the NW Bow for roughly 1000+ days I have learnt that shouldice park is where you launch the boat and get ready for fishing. The fishing in that area is difficult, there isn't much shore accessable holding water, most of the fish are in the pocket water around the islands.... next to impossible to access from the park side.

Head much further down stream, over the last decade we have seen better fish in the NW section, but the section below Harvey's Passage is where the legends of the Bow were created.

If you want to stay up north you can try fishing the slack water below the groynes just down stream of crowchild or off of Bowness park.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-02-2022, 08:07 PM
goldscud goldscud is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,900
Default

Probably more fish available if you go downstream of Glenmore Trail. Below the Bonnybrook sewage plant the river gets fertilized and the river is home to more fish
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-02-2022, 10:42 PM
commieboy commieboy is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 405
Default

question for you. Do you fish the Bow successfully with spinning gear?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-03-2022, 05:37 AM
ABHUNTER88 ABHUNTER88 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 12
Default

Thanks everyone for the information so far. It looks like I am fishing in a tough area, in an already tough river. It doesnít help that I am green when it comes to fly fishing. Also, I havenít really spin fished the bow before, is that something I should do?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-03-2022, 08:00 AM
SNAPFisher SNAPFisher is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,212
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHUNTER88 View Post
Thanks everyone for the information so far. It looks like I am fishing in a tough area, in an already tough river. It doesnít help that I am green when it comes to fly fishing. Also, I havenít really spin fished the bow before, is that something I should do?
You haven't said how your fly casting is. And that will matter.
Fly and spin are two different mechanics. In fly you cast the line and in spin you cast the lure. You do not need to know both to be effective.

My recommendation, for a good over all beginners book that is short, easy to read and understand and has illustrations is this one:
https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Second, get off the river and find a small trout pond or even a pond without fish. It is a good way to learn how to cast. Have the book with you.

Once you feel have mastered the casting and can regularly get the line where you need it. Shouldn't take that long by the way. Then do try to catch some fish in a pond. It is a good way to get the feel for everything. Then head back to the river. A river is a different beast. Maybe start with the Red Deer River rather than the Bow. The bow is larger and tougher. Sounds like you will need to travel a bit to find better water on the bow anyways. Watch some videos on UTube for reading a river. It will be helpful as well.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-03-2022, 09:20 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 5,661
Default

I donít post in this section often but I have fly fished for over 30years, I did guide in BC and at one point fly only for a good number of years. So I have caught a fish or two on the fly including a lot species not normally targeted on the fly

All great advice regarding casting and something I am not going to go off about. Things to remember it is about being smooth, being consistent and keeping rhythm not force. Practice and having someone knowledgeable watch your form makes a huge difference adjusting flaws

The Bow is a high pressure C&R river so you are fishing educated fish especially if you fish popular easy access areas. This goes for any high pressure C&R waters. I fished a lot in the past from carsland to Canmore but that was years ago but I live too far away now. Still have friends in Calgary that fish it a lot that do well. It may involve so effort to learn and many just flog the same water the same way. This has always been the case with the bow and often the case in many decent size rivers

Personally I believe the real key to all flowing water fishing is reading the water. You need to break it down and focus on areas that hold fish rather than flogging water. This is often the biggest factor to success in flowing waters. An advantage to flowing waters is when trout are ready to feed they donít have as much time to analyze your offering vs still water. The issue is you need to put your offering in the right place as they are often holding waiting for food vs cruising

My opinion the best way to learn to fish flowing waters is target creeks and streams. You are forced to pin point pockets more so causing you to think about where you present the fly. You are also more likely to cover ground than flog one spot over and over. You may be targeting smaller fish but at times numbers are higher and they can be more willing. Head west and explore. My buddy does very well in some of the smaller creeks with trout up to 2-4lbs at times west of Calgary. He is fishing less popular waters

Once you get good at reading the water on smaller streams use it to break down the bigger waters

One big mistake I see with many fly fishermen is they overlook how important leader length can be when it comes to getting your fly into the strike zone

But I will leave it there and say good luck
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-03-2022, 09:22 AM
Bigwoodsman Bigwoodsman is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 7,877
Default

Nothing beats time on the water. I fly fish rivers and streams. I find I have better luck on smaller streams. Big water is tough to fish. Find some smaller streams and look for tangled nasty areas. Most people will avoid these as theyíre hard to fish and cast. Learn to roll cast a fly it will help in these kind of conditions. Youíll likely cast smaller fish. Youíll have success and build confidence. This confidence will help you when you get to the bigger rivers.

