Is Fly Fishing Hard To Learn?

Fly-fishing does not have a smooth learning curve. However, it is worth it. Before hitting the road and finding a favourite fishing spot, there are some simple concepts that you must be well versed with for a successful day.

Here are the nitty-gritty details of the answer to this question. Additionally, we are going to pinpoint key areas that you need to concentrate on during your daily classes. 

So, is fly-fishing hard to learn? To be precise, yes it is. Fly-fishing is not all about picking up a road, casting and pulling the catch up. An elegant cast is worth time and a lot of energy. It starts with understanding the psychology of the individual species of fish in a water body. It then goes ahead to include how they associate with each other and their perception of strange objects in their environment.

This narrative comes to halt at one point; you cannot wake up to be Brad Pitt or one of the most experienced anglers out there. You must invest some time, energy and resources to emerge victoriously. 

But, guess what? A shortcut can do magic. By a shortcut we mean, investing your effort exclusively on “what you need to know” rather than “what you see some people do” Here are the key areas you need to pay close attention to while instilling the concepts of fly-fishing in your mind.

  1. Choosing an ideal gear

Your gear can either spoil or make your fishing journey. Before anything, it is better to enlist and choose your options carefully. However, with time you will realize that fly-fishing is more of a talent. What works for you may not work for someone else. 

The fly line

An excellent fly line loads up the road perfectly to enable you to achieve outstanding tension. Depending on the brand, it can float or moderately sink to keep your reel at its better state when casting. 

Lines come in different lengths. However, an ideal line should have a weight that matches that of your rod and reel combined. For example, a 6-weight line should be used on a system whose rod and reel adds up to 6-weight. 

The rod

Though you get what you pay for, an expensive rod may not mean a better experience when casting. It all depends on your casting skill sets. When choosing a rod, look at its specs. One, the weight of the rod should match the weight of your ensuing catches to avoid breakages. Secondly, the rod length should match its scale of practicability—whether mid-range or long-range. For a newbie, a light rod with mid-range cast option can be a better option. 

The fly

Flies come in different patterns and for different uses. Remember, how your fly floats on the water can easily scare or attract your ensuing catches. There are three options that you can choose from; top-water, sub-surface and wet-fly. However, for a starter, a top-water fly is primarily the best option to go for. 

  1. Where to go

No one fishes on dry land. With the right equipment, it is time to choose your options keenly so as to avoid empty casts.  Generally, fish lives almost everywhere. However, you need to learn the art of spotting ideal places where your anticipated casts live. Additionally, you should know how to read your waters since this helps a bunch when it comes to determining the drift line of your fly. 

In most instances, fly anglers prefer rivers and lakes. These places are feature clear waters that are shallow. Pocket Rivers have specific places where the fish like to sit in. On the other hand, lakes feature reservoirs with bottom structures where the fish abode. Your first training skill set should include spotting these places for a buzzy journey.

  1. Casting

The burden of fly-fishing lies with knowing the art of casting. For fly-fishing, you must deeply understand how to make an overhead cast. This method demands that you know how to load the rod. 

Unlike other methods of fishing, loading the rod means casting your lure just after finding the line between the pole and line. It is the basis of all steps. 

So how do you go about an overhead cast? It is very simple. But wait..! There are precautionary measures that you must put into use before trying-out your first cast. First, make sure the chosen spot is free from low hanging branches. Otherwise, your line can easily get stuck on their leaves. 

So here we go. First, achieve an ideal posture by adopting a parallel stance. You can stand with the feet even spaced and the weight centred to achieve excellent stability. This posture is exclusively for mid-range casts. For long-range casts, you can stand with your right foot forward to gain the required momentum. 

Secondly, hold the rod gently with the thumb of your right hand on the grip. The grip should not be too gentle to let go of your line nor too tight to bar you from performing a quick stroke when your catch is ready. Focus on making sure your reel points to the ground. The end of the grip should be in line with your forearm. 

In a smooth motion, pull about 25 feet of the line and insert it into the rod’s tip. Standing square to the target, aim the line straight and accelerate till its dips. To avoid any disturbance on the water, maintain the tip of your rod as low as possible until it loads up.

Then, cast in 1 backward motion that is smooth and fluid. This will allow the rod to load up properly without letting your catch off the hook. Finally, once you are through with this casting method, you can try the more advanced forward cast technique. 


For novice learners, some of these techniques will automatically hit the hard wall. Don’t be surprised if you end up with nothing to show off in your first attempt. The more you give fly-fishing a try, the more your muscles are programmed for successive attempts.

Don’t lose hope. All you need is dedication and some regular practice and you will automatically fine-tune your skill-sets. Otherwise, with appropriate gear and a good spot, you should not miss at least one catch on your first day.