I have said it before, fly fishing does not have to be expensive. Now we can make it that way, but we don't have to. Build your own rods. This is a simple process but does take some time and requires a little "trial and error" and small initial expense for rod building equipment. But you can easily build a really nice rod for half of the retail cost. Simply look online for deals on rod blanks at the fly shops that sell rod building supplies and there are many.
Fly lines and reels are a sunk expense, but you can get a really good reel for $100 or less and good line will set you back $50-75. Good waders $200 on sale. Boots another $75. You will also need a chest pack or vest for about $50. So let's see, we're up to around $500. Now with a $250 rod blank that you dress out yourself and $250 in flies, we're up to around $1,000. That's really it, so go out to your closest stream or pond and catch some fish. Remember there are other species than trout. Personally, I love to fish for smallmouth bass as well and they bite just about anything. Smallie equipment and flies are just about the same.
Save a little $$$ now by tying your own flies. This is a really good hobby, for remember the $250 you have invested in flies above is perishable. You will lose flies--and lots of them. You can really get into fly tying with all the frills for around $100. Over the years this can save you much money. The other option is to go to discount fly shop sites like Big-Y-Flies. They also have some great buys on some great rods like the Nano rod. Look it up. I'm impressed and you can buy a really nice 5 weight for only about $200 and they fish great! This is perhaps less than rod building costs.
Lastly, a word about trips. This is where you can really get burned. Do some research about trip costs. A good fly fishing trip, depending on destination, can cost upward of $5,000. But be frugal and you can go some great trips for the cost of gas, a cheap motel and a little food (and bourbon). I have gotten by, adding a tent in which to sleep, for as little as $150 for a 4 day outing and caught some great fish by wading. Or you can hire a guide or buy a drift boat or raft or buy a personal pontoon or float tube. Don't forget to also buy a local fishing license--the fines from game and fish can be steep.
So get out there and get in to fly fishing. It can be a life-long sport that you will really enjoy.
Hard takes, tight line and many lifetime fish caught on a fly rod. If you have questions about getting started, email me.
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