Manchester Life 2021 | Page 85

School . People think that because it ’ s our top-tier rod that it ’ s more difficult to fish with , when actually the opposite is true . It ’ s the perfect fly rod for beginners . Every time you use one of them , your eye , your thumb and the fish all come together in perfect harmony .”
Once you ’ ve selected the right rod , it ’ s best to consult the experts at the Orvis fly rod shop to find the right gear for your expedition . Each rod has a different weight , which corresponds to a different type of line , ‘ leader ’, and ‘ tippet ’, which connect the fly , streamer , or lure to the casting line . Flies and fly boxes abound at the Orvis flagship store , as do additional specialized items , such as wicker creels , specialized vests , waders , and more .
According to legendary author , angler , and fly-fishing guru Tom Rosenbauer , it ’ s always best to sign up for an educational program at the Orvis Fly Fishing School before heading out on your first fishing trip . Rosenbauer is a passionate expert who has dedicated his life to teaching people about the sport of fly fishing . Over the past several decades , he has channeled his encyclopedic knowledge into several well-known and respected books , including the original Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing . Through his comprehensive online “ Orvis Learning Center ” video series , he deconstructs and demystifies the art of fly fishing through a riveting sequence of demonstrative videos . With the help of his knowledgeable friends , including instructors at the Orvis Fly Fishing School , he breaks down the basics of the sport in an approachable and accessible manner .
Rosenbauer says that although fly fishing can seem a tad intimidating to beginners , Southern Vermont is the perfect place to come and learn . “ There are a number of wonderful resources available in the Manchester area to help people discover the joy of fly fishing . The Orvis Fly Fishing School is a wonderful place to start . You can sign up for a one or two-day program where you can learn the basics in a pressurefree environment . All of the classes are taught with high-quality equipment by incredibly knowledgeable instructors .”
According to Rosenbauer , the main thing that distinguishes fly fishing from spin fishing is the actual physics of the casting process . “ Fly fishing is unique , because you ’ re using the weight of the line itself to cast the lure out , and not the lure itself . In order to cast correctly , you have to complete a proper transfer of energy from the rod to the line .” To ensure that happens , the rod has to bend and stop twice before it is cast – once behind the angler , and once in front . To accomplish this , the angler grips the rod in a relaxed yet steady fashion with their dominant hand in front with the thumb on top , and the secondary hand behind the reel . After the rod is bent back behind the angler ’ s head , it stops , and then bends forward , where it is stopped once more . That second stop where the line is cast out is where the crucial energy transfer happens between the rod and the line . “ You have to make sure that you take a pause between the back and forward casts to watch line fully unfurl behind you . When the end of the line , or the ‘ leader ’ is about to completely straighten , that ’ s when you cast forward . The energy held in the bent rod then transfers to the line , which results in an even and accurate cast . The other thing to keep in mind is that in order to cast in the proper way , the rod tip has to be pointing completely straight . You also don ’ t want to curl the rod around you . You want to keep your cast on an even , straight plane .”
Rosenbauer says that after learning the basics and purchasing the right gear , it ’ s always best to go with a fishing guide who can provide expert insights to help elevate your first experience – and it ’ s also important to remain aware of your surroundings . “ It ’ s vital to take time to observe the world around you at every stage of the game . You ’ ll have a much more enjoyable experience , and you ’ ll also learn more about your immediate environment in the process . Fly fishing is a very visual sport . You don ’ t want to just charge into a river and start flailing about . You want to stand on the bank , look at the water , and truly immerse yourself in the area in which you ’ re fishing . Watch the current . Watch the insects and how they ’ re moving . Fly fishing is all about replicating the natural movement of the flies and small creatures that the fish are eating . A keen eye and a patient attitude will take you a long way .”
The way Rosenbauer sees it , the most gratifying part of fly fishing isn ’ t the fish that you catch – it ’ s the experience of fishing in itself . “ There are days when I haven ’ t caught any fish when I went out with friends that have been some of the most memorable days of my life . Those days motivated me to try harder , and gave me more knowledge that I could incorporate into my next expedition . My advice is simple : don ’ t be afraid to ask questions . Give yourself time to learn the basics , then build from there . Every fly fisher in Vermont wants to go out and catch a trout on the Battenkill on their first try , but it ’ s not the easiest place to fish – even for an accomplished angler . There are a lot of great lakes all around Southern Vermont , such as Lake St . Catherine , Emerald Lake , and Lake Shaftsbury that provide accessible and pleasurable fly fishing that the whole family can enjoy . At the end of the day , the point of fly fishing is to have fun , make memories , and savor the beauty of nature .”
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