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Lake: Georgetown Lake
Fish: Rainbow Trout

First fish on a fly rod

Post By: Banzai Jimmy      Posted: 6/13/2020 5:57:12 PM     Points: 5408    
As a kid, I was enamored with fly fishing. My parents indulged me by getting me a rod, and before I ever made it to some water, I damaged the rod beyond repair. I suspect my spinning rod experience, and lack of instruction on how to properly cast a fly rod, led to that.

Jump ahead 35 or so years, and I finally decided to get an affordable rod (didn't want to break an expensive one) and get back into it. Turns out I ended up with two for Christmas. :)

With the extra time off recently, I worked on seeing and feeling a properly executed cast in the front yard. How exciting it was to apply the tips I've read, and see it work.

Third visit to water, which happened to be Georgetown Lake, the trout were rising in the late afternoon, so out came the fly rod and a Parachute Adams and I tried my luck. I'm guessing the #14 was too big, as there were plenty of tries (I'm still trying to figure all this out) but one took it. It's burned into my memory.

Just wanted to share my excitement with others. :)

 Reply by: bron      Posted: 6/13/2020 6:15:24 PM     Points: 38744    
Thats cool! Well done! For fun practice try any metro Denver pond and refine your skill on bluegills and panfish.
 Reply by: ass bass or cash      Posted: 6/13/2020 7:36:39 PM     Points: 2099    
That's awesome Banzai. With each year, I tell myself I'm gonna give it a shot but have not committed yet. It looks like it would make catching stocker or smaller stream trout super fun and a big pike or carp EPIC!
 Reply by: Bubba02STi      Posted: 6/13/2020 9:06:50 PM     Points: 515    
Congrats! Feels good doesn’t it. The best advice I ever received off here when I got into the floppy stick was (and there has been a lot), “don’t even bother bringing your spin gear. Force yourself to use the wiggle rod.” Buggy whippers are an art form, eventually you will find your style.

#14 Parachute Adams is almost perfect for stocker trout, big ones will take it as well, but it is large enough to keep most pan fish off. You could probably use a #12 as well. Do shy away from big bugs. Some of those hits were probably just missed hook sets which could have been for any number of reasons. Line too “loose” on the water, set too early, set too late, the fish missed it, etc.

The PA is a great fly and will work almost anywhere. If you haven’t already been told here some other great staples you should have in your box
Royal Wulf
Caddis (tan, brown, peacock, white)
Tricos for early mornings in summer especially up there around lake George.
Blue Damsels (a burgundy one in the box doesn’t hurt)

Pheasant tails (bead head and non, flashback or traditional.
Zebra midges (all the colors not even kidding)
Rainbow warrior
Rs2 (grey, white, sparkle)
San Juan worm (red, burgundy, tan)

When you get in to stripping bugs
Wooly buggers (black olive white) < IMO the best to learn with.
Leeches (black olive)
Damsel Nymphs

Im sure others will recommendations also, but those are bugs I’ve had in boxes since I started and will still regularly use pretty much everywhere I go.

If you plan on sticking with the bendy pole, I highly suggest getting a decent rod/reel set up. They really do make a difference over the cheap outfits.

If you’re already up in lake George you might as well go up to the upper sections of the skunk mile canyon and go wrestle some river piggy’s.

Bron is spot on. Not just Denver metro lakes but any of these front range lakes. Pan fish are great for refining skills. Even those stupid fish will go after blade of grass on a hook, targeting them will help you in countless ways, from different forms of casting, to honing in your timing (they hit fast). Some of us won’t ever admit but we all will spend time going after those spiney little bastards for one reason or another.
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: 6/13/2020 9:09:45 PM     Points: 2013    
Jimmy, brother that’s a good feeling to put the first one in the net. Do this for yourself invest in learning bugs. Entomology you don’t have to be a scholar. But know what bugs to expect on the given day! Your catch will go up exponentially. Tying on the correct bug and having the size matched. To the hatch.

Also google Lefty Kreh, he was a casting genius and has many video’s on the net. You know once he was the speaker and lecturer and was asking to give a casting demo at a dinner party... so Lefty started to cast a fly line without a rod he didn’t say a word.... by the time he got to the end of the fly line he had everyone’s attention... jimmy a couple of his YouTube videos can’t hurt your casting. Just saying bro..!

Welcome to the fly fishing adventure. Where you never stop learning. That’s the coolest part. Just like anything in this world the more you invest. The more you get out of it. Fly fishing has taken me to so many beautiful places. That fish was the beginning of many great days in the future. Your post had the feel of a new found addiction... lol

 Reply by: whatmylenssees      Posted: 6/14/2020 6:42:01 AM     Points: 20    
Banzai Jimmy, congrats man! That will hopefully be the first of many many more trout on a fly rod! If you ever need any help, dont hesitate to reach out. I've learned a lot the hard way and happy to share my lessons so that others can benefit! dan
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: 6/14/2020 9:55:55 AM     Points: 5433    
I have a couple pieces of wisdom for a beginner and that's " Don't try to cast too far until you have mastered the casting basics". Long casts look impressive on TV but will get you in more trouble than anything else. The other thing is to learn the roll cast, it is so valuable especially when stream and river fishing.
 Reply by: Banzai Jimmy      Posted: 6/14/2020 12:22:18 PM     Points: 5408    
Wow, thanks everyone!

