For many anglers, fly fishing is an enigma and appears hard to do. For others, fly fishing appears to be an elitist pursuit whose participants look down upon those fishermen who prefer to fish with bait or chuck hardware.
And for either of these reasons, some people choose not to become involved in the sport. But that could mean missing out on a new challenge and a lot of fun.
While it is true that some fly anglers take themselves and the sport too seriously, thinking that fly fishing is the only way to go, I believe that mentality is not the rule. Most of us recognize that anglers who prefer other techniques are valued members of the fishing community. So if you have been thinking of taking up fly fishing, don't let that stand in your way.
If you have been dragging your feet because you thought fly fishing might be too hard, think again.
"Fly fishing is really not that hard to do. You can get into it as much as you want. It's a sport that will last for a lifetime," said Las Vegas resident Steve White, a certified fly-casting instructor. "You can take it to any extreme that you want. You can do it occasionally or get into tying your own flies and building your own fly rods. I loved it so much that I ended up teaching."
Through the years, fly fishing is most often associated with the pursuit of the many varieties of trout found throughout the world, but this angling technique is just as viable for most other species of fish.
"You can fish just about any kind of fish with a fly rod that you do with any other gear." White said.
Some fly anglers have fished all over the world and reeled in fish ranging from fresh-water species such as spotted bass and even ocean-going species such as tarpon and marlin.
Getting started can be a little expensive, but it doesn't have to put your family on the street, either. The key is beginning with equipment that is good enough to make sure your early experiences aren't frustrating. White recommends getting a solid basic rod from one of the major builders.
"Their entry-level rods usually come in a kit," he said. "It comes with a rod, the line, a reel, and everything is matched and balanced for that particular rod. Most of them now have a lifetime warranty, