Ultimately, the amount of line to let out will depend on the length of your rod and weight, but a good rule of thumb is to let out "about three rod-lengths of line," according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.You'll want to grip the handle of the rod, keeping your hand above the reel, with your thumb on top and four fingers wrapped around the rod."Never underestimate the power of moving water," says Mitchell.That's why, when wearing waders (which can become as heavy as a cinderblock if water gets in), it's important to "wear a snug belt to prevent them from filling up with water if an unexpected swim is taken." Fly rods are also "excellent conductors of electrictiy," according to Mitchell, and coming in at nine feet (or in some cases longer), they are prime targets for lightning strikes.Because this was my very first fly-fishing rodeo, I was lucky to get set up with the ultra-experienced—and patient—crew from Stonybrook Fly Fishing by the Montage Deer Valley, a stunning mountain lodge situated a few minutes away from Park City’s Main Street.We were led by the supremely knowledgeable and all-around badass Joe Mitchell, a master at the art of fly-fishing and authority on all things outdoor.In terms of where to buy all this stuff, major outdoor retailers are a pretty safe bet and when it comes to specific brands, Mitchell's favorite and most-trusted include Simms, Rio Products, Sage Fly Rodds, and Abel Reels.
That being said, like conventional fishing, there are variations.
So at the first hint of lightning, it's time to call it a day and get out of the water immediately.
Another pro tip direct from the expert: "always use barbless hooks" on your flies.
It's going to take a bit of practice before you're able to successfully reel one in, making your first catch all the more satisfying.
"To get started in fly-fishing," says Mitchell, "a new angler would need a fly rod and a reel, waders and boots for cold-water fishing (such as trout), an assortment of flies appropriate for the types of fish, polarized sunglasses, and a lucky hat." That's the bare minimum of the equipment you should stock up on before getting started, but once you get the hang of things you'll also probably want "line nippers, forceps for handling flies, spools of different diameter tippet, and a landing net" for when you actually manage to catch something.