|If you're not sure how deeply you're going to become involved, it's best to restrain yourself when buying your first rod, reel, line, tackle or flies, net, etc. Once you're 'hooked', you'll know lots more about what you really need for the long term, and you can consider your first set of equipment as a relatively inexpensive investment that paid off in solid consumer knowledge.
If you're headed for fly fishing, you will definitely need chest waders (remember the safety belt that prevents them from filling with very heavy water if you fall in!) and felt-bottomed made-for-water boots. There aren't many places where you can fly fish from the shore without hooking trees, bushes and grass behind you.
Fishing store staff are also very used to giving people advice about where to fish locally, what lakes and rivers are productive at any point in time, and what flies or lures seem to be working.
"We enjoy helping people. Not many people in this business are in it strictly for the money. It's usually a life's passion that we just love to pass on," says Kevin Erickson of Edmonton's Fishin' Hole.
You'll soon find that access to various rivers and lakes can be a big issue.
||You can waste a lot of time looking for a way to simply reach your intended fishing spot, so a large-scale map is a big help! Pick up a back road map book for the part of Alberta you're most likely to be fishing. They're highly detailed, almost always reliable, and the best $18 you'll ever spend.
Ask other anglers! Another great source of information is other fishermen and women. As a group, they're really relaxed, highly approachable, and usually quite willing to give you advice about what's biting, what kind of fly or hook they're going for, and - contrary to popular belief that anglers keep their best fishing holes big secrets - even where the action's at.
So when you're out there and you see someone who looks like they know a little more about what they're doing than you do, stop, say hello and chat them up. You'll almost always leave the conversation the better off for it.
Take lessons!You can also take actual classes to learn to fish. Most classes are for fly fishing, and most larger fly shops offer some form of learning opportunity, whether they run the classes themselves, or link you up with their network of teachers.
||The Fishin' Hole, with locations in both Edmonton and Calgary, offer a two-day weekend fly-fishing class at Stauffer Creek near Rocky Mountain House with accommodation, food and equipment supplied as well as fly casting classes. Calgary's famous Fish Tales Fly Shop offer classes throughout the spring and summer months.
For classes in your area, simply call a local fly & tackle shop, and ask!
Finally, following is a list of some helpful fishing web sites:- Alberta Sportfishing:
- Complete Online Alberta Guide to 2008 Sportfishing Regulations:
- Brief summary of Sportfishing Regulations:
- Alberta Fishing Guides:
- Fly Fish Alberta Info:
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