Hooked on Fishing? Pick Up a Fly Rod

A gentleman by the name of Arnold Gingrich once said, “Fly-fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."

On Friday, April 14th, I completed my very first Trout School with the local Orvis Fly Fishing store here in Northern Virginia. It was a day-long, intensive, technology-free crash course in fly fishing that required participants to be fully engaged. It was a mixture of etymology, angling, wading, and vigorous casting—the perfect activity for any adrenaline junkie, even those who scoff at fishing.

For this spinnercast angler, I was sightly nervous about fly fishing before I moved to Virginia. Back in Southern California, saltwater or deep-sea fishing was king—followed by freshwater fishing from the dock or a boat. Very few people close to me, even family members, had exposure to fly fishing. And another caveat: I generally don’t fish by myself. I’m usually accompanied by my dad or other seasoned anglers. Fly fishing is a whole different animal than what I’m used to with spinning rods and reels. It’s unfamiliar turf—basically hunting while angling—but wasn’t impossible to immerse myself in.

I’ve previously had reservations about fly fishing. What can make people hesitate to tie flies and submerge in waders? The cost of gear, rods, ties, and other accessories can turn you off. (It can add up to hundreds of dollars.) Fly fishing is far more specialized than regular sport fishing, which tends to be more egalitarian in nature. However, fly fishing was a world-class experience. I’d love to do it again!

Here are the items I used to have a comfortable fly fishing experience:

Orvis Women’s Encounter Waders — $169.00

Orvis Women’s Encounter Rubber Boots —$119.00

We tested out three different flies—dry flies, nymphs, and streamers (specially Wooly buggers). Each required a slightly different casting technique than the other—which proved all the more stimulating. For my trout catch, which happened within three to four minutes of me casting my line, a nymph did the trick.

I was supplied a rod and flies at the event, but realized I was lacking one critical item: polarized sunglasses. These are very expensive, so I opted for my aviators. (Next time, I hope to be more prepared and have those on hand to see fish more clearly take the bait—or fly, in this case.)

Even with some slight mishaps and being slightly underprepared, I had a great experience—especially thanks to the instructor, Duber Winters. Several friends have joked that once you start fly fishing, you’ll be hooked into its cult-like club. (I’ve yet to see any cultish elements. Ha!)

If you’d like to sign up for an Orvis Trout School, go here.

Tight lines, friends!


Gabriella Hoffman

Media Strategist

ReelCamo Girl Team Member

D.C. Correspondent, The Resurgent

Contributor, The Hill


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