Before you found this article, would you even know where to find a fly tying course? Have you ever taken fly tying lessons? Would you be embarrassed to take a course in beginner fly tying? If the answer is a resounding “No,” then listen because what you can expect from a fly tying course may be beyond what you know. And the benefits of what you don’t know may inspire you to take fly casting lessons tomorrow.
Have you ever been fishing and wished you could make a hook better than the measly ones you offer fish in your lake? Do you expect you had “the spot” like all your friends do who come home with a cooler full of dinners? You don’t have to be a professional “fly fisher” to put out some bait and start being more productive. You just need to do something as easy as finding a fly tying course near you and learn what you can do better.
You don’t need the experience to get started beginning fly tying; you only need to want to learn and be good at it. If you are equipped with the simple knowledge of beginner fly tying and a slight 101 in entomology (the study of insects), any fly tying course you take will be worth it. You will learn the time and effort to go back into that water and start catching more than you ever have.
So, what should you expect from fly tying courses? Glad you asked.
Your Fly Fishing Tools
As you begin fly tying, there will be terms and tools to learn that may overwhelm you but understand that it’s like that anywhere. But, don’t worry. With enough purpose and passion, you’ll know the tools and techniques necessary for angling are challenging to use but easy to master. You’ll see.
One of the first things you will know about in fly tying lessons is your fly rod. For the pugilist, it’s the glove. For the golfer, it’s the club. For an angler, the power is in the rod. For fly fishing, that power is flexibility. If you want to learn how to cast a rod properly, you need to know the differences between each fly rod. The difference is between the flexibility and what is known as the backcast. What helps you cast so well going forward has as much to do with how you begin it going backward—the more flexible the rod, the more accurate the casting.
Any fly casting course will start you there. As for which rod you land with, much like clubs are to that golfer. In more advanced fly casting lessons, you will learn things like the differences in a curve cast, steeple cast, tuck cast, or reach cast; cast for accuracy and distance; and even make aerial mend. See there? It sounds difficult but once you’re standing in waders in the middle of nature, the terms won’t bother you.
Another tool is your reel. During your fly tying lessons, you may think that the differences in reels are completely inconsequential. Sure, believe that if you want, but see what happens when you are reeling in a King Salmon weighing about 50 pounds and your line snaps. If you want to become a skilled angler, many fly fishermen believe it begins with the strength of your reel.
Your Fly Fishing Techniques
As you will learn in your beginning fly tying class, techniques in fly fishing are similar to that of a chef in the kitchen. It’s about rhythm and the “feel” of nature around you and below you as you stand in the river. The technique helps you cast your “bug” far into the water and begin entertaining the fish swimming downstream looking for food.
Another important lesson for the beginner fly tying student is this is not as difficult as it may seem. The beneficial thing about being a beginner is that you aren’t stuck on one casting technique. Many anglers find a technique they use with even a little success and believe that is the only technique they need to use to bring in trout, salmon, or the random striped bass. As an amateur angler, you don’t know any different.
One fly pattern or another is what helps you learn to enjoy the peace of the experience and the thrill of the catch. Start with natural imitations and patterns, and you will grow there. You should expect from a fly tying course–the proficiency and efficiency of getting better. From learning to read a river to how to set the hook properly, you will learn all about technique in your first couple of fly tying courses. No amount of gear (e.g., waders, boots, rods, reels, tippets) will prepare you for the thrill of fly fishing, so the fun begins with your first fly tying course.
The original thought was what to expect from your fly tying course. That’s the answer–fun. Enjoy the moments leading up to enjoying the experience.