BW

Ps. Iíve been fly fishing for 40 years now and still learn every time Iím on the water.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-03-2022, 10:01 AM
commieboy commieboy is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 405
Default

My question goes towards how well you're able to read water. You could be the best caster in the world, but if you're using that cast to target the wrong type of water then that cast is useless. It took me a while to learn that.

Understanding stream dynamics will put you into fish. I have a friend who can barely cast 15 feet past the end of his rod. His leader is almost always bunched up and his flies land with no grace. But he works within his limits, targets high probability areas and he hits fish. But he doesn't always land them with that bunched up leader. Totally different issue.

The problem with reading water gets compounded on the Bow because it can actually be very subtle in its changes. A change of perspective can give you a lot of insight into a piece of water. Meaning that when you're in the water, the flow dynamics will will look very different when viewed from above like on a bridge.

Seeing a river from above will let you see where seams/structure/depth changes etc are. Then get onto the shore or in the water and see if you can still see those same identifiers. They'll look different from this on-water perspective and that's what you need to learn to see.

Once you can read the water and then understand where the fish hold in relation to that (also considering the time of year), you'll start hitting fish.

Will a good cast help? Absolutely. I love long bomb casts but I also have shoulder problems from work so somedays I rely on stealth. I have a favourite seam to work full of rainbows. I can walk to within 5 feet of it and hit fish. I barely have to cast. I just make sure to approach it from the right direction.

Tons to talk about on this topic. But hopefully that helps a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-03-2022, 05:05 PM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,472
Default

Lots of yada yada here, just go out and do it! That's what we did in the old days before internet, U-Tube, etc.

Sure, I've got a few bad casting habits and my fly tying isn't perfect, but gosh darnit, I do catch trout!
__________________
I fish, therefore I am.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-03-2022, 05:25 PM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 5,661
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Flyguy View Post
Lots of yada yada here, just go out and do it! That's what we did in the old days before internet, U-Tube, etc.

Sure, I've got a few bad casting habits and my fly tying isn't perfect, but gosh darnit, I do catch trout!
This does work

But honestly most old fisherman do lie a lot and make excuses why they donít catch many fish
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-03-2022, 05:30 PM
Bushrat's Avatar
Bushrat Bushrat is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 6,537
Default

Just remember, you don't have to have the ultimate best equipment or be the best caster or fly tier. The secret is learning where the fish are and get the fly where they will grab it. Been fly fishing since I was 10 years old, still not a great or pretty caster, don't have the best equipment but still manage to get my fair share of fish.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-03-2022, 05:48 PM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 5,661
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushrat View Post
Just remember, you don't have to have the ultimate best equipment or be the best caster or fly tier. The secret is learning where the fish are and get the fly where they will grab it. Been fly fishing since I was 10 years old, still not a great or pretty caster, don't have the best equipment but still manage to get my fair share of fish.
^^^^This is the key to success with all forms of fishing
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-04-2022, 12:33 AM
crazy_davey's Avatar
crazy_davey crazy_davey is online now
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Foothills
Posts: 2,208
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushrat View Post
Just remember, you don't have to have the ultimate best equipment or be the best caster or fly tier. The secret is learning where the fish are and get the fly where they will grab it. Been fly fishing since I was 10 years old, still not a great or pretty caster, don't have the best equipment but still manage to get my fair share of fish.
Iím pretty much the same. Donít really GAS about all the gear, have some good, some not the best. I just figure it out and catch fish. Most of my gear is 30 or so years old. Some of my rods are classic antiques.

The fun is figuring it out when you hit the water.
__________________
People are stupid. Prove me wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-11-2022, 04:05 PM
bcpappy bcpappy is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 207
Default

Being a hunting forum, I bet you also take trips to the mountains and other areas of the province during the main hunting seasons. I always have a flyrod or two with me, I usually hunt the mornings and in camp when everyone is napping, I will be fishing. I usually bring a fly rod in my work truck too, its rare but I have found time to make a few casts. Some off the tributaries and rivers where I hunt and work are great fishing. It will add a little more experience for when you're back on the Bow. I had my oldest son in the backyard practicing this summer once he got his fist flyrod, not trying to hit a target or anything. Just getting the basics down then learning to aim where to land the fly.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-16-2022, 09:14 AM
3blade's Avatar
3blade 3blade is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,706
Default

Watch the orvis videos on YouTube

The bow is a good river to practice reading water, casting, and mending. Focus on your techniques, accuracy, line management, getting a perfect drift. Donít think about catching fish.

Once you have figured that out (and I mean dialed in, not 60%ish or almost not sloppy) go to a stocked pond or a small river/stream, and fish a size 16 bead head pheasant tail under a small indicator, or a size 14 elk hair caddis on the surface if you see rises, or swing a size 10 black or olive Woolley bugger down and across. Thatís where and how you'll start catching fish.

But it all starts with good technique. Even 8inch stockies will avoid you if you are flapping around.
__________________
ďNothing is more persistent than a liberal with a dumb ideaĒ - Ebrand
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-16-2022, 01:43 PM
TrollGRG's Avatar
TrollGRG TrollGRG is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Rocky Mountain House
Posts: 1,351
Default

As was mentioned, the Orvis site is very good. You should also check out the Mad River Outfitters site (madriveroutfitters.com). Lots of instruction on everything you would ever want to know and very well presented.
__________________


Burglar: Aren't you going to call the cops?
Farmer: Why? Nobody knows you're here
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-16-2022, 07:08 PM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,472
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3blade View Post
Watch the orvis videos on YouTube

The bow is a good river to practice reading water, casting, and mending. Focus on your techniques, accuracy, line management, getting a perfect drift. Donít think about catching fish.

Once you have figured that out (and I mean dialed in, not 60%ish or almost not sloppy) go to a stocked pond or a small river/stream, and fish a size 16 bead head pheasant tail under a small indicator, or a size 14 elk hair caddis on the surface if you see rises, or swing a size 10 black or olive Woolley bugger down and across. Thatís where and how you'll start catching fish.

But it all starts with good technique. Even 8inch stockies will avoid you if you are flapping around.
Huh, I thought that was what fishing was all about? Fish as you learn, otherwise it's paralysis by analysis.
__________________
I fish, therefore I am.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-16-2022, 09:26 PM
commieboy commieboy is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 405
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Flyguy View Post
Huh, I thought that was what fishing was all about? Fish as you learn, otherwise it's paralysis by analysis.
There are different ways of learning and teaching. What works for you really may not work for others. Why not just accept that and maybe try and keep your comments from being so dismissive?
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-16-2022, 10:07 PM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,472
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by commieboy View Post
There are different ways of learning and teaching. What works for you really may not work for others. Why not just accept that and maybe try and keep your comments from being so dismissive?
Sheesh, it's not like the Karate Kid and his guru: "Ooh, I can't do it". 50+ years ago, when I was living on the coast, I decided I was going to fly fish for steelhead and salmon. Bought a cheap Eagle Claw glass rod and sinking line, tied some flies based on patterns in books. and went at it. Didn't look around for some "expert" to hold my hand, but reading Haigh-Brown's "Western Angler" did help. "Practiced" while FISHING and achieved good success. Mucking around "practicing" to achieve "perfection" is a waste of good time.
__________________
I fish, therefore I am.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-17-2022, 11:50 AM
TrollGRG's Avatar
TrollGRG TrollGRG is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Rocky Mountain House
Posts: 1,351
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Flyguy View Post
Huh, I thought that was what fishing was all about? Fish as you learn, otherwise it's paralysis by analysis.
I think someone must have mislead you when you were younger. It is called fishing not catching.
__________________


Burglar: Aren't you going to call the cops?
Farmer: Why? Nobody knows you're here
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-17-2022, 04:40 PM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,472
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollGRG View Post
I think someone must have mislead you when you were younger. It is called fishing not catching.
Duh, after spending many, many hours in steelhead rivers and thousands of casts I know what fishing is all about!
__________________
I fish, therefore I am.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.