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New to Flyfishing...PLEASE HELP!

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  • New to Flyfishing...PLEASE HELP!

    I have been wanting to break in to the world of flyfishing for years, but have never taken the step. I am floating the Gulkana in late July and am wanting to get some basic gear for the trip. By gear I mean rod, reel, flies. What weight rod? How long? Reel size? Line weight? aaaaand of course that whole "match the hatch" cliche. What type of flies? If anyone can help me out It'd be greatly appreciated. I also need to know how to tie a fly on to my line. I have fished my whole life and know some knots but am willing to bet that flyfishing has its own knots all together. Once again, thanks to anyone who can help a fellow soon so be flyfisherman.


  • #2
    For grayling a 4wt will do just fine. If your just starting w.w grigg has a good 4wt and its quite cheap. Cant help with reel sorry.

    Flies any dry fly will work good. Flesh or egg flies will work due to spawners in late july. A simple gulkana setup is 4wt for grayling/rainbows, and like a 8wt for reds and other salmon. Ill post more later
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
    -Put some excitment between your legs, ride a polaris!
    -Local 907 Riders Union


    • #3
      An uni knot is a good one to know. also the nail knot. Try buying a highway angler or flyfishing alaska book. For reds search for schools of fish holding in pools and fish by sight. The grayling will rise on drys all day long. And the bows will hit the flesh/egg patterns. Have fun on the float and good luck fishing
      -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
      -Put some excitment between your legs, ride a polaris!
      -Local 907 Riders Union


      • #4
        Mid-week visits to local fly shops...

        This will sound like an infomercial, but, like other flyfishers, I've just spent many a winter's day in small and large places looking at fly fishing gear and talking to the people who work there. Unlike most business establishments, I have found local fly shops - the small shops that aren't part of a national chain, to be mellow places where most customers drop in to chat or browse. The owner, or staff - which is small - are accustomed to people coming in, new to flyfishing or new to the area, whatever... If you catch them when they aren't busy, they're usually glad to chat awhile. I think they're worth supporting in their own right for several reasons.

        Along the way, you'll likely discover that like any other gear, there'll be tradeoffs in fly gear selection. Go to all the shops you can one week to allow time to mull some options, then commit the next week. Drop by during the week if you can, or early on a weekend. Just tell them what your plans are and that you're out learning about what gear you will need. Handle a few reels. If you pick up a fly rod - watch out for the tip. The bonus with small shops is personal advice and local knowledge - whether you buy there or not. I think they know that if you like coming in, if you feel comfortable there, that eventually you probably will purchase something. If you happen in at a busier time, you might hear some local stories from other anglers who've been out locally. That's how I first heard about the Situk. The small local shops definitely have small talk worth overhearing more often. Make sure to pick up a few small nymph flies too - Prince Nymphs, a couple of Copper Johns.

        We have very good local fly shops in Anchorage. World Wide Angler and Mossy's (formerly McAfee's) in south Anchorage are terrific sources of excellent information, and excellent gear. I think both shops carry Echo rods - which if you search these forums, seem to be a fine value for entry-level gear. Mountain View Sports in midtown is usually the most convenient for me to drop by - but has plenty of stuff to look over. And if you make it up to Wasilla, 3 Rivers is worth learning about. Great staff there.

        Okuma reels, Redington rods/reels, the entry level Sage rods...all worthwhile at the affordable end. No doubt you can find cheaper, and sometimes cheaper is best, but I have always thought that I got the best overall value at the local shops.

        Welcome to the road less travelled, Dude. Have a terrific trip.
        No habitat, no hunter.


        • #5
          Great advice above me here by 6xleech!

          Visit Mossy's Fly Shop. Mike is a good guy and will tell you the deal. He can outfit you with rod/reel/flies/etc... and tell you what to do with it. And as said above, there are lots of advantages to supporting local fly shops. In your case, the customer service will outweigh the few dollars you may save buying gear online.

          Go onto Cabelas and buy two items. Thank me later.

          One, Lefty Kreh's (flyfishing legend) flycasting dvd. No BS here, he tells it like it is. I learned how to cast using this dvd. Watch it, and get outside for some lawncasting for half an hour. Watch again, and repeat the lawncasting. You will teach yourself the basics of how to cast in an hour.

          Two, get the Tie-Fast nail knot tool. A 4 year old could use this thing. It is absolutely idiot proof. Use this to tie your leaders to your fly line.

          Lastly, buy the following books from the forum store or Amazon....

          "Flyfisher's Guide To Alaska" by Scott Haugen. Over 100+ maps, tells you where to go, when to go, and how to get there. Amazing resource.

          "Topwater, Flyfishing Alaska..." by Troy Letherman and Tony Weaver. Awesome book that has a chapter on each sportfish in Alaska. Tons of info on life cycle, when to fish, where to fish, how to fish, flies and gear to use, etc.. My favorite Alaska flyfishing book by far.

          The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


          • #6
            Thank you Thank you

            Done and DONE! Thanks guys for the help. Cabelas items are on order. Unfortunatly ill have to do some quick shopping because i get home from the slope on thursday and leave saturday morning. ill need to do some speed reading and speed casting too. Really though fellas thank you for the help and ill make sure and keep everyone updated on my succes/failure of my trip and progress as a traveler of the road less used. AKA FLY-FISHERMAN!!!



            • #7
              Scott Haugen's book is a pretty decent resource... Large sections of it were written on my boat in Kodiak while Scott and I were deer hunting around Uganik Island. He picked apart several different folks to get the spots he really should not have been given...

              Scott and I have hunted and fished together since long before he started writing. I have never met anyone with a work ethic to match his.


              • #8
                I have floated the Gulkana a couple of times and the one thing that has always worked for me are bead-headed nymphs. The greyling go crazy for them. I would bring several different kinds. Just go out and have fun.


                • #9
                  Being new to fly fishing this is a little pocket book you can take anywhere and has all the basics covered, all the basic knots you'll need to get started, bugs and matching flies, rods, fly lines, different rises and what they look like and mean, hooks etc. It's 100% waterproof and will last a very long time though they advertise it as paperback the pages are more like hard plastic spiral bound. I FINALLY lost mine ugg....

                  They are a little harder to find now, and may be discontinued, though I do see them from time to time.

                  As often as I wished I had one now just for teaching, its worth the 12 bucks as a new person or an old time on the stream. This is fly fishing broken into it's absolute beginner form.

                  Here it is.

                  Pocket Guide to Flyfishing, Ron Cordes, Gary Lafontaine



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