|WHAT GEAR TO USE: Over the last several years customers have been asking this question so they may purchase their own gear prior to meeting up with us. We either email the information from which they print out or they hand-write the information. In either case, they take this information to a local fly shop where the shop totally screws the customer by selling bulking, huge and mismatched outfits. How do we know? We see this nonsense when the customer arrives with gear that is going to kill the day and future outings on their own. Why do the shops do this? Money, and the fact they know you haven’t a clue as to whether they are misleading you or not. So they sell you what they wouldn’t use in order to make a sell for the store. Don’t fall for it in any store or from a sells representative on the Internet.|
So, below is exactly what you should be purchasing if you are trout fishing in the Appalachian and/or Allegheny Mountains anywhere in the eastern USA. This list will cover 95% of the small trout waters in those mountains. Smallmouth Bass follows the Trout section.
Primary Rod: Eight-foot, Four weight.
Primary Reel: Manual, Four weight.
Fly Line: Four Weight, Floating Forward.
Leaders: 7 1/2 foot 5X (good for both dry flies and bead-head nymphs). 7 1/2 foot 3X leaders (good for high water flows and streamers)
Tippet: 5X and 3X.
Flies: Dry flies should be parachutes (para) sized 14 and 16.
Nymphs: Nymphs should be brass bead-heads, sizes 14 and 16. Do not buy tungsten bead-heads for small waters, they sink too much and cost more.
Terrestrials: Sizes 14-22 and parachute if at all possible.
Secondary Rod: Seven-foot or 7 1/2 foot, Three or Four weight.
Secondary Reel: Manual, Three or Four Weight.
Fly Line: Three or Four Weight, Floating Forward.
All other gear same as Primary from above.
* Do NOT purchase any rods over 8 feet in length.
* Do NOT purchase any reels over 4 Weight.
* Do NOT purchase any Reels with these Weights: 5/6, 6/7, 7/8 or higher in number.
* Do NOT purchase any fly line over 4 Weight.
* Do NOT purchase any fly line with these Weights: 5, 5/6, 6, 6/7, 7, 7/8.
* Do NOT purchase any fly line unless it states it is Floating Forward or Floating Rocket Taper.
* Do NOT purchase any Leaders over 7 1/2 foot ( No 9 or 11-foot leaders. It takes plenty of practice to learn how to handle this much line and in most cases, they are not controllable in small trout waters.)
* Do NOT purchase any flies below size 14 unless it is a Streamer, then make it a size 12.
* Do NOT purchase any dry flies smaller than size 16 (No size 18-26) since you will have a hard time seeing them. You need to learn using larger flies so you can see them and better understand how they drive and where.
We order all of our flies from Roger Caylor. He uses the best hooks, wonderful material and it an absolute artist in his tying abilities. Many years ago we met him at “The World’s Largest Fly Fishing Show” in Maryland. He is a down-to-earth country gent and will give you his best. He charges $1.00 a fly and less if you buy more than one. His shipping is $1.50 for the order and normally ships in a couple of days.
RODS: Don’t deplete your bank account on expensive gear such as Orvis. Believe me, the fish will never know the difference. The best buy for rod at a lower price in St. Croix.
REELS: Any brand under $90 will work fine. Just make certain to match it to the specs from above.
WADERS: Breathable Waist Waders, also known as Guide Pants. White River has them currently for $89.95 from a variety of outlets. Don’t waste your money on chest waders or Gortex waders that run as much as $400.
FELT SOLED WADING BOOTS: Any brand where the price is $59.95 or less. Wear them until the felt soles wear-out (will take years), then buy a new pair.
FLOATANT for Dry Flies: Gink. Gink cost $2.99-$4.50. Don’t waste your money on big brand names, flakes, powders, crystals and such at a cost of $6.96-$9.95.
STRIKE INDICATORS: Do NOT buy anything the shops have. They sell hard-to-remove stick on indicators, large clumps of yarn and other soft or plastic style indicators that look like small bobbers. Here is the best to use but they are extremely hard to find.
SMALLMOUTH BASS/ Other Warm-water Species
Primary Rod: 8 1/2 foot, Five Weight.
Primary Reel: Manual, Five Weight.
Fly Line: Five Weight, Floating Forward.
Leaders: 7 1/2 foot 2X and 7 1/2 foot 3X leaders.
Tippet: 2X and 3X.
Flies: Surface Poppers sizes 8 and 10. Best price at Wal-Mart.
Sub-Surface Flies: Hook Jig with a 2″ plastic grub. It can also use Streamers sizes 8-12.
(Small Rivers gear is what you would use in the Central Shenandoah Valley when fly fishing with us)
Primary Rod: 9 foot, Six or Seven Weight.
Primary Reel: Manual, Six or Seven Weight.
Fly Line: Six or Seven Weight, Floating Forward.
Leaders: 7 1/2 foot 1X and 7 1/2 foot 2X leaders.
Tippet: 1X and 2X.
Flies: Surface Poppers sizes 4 and 8. Best price at Wal-Mart.
Sub-Surface Flies: Hook Jig with a 3-6″ plastic grub. It can also use Streamers sizes 4-8.
(Larger Rivers gear is what you would use in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, NOT when fishing with us)
* Do NOT purchase any rod, reel and line combination that is not a perfect match. See the “Do NOT” section under trout from above for a better understanding.