ASO Mammoth’s Basic Fly Fishing Gear Guide

No matter what your outdoor sport of choice is, at the end of the day they’re all about the same basic thing: enjoying time spent outside.

When you’re somewhere with as much scenic beauty as Mammoth Lakes, even just driving around town with the windows down is an enjoyable way to spend time outside. Still, it’s hard to beat the sport and serenity of fly fishing. Thanks to the many bodies of water jumping with trout in the area, fly fishing is one of the most popular summer activities in Mammoth Lakes. Fly fishing can be intimidating to a beginner though, so the ASO Mammoth team has put together a quick guide to the basic gear you’ll need or at least understand to get started.

Check it out below and start enjoying fly fishing today! If you have more questions after reading, then stop by ASO Mammoth for all your outdoor sports needs.

The Gear

To fly fish, you’ll need a fly rod, a fly reel, a fly fishing line, and flies at a minimum. That may seem obvious but there’s much more to each piece of gear than their names alone.

The Fly Rod

The two things to consider when looking at fly fishing rods are rod weight and rod length

The rod weight refers to the load (measured in “wt”) the rod can properly handle based on its mass and strength. Like many factors, the correct rod weight for you depends on what kind of fish you’re after. For example, 2wt-4wt would be appropriate for smaller fish, but these rods also give a little more maneuverability for small bodies of water at the cost of control. Rods 5wt-6wt are the most mainstream and versatile rods because they are appropriate for many sizes of fish and are great for people who are either starting out or do not have a preference for heavier or lighter rods yet. 7wt-8wt will allow you to hook large freshwater fish and some saltwater fish while also giving you the ability to cast in windy conditions. Above those weights the rods are more specialized and are for heavy powerful saltwater fish.

For rod length, anything under 8 feet is considered a short rod and will be ideal for casting in waters where you have less room and need more control over your rod. A longer rod will give you more power when casting in windy conditions.

The Fly Wheel 

The most important thing to know about the fly wheel is that the fly wheel must match the weight of the fly rod.

The Fly Fishing Line

A fly fishing line is far from your regular fishing line. The backing is the thick, often colorful line that fills up the reel (arbor) and is the longest portion of the line. The backing is connected to the fly line, which is a heavy line that provides weight used to cast since flies are lightweight. The fly line is connected to the leader, which tapers down from the thickness of the fly line as it connects to the tippet so it that the thick fly line will not scare the fish. Lastly, the tippet is the nearly invisible part of the line that connects the leader to the fly. A balanced tippet is one that is strong enough to hold the fish, but thin enough to not be seen.

The Fly

Of course, there’s the fly which is what is essentially the bait that attracts the fish. Flies are lightweight and come in many different varieties. However, the three main types are dry flies that sit on top of the water, nymphs that sit on the surface or just below it, and streamers which are larger than nymphs but also sit under the water and mimic aquatic life.

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