Sunday, May 6, 2012

Getting into fly on the cheap...

The other day a friend asked me if I ever got into meditation and my answer was sorta/kinda. The thing is, it all depends if you consider fly fishing or fly tying a form of meditation.

Most folk feel that getting into fly fishing has both a rather steep learning curve, as well as, a wallet-crunching price tag. Truth is, while you can spend some seriously silly money on fly fishing gear, you can do it quite happily on a frugal budget as well. As far as the learning curve goes, just about anything worth doing takes a little serious wood-shedding and practice...

Of course, it helps with the learning curve to establish a baseline and have a reference as to what you're actually supposed to be doing... To fill that niche might I suggest "The Curtis Creek Manifesto: A Fully Illustrated Guide to the Strategy, Finesse, Tactics, and Paraphernalia of Fly Fishing" by Sheridan Anderson... It's all the book I've ever needed, it's a fun read, and it only costs ten bucks... What's not to like?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that fly fishing gear can be silly expensive and most folks purveying it have something of an attitude and a quick draw on the scorn button (we won't bother to go into the stick up the backside but be warned that guys in bespoke fly fishing shops have some serious issues). Attitude, I might add, that is from folks who are wage slaves working for less than princely sums, so don't pay any attention to them.

Anyway, back to the hardware... Since you're reading this you are of the sailing persuasion and in most places that equals saltwater. So, I'd recommend a 8-weight rod and line. Right now the best deal going anywhere as far as I know is the Cabela's Cahill Combo... Fact is, I'm buying one myself because a decent fly rod, reel, line, and backing for less than $40 seriously rocks! Better yet, it's a four-piece rod so can stow in the dinghy easily or in a locker when needful.

You'll also need some leader/tippet material and flies...

Because you'll want to get into fly-tying sooner rather than later (if you're like me and of a frugal nature sooner is very much the operative word) I'd advise buying a inexpensive selection of bonefish/permit flies and a few flies based on baitfish to get started... Buy as cheap as possible because you'll be hard on flies at the outset so the less you spend the better.

All told the damage is a chunk south of $100 and it's more than enough to get you started, catch fish, and do some serious meditation when the need arises.


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