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Beginner Tips From a Beginner Angler

I spend most of my days chained to a computer desk in a bunker deep below the fly shop (personal preference – no need to alert the authorities) but sometimes I still get the urge to head out for a good fishing trip. I’m still very much a beginner, but I wanted to share some of the tips I’ve learned with you today as we get ready to celebrate the official opening of the trout season this weekend.

Most beginner guides tell me that a slow-action freshwater rod is my best choice, since I’m not a very good caster and they allow me better control. Since I don’t have one of these fine rods – like the Butterstick – at my disposal, I’ve been forced to improvise:

What we have here is a Ben Hogan Apex 5-Iron produced sometime in the mid-1980s. It’s not your traditional rod, but I can hit a helluva power fade with it on the course so I think that’s somewhat similar to casting around a tree.

I don’t happen to have any of the great RIO lines with me in the bunker, but I do have this:

Which is a string from the inside of a hoodie that fell out of the hole a while back.

There’s so many great fly patterns to pick from out there, and I spent a long time looking through our fly encyclopedia and fly assortment selection before coming up with this gem:

I call it the Wasp Hopper, and I created it after finding several hundred wasps in a nest outside my apartment at home. With a simple paperclip, it attaches nicely to my rod setup:

This is the easy part for everyone. Just chuck your Wasp into a local water source and after a few hours of patient study and casting, you can land a beautiful fish like this:

I know we all normally advocate catch and release, but in this case, the fish didn’t really seem to be much for “releasing” back into the stream, so I decided to honor it by cooking up some awesome avocado fish tacos:

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick beginner guide to fly fishing. Please feel free to leave me some pointers, or questions, if you have any!