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The Beginner's Guide To Fly Fishing


Fly fishing has seen an explosion in popularity over recent years, with celebrity adherents like Zac Efron, Harrison Ford and Emma Watson publicly spruiking their enjoyment of it. It’s clearly an activity with a lot to offer, given its apparent simplicity and the overall relaxing atmosphere it creates.

But for the uninitiated, just what is fly fishing? You’re probably familiar with other varieties of fishing and may have even done a bit yourself in the past. But the main distinction between fly fishing and “regular” (i.e. spin or bait) fishing is to do with the line itself. Fly fishing uses a much heavier line which allows it to be hurled long distances, whereas, in spin or bait finishing, there’s a reliance on a sinker to keep the line beneath the water.

Fly fishing tends to be done in rivers, from the lake shoreline, or water’s edge, with some from a boat.

Fly fishing is particularly great for catching large fish, like trout, that you might not necessarily be able to get hold of with a “regular” rod. Fly fishing has bred a fandom of enthusiasts who aren’t necessarily interested in catching fish at all. Instead, it’s an opportunity for many to spend time out in nature and experience it in a fashion that they may not have previously.

So if you’ve been feeling the call of the water, we’ve put together this fly fishing guide for beginners.


  1. Learn from a pro

One of the advantages of fly fishing is that it takes minutes to learn — but it also takes a lifetime to master. So if you’re trying fly fishing for the first time, one of the best things you can do is book a tour with a guide. Though there are great tutorials online — particularly on places like YouTube — nothing prepares you for casting and catching like doing it for real.

With an experienced hand by your side, you’ll be able to learn the basics and different fly fishing techniques rather than trying to figure it all out for yourself. They’ll also be able to show you where to fly fish — not all spots are created equal. This is especially true of our precious spot here in Tasmania, widely regarded as the number one trout fly fishing spot in all of Australia. 

The founder of has been fishing and teaching others how to fish in these beautiful waters for over 30 years. Any budding fly fishing enthusiast could have no greater introduction to our beloved pastime than to experience one of Mike’s amazing guided fly fishing tours and associated workshops.


  1. Study afly fishing guide

When it comes to learning all about a new hobby or pastime, it can pay huge dividends to soak up as much information as possible beforehand. Now, there is no substitute for standing alongside an actual human fly fishing guide and being shown the ropes. But not all of your time can be spent that way, and it can be immensely helpful to have a book or fly fishing guide resource to return to and study. 

You might have witnessed your instructor perform some element of fly fishing that seemed important but need help remembering exactly why or how they did it. Well, a good fly fishing guide can give you all the pertinent information you need and is a great way to refresh your memory whenever things get a bit murky. 

We have a massive library of books and DVDs here at, so feel free to browse our extensive collection today and find the fly fishing guide that speaks to you. There are a whole host of other resources that you can take advantage of, including:


  • YouTube videos
  • Fly fishing magazines
  • Internet sites and blogs

Start digging and see what you can find — there’s a world of material and information to discover and absorb on your journey to becoming an expert at fly fishing.


  1. Get the right gear

Once you’ve decided you enjoy the sport, it’s time to invest in the right gear. Here’s a beginner fly fishing gear checklist that you’ll find handy.


  • A  rod — A nine-foot, five-weight is a great entry-level option.
  • A  fly reel — You won’t be able to cast much without one!
  • A net with rubber mesh — This is better for the fish if you’re in a catch and release area and also quite durable.
  • Waders — You’ll get wet at some point, so best to be prepared.
  • Flies — Having a few varieties handy will increase your chances of catching something. Check out our superb lure and fly collection.
  • A fishing vest — To keep all your tools and supplies handy.
  • Clippers — To cut the line when necessary.
  • Forceps — For removing hooks from fish’s mouths.
  • A hat — Avoid getting sunburnt.
  • Polarised sunglasses — You’ll increase your chances of spotting fish and avoiding water glare.


  1. Create your own fly

Fly fishing doesn’t use live bait. Rather, it gets its name from the distinctive “fly” — a crafted lure that sits just above the water to get the fish to see it as one of their favourite snacks. As you might imagine, near-infinite variations are available, and many fly fishers pride themselves on making their own. 

While certain types of fishing flies and lures have proven more successful than others over the years, it is by no means an exact science. You may discover a new colour or style that attracts a certain species of fish. Trial and error have long been the remit of amateur and professional anglers alike; any edge you can give yourself in your quest to master the art of fly fishing is worth investigating. Plus, it might be fun, so why not try it?


  1. Reach out to your local fishing community

One great way to learn more about the world of fly fishing is by joining local fly fishing clubs. These clubs can be found in your local area, and attending their meetings is a great way to start conversations about the sport. In the case that there are no clubs in your area, you can also consider joining an online fly fishing group, which can be a beneficial resource as you learn more about the activity. 

You’ll find that most anglers are happy to chat and offer advice to beginners, especially since it’s such a niche sport. So don't hesitate to join a community and start learning more about the fascinating world of fly fishing.


  1. Learn to read the water

To become a successful fly fisher, spend ample time on the water. While learning to cast and tie knots is important, it's just one aspect of the sport. Equally vital is developing the ability to read the water and analyse conditions to understand where fish are located and what they're feeding on. 

This aspect of fly fishing is both challenging and addictive, and the best way to master it is through an on-water experience. Keeping a diary to document observations about the conditions and your catches can help predict the best times to fish.


  1. Practice patience

Fly fishing can be a frustrating experience, from tangled leaders to snagged trees and fish refusing to take your bait. As a beginner, taking your time and patience is important. Finding success in fly fishing isn’t as easy as casting the most or moving around frequently. 

Instead, be more deliberate with your decisions, carefully observe the water and calculate your casts. The angler who exhibits patience and takes the time to study the water will come to find more success in fly fishing.


  1. Enjoy the whole experience

Despite being a technical sport, fly fishing is not only about catching fish. The sport will take you to breathtaking nature spots and allows you to connect with the Warth. The process of reading the water, casting and observing nature can be incredibly rewarding and even meditative. 

In fact, spending time on the water with a fly rod in hand can be an incredibly rewarding experience — even without catching any fish. If you're interested in fly fishing, take the opportunity to learn everything you need to know about it.


Discover more about fly fishing with

Recorded history is a bit ambiguous on exactly who invented fly fishing, but we know that there are more Australians than ever looking to learn how to fly fish! 

Here at, we’ve got everything you need to know about how to start to fly fishing — even if you’re already an experienced hand. We’ve got the best fly fishing lines and lures in stock and everything else you’ll need to get kitted out. Our fly fishing collection is extensive and can cater to newbies and experienced fishers. We can even teach you a few fly fishing methods if you’d like!


Contact us

If you have any questions or comments about anything you've read here, please contact us at today, and we can discuss them further. We are always excited to talk to existing and future fly fishing aficionados and can help advise and guide you towards the right approach and equipment. 

So why not get in touch with us today — we're looking forward to hearing from you soon and about your latest catch.




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