I've been doing the fly and bubble on the spinning rod for a few years, so I have a small collection of flies already. But, I haven't taken the time to understand what and when (match the hatch), so that's on the list. I will say the day before I stopped in at Echo Lake and spied some things swimming around in the shallows, which turned out to be scuds. I felt like I had a breakthrough in paying attention to what the current food source may be. Of course, I don't have any scud flies... yet. :)

I actually own a very nice rod (described as a dry fly rod), which has been collecting dust for many years. A family member won it as a door price, but doesn't fly fish. So, I gladly accepted it with the intention of using it one day. It's an R.L. Winston WT 8 1/2' 4wt 3-piece. My neighbor's eyes got wide when I showed it to him, and he commented it's a nice rod. When I looked up what they are worth, I decided I'd get past my initial fumbling before taking it out.

I grew up on panfishing, and definitely want to hit the ponds down here for practice. I've done some with the fly and bubble, and can't wait to try with a fly rod.

The roll cast... it's the next one I want to learn. I was working on the steeple so I could deal with structure behind me, but the roll is on my short list. Will look up video and get to practicing. :)

Thanks again everyone!
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: 6/14/2020 12:58:54 PM     Points: 2013    
Jimmy, there are lots of fly fishermen on this site that will help you. I didn’t have the internet to help me. Instead I had to learn from friends, books and magazines. Or anyone that was successful at a river or lake I’d try to chat up. Some would help....some would not. I never wanted to be the snob... fly guy. If you have a question ask it. I’ll share flies, ideas, and techniques. Just not locations. 2 more pieces of advise... take a destination trip and get a guide. A guide will most certainly shorten your learning curve.

 Reply by: Bubba02STi      Posted: 6/14/2020 6:39:54 PM     Points: 515    
Turning over large rocks is a great way to see what’s in the water. If you follow this [log in for link] it will take you to a page that illustrates the life cycles of bugs as well as to when you can expect the hatch. Pretty much your entry to entomology.

The key to a roll cast is resistance. Trying to learn it on the street will be a pain. Try in the yard with a small indicator at the end. Lift to 90 then flick. Honestly I figured it out one day just being lazy. Still not sure how my son figured it out though.

Ư to staying away from the big casts. They’re fun. They look cool. But can lead to problems.

If you’re down in the springs and want to link up at one of these ponds I’d be happy to show you some pointers. I also always have an excessive amount of flies on me just in case someone is struggling and what I have is hitting hot. I’d rather give a fly or two to someone to help them rather than sending them home skunked.
 Reply by: i2fly      Posted: 6/14/2020 8:16:22 PM     Points: 2013    
[log in for link]
Jimmy check this out.
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: 6/15/2020 10:13:30 AM     Points: 5433    
Good video but it still takes practice to learn how to do it with little effort. I had the privilege to meet Lefty at the Sportsman show a few years ago and he was a real gentleman, I don't think he ever met a stranger. We started talking and I felt like we were old friends just chewing the fat, really nice guy.
 Reply by: devon234      Posted: 6/15/2020 3:26:42 PM     Points: 168    
rabbit hair leach patterns will work everywhere and for everything and don't take much skill to fish just stip it in at the speed the fish prefer at the time.
 Reply by: royal wulff      Posted: 6/15/2020 9:55:04 PM     Points: 0    
Most of the fish rising at Georgtown lake and other waters will be feeding on midges, get used to using smaller flies and midges are a big part of a trouts diet year round.

With that midge flies are mostly 18 to 26, there are bigger and smaller but using a size 20 Griffiths Gnat and using a midge emerger dropper is very effective when flies are hatching.
 Reply by: Banzai Jimmy      Posted: 6/20/2020 10:39:16 PM     Points: 5408    
Thanks again everyone. I enjoyed breaking myself in on the roll cast today. Only got snagged in the nearby vegetation once, or twice.

I chose a hole where I knew there were plenty of small green sunfish to hone my skills. Once I got the right fly on there, I started catching 'em. Had another moment of elation when I was able to watch one move in, strike, and I was ready for the hook set... and it worked. Though for every hook set that took, I missed a dozen or more. It was a blast.

Tight lines!
 Reply by: skunkmaster      Posted: 6/21/2020 12:06:19 PM     Points: 1030    
Now you did it . . Welcome to the obsession. Can't add anything to the great advice by the others here. Wait 'til you decide to get into tying . .
 Reply by: Bubba02STi      Posted: 6/21/2020 12:34:03 PM     Points: 515    
Good job jimmy. Watching the take is a thrill in its own. The roll cast is like riding a bike. Once you figure it out it sticks. An #18 or #20 red zebra midge will catch blue gill all day long.

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