Fly fishing provides endless opportunities to buy expensive gadgets, costly cloths, and pricy rods to pursue a fish that seldom goes over 14 inches long and which you will promptly return to the water once you’ve landed him. It is second only to flying airplanes and yachting in terms of dollars spent per hour of enjoyment. The only more useless hobby is collecting/riding/working on Harley Davidson motorcycles.
If you’re wanting a hobby guaranteed to keep you away from the wife, kids and responsibilities of homeownership, that will satisfy urges closely associated with obsessive compulsive disorder, fly fishing might be right for you.
That said: I like it.
Stuff you need:
Rod. I built mine, but you can buy great rods for less than $125. Rods are classified by weight from 2 being lightest to 12 or more on the heavy end. 3 to 7 wt rods are the most common. I fish a 4wt most of the time a 4, 5, 6wt rods are good ones to start with.
Reel. For less than $50 bucks you can get a great reel.
Line. You buy line to match the rod so if you have a 4wt rod you get 4wt line. Here’s where it gets tricky. There are lots of different kinds of line to match different kinds of fishing. Floating line, sinking line, weight forward, double taper etc, you’re supposed to match the kind of fishing you’re doing to the line. Assuming you want to fish dry flies on top of the water, you need a floating weight forward or double taper.
Leader. A Leader is the see through mono filament that ties to the line which in turn ties on to your tippet.
Tippet. Tippet is the thin line that you tie the fly on to.
Fly. An artificial lure designed to look like a bug that a fish would eat. Like real bugs it prefers to spend its time in trees, bushes and other inconvenient places rather than fall into the water. The kind of flys you’ll need depends on what the local fish are eating. Ask at your local fly shop.
Orvis Catalog. Save time now by having you’re entire paycheck direct deposited to them. Seriously cool, if overpriced stuff, you soon won’t be able to live without.
Total cash if you try to buy reasonably good, but not high end stuff: rod, reel and lines $225, Flys $50. It's possible to wade streams without special waders, shoes and a fishing vest but you’re not going to do that, plan on dropping another $250. Budget another $100 for gadgets just to be safe. Let’s see that’s about $625 to chase a little trout.