(WJHL) – It’s a sport with many peaceful moments – moments to enjoy the sound of the water and the scenery… That is, until you get a bite!
It’s fly fishing, a sport that takes patience, speed, and requires a whole lot of sunscreen.
For this week’s Trail Team 11 we explored this popular sport in our region, beginner style!
When many people think about fly fishing, they picture a person in high waders, in the middle of a shallow river, casting and re-casting until they get a bite.
For beginners, this isn’t the easiest option; so we began our fly fishing experience on a boat in the middle of Wilbur Lake, which is off of the Watauga River.
Before you can take off on your fishing trip, you have to make sure you have a fishing licence, and make sure it includes trout.
To hear more about what you need to know before leaving your house for a fishing trip, watch the video below.
Once you get out on the water, fly fishers will notice that there is no live bait. Instead, fly fishers in our region use artificial midges. During our trip we also used a 10-foot pole.
Evan Dowdy with High County Anglers explains what equipment he recommends you use.
Once you’re set up, it’s time to cast! Dowdy says to think about your cast on a clock, with your cast going from 11 to 1.
You begin by false casting to help get your line out, which is a repeated back and forth until your line is an appropriate length from the boat, which is about 20 feet.
Dowdy explains more about how you can cast perfectly, watch the full video above.
One big difference between fly fishing and normal fishing is the reaction when you get a bite.
Normally anglers can feel a bite and see the bobber go under, but in fly fishing, anglers simply need to keep a close eye on the strike indicator and just watch it to see if it goes under.
Once that strike indicator goes below the surface, anglers have to quickly pull their line straight up to set the hook in the trout’s mouth. Once you get the fish in the boat, it’s important that you put them quickly back in the water, as there is a huge focus on conservation.
Watch the video below to learn more:
Once you get the basics down, fly fishers can feel confident to move onto wading, but before you head out on the water you have to check on generation schedules to make sure it’s safe to do so.
Remember to always be respectful to your fellow anglers and to always toss those trout back in the water.