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How can I learn to fly fish?

Online resources
has video lessons, knot tying, how to choose equipment, fly tying videos, podcasts, and more resources such as family fly fishing tips, fish flash cards, articles, quizzes and more

has fly fishing lingo, info on spotting fish, knot tying, how to choose flies (Sue loves these illustrations of the different types of flies), and gear selection.



Just need to learn some knots? is an awesome site where you can see knots tied and learn them step by step. If you are fly fishing, start with the surgeon knot and the uni knot. On the water these are two of the most useful knots.(Some people prefer the improved clinch knot to the uni knot.) When learning to tie, parachute cord is a great way to start since it is big enough to see what you are doing, isn't stiff, and is fairly easy to untie. Old fly line is a great next step. Your fishing friends or local fly shop may have some old line you could use. Work your way down to tippet and leader material. Practicing tying at home will make your time on the water easier and more enjoyable.



Do you like to learn from books or have them around for reference?

This book, Essential Fly Fishing is concise.  It has the info you need to start fly fishing without being overwhelming: great information, simply presented with the goal of getting a beginner out on his/her first fly fishing adventure.  

For techniques to use in the northeast, choose Fly Fishing Northern New England's Seasons by Lou Zambello.


If you want to know where to fly fish in New England, a great book with maps and tips is Fly Fisher's Guide to New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts by Lou Zambello.

Do you best learn hands on with someone at your side?

You are blessed if you have a buddy who can take the time to teach you! If not, our experienced, patient guides are happy to give you the personalized instruction needed to get started in fly fishing. Often beginners like to go out for a half day to learn the basics, but a full day will give you a chance to learn to read more waters and maybe try a couple techniques. We start with a few basic lessons on dry land and then move to the water. Typically we will fish somewhere on the easy side where there is a good chance of catching your first fish on a fly. If this is of interest to you, check out our guiding page or call the store for more information (207-864-5615).


We rent equipment for people who want to try before they buy. Good quality rod outfits (rod, reel, backing, line, leader, and case) can be purchased beginning at $170. 

We sometimes offer "Fly Fishing 101" classes. These are 1-2 hours at the store usually on a summer Saturday.  Just enough information to get you started.

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