Content copyright 2011. Ken Minsky. All rights reserved.
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I’ve never fly fished before, it looks so beautiful, is it hard and will I catch
Fly fishing is not as hard as it looks and folks brand new to the sport are often
easy to teach as they have not yet developed any bad habits that need to be un-learned
and replaced with better habits. You will see your skills develop in a short time
and may be amazed at how much you learned so quickly. Yes, you will catch fish;
of course some days are better than others depending on conditions. Expect to catch
several 12” to 16” trout on the river with the chance of a trophy over 20’. Lake
fishing for game fish such as bass and walleye will require better casting skills.
However, the abundant panfish will sharpen your skills in no time.
Can I keep the fish that I catch?
Most fly fisherman enjoy catching and releasing the fish they catch, especially the
brown trout as they can and do reproduce in the river. With that said, a nice trout
dinner can be most enjoyable and walleye may be the best tasting fish on the planet.
As a rule, big fish are more successful at reproducing and some say not as tasty
as smaller mid sized fish. So it’s good practice to take a picture and let the biggest
ones go. It’s your fish so use your good judgment when deciding which go swimming
and which go swimming in hot oil.
Do I need a fishing license?
Yes, and a trout stamp as well if fishing the river. Both can be purchased at a
local fly/bait shop, department store or online at agfc.com.
What should I wear?
My favorite saying is “dress for the season, not the day” and that goes double when
you are planning to be on the water. Bring enough to be warm and comfortable, you
and/or your fishing buddy will have a lot more fun when you’re warm and dry. Rain
gear works well as a wind break too so make sure to bring it if there is any chance
of wind and rain. There is room in the boat to keep things dry and out of the way
when not in use. Shoes should have a soft, flat bottom if at all possible, that
are easy on and easy off, if you’re the barefoot type. Remember that fly line will
get “underfoot” from time to time and it is very important to keep it away from,
sand, dirt, and hard sole shoes. Many people prefer to go barefoot if possible,
it helps them feel and keep track of the line.
Do I need bug dope or sun screen?
There are not too many mosquitoes in the Ozarks but fly’s can get after your ankles
from time to time so it’s not a bad idea to bring some bug dope. Sun screen is a
must and it is very important that it be fast drying and greaseless. Oily sun tanning
lotions (and banana’s) are taboo on a fly fishing boat and should be saved for the
What equipment is provided on a boat trip for fly fishing?
Most folks like fishing with their own equipment (rods, reels) however equipment
can be provided if you’re new to the sport or did not bring your own. Personal floatation
devices will be provided as per Arkansas boating regulations.
Do you provide waders for wade fishing?
As a rule, no, however, depending on size, house waders could be provided and are
available for rent at a local fly shop.
I have a special diet, what kind of lunch will you provide? Generally a sandwich
type (box) is provided. Sandwich, fruit, chips, etc. However we will be happy to
accommodate your special needs diet if at all possible.
FAQ - Fishing
I’m new to shooting, do I need any experience?
No, no experience is needed to start enjoying the exciting sport of wing shooting.
If you have shot before that’s great, we’ll build on your previous experience. If
not, you will learn from the ground up, gun safety and handling, proper form and
shooting techniques etc. You will also be introduced the popular shooting games
like, skeet, trap and sporting clays.
I don’t have any equipment or did not bring mine with me.
Not a problem, let us know ahead of time and we’ll be sure to have a gun to meet
your needs. Hearing and eye protection is also required and can be provided for
you. Bring yourself and your “I’m ready to learn and have fun” attitude and you’ll
be breaking birds in no time!
I do some things right handed and some things left handed, I was told it was hopeless
for me to even try, is that right?
No, shooting instructors see that all the time and will be able to determine which
way is the best for you to learn.
I’m a pretty good shooter already but seem to be inconsistent, shoot great one day
and not so great the next, can you help with that?
Absolutely, consistency problems can usually be traced back to fundamentals. Observation
to identify the cause and adjustments to form and technique is usually all that is
needed to get you back on track.
My spouse tried to teach me, it did not end pretty, is there any hope for me to learn
so I can come along and shoot sometimes?
Rule # 1 in most of these sports is "don’t try to teach a loved one". Good instructors
have been trained in more than subject matter. They have also been taught “how to
teach”. Instructors are removed from the emotional ties that can sometimes “get
in the way” of a loved ones progress. Although well meaning, it is usually best
to have a loved one “at a distance” until such time as your skills are firmly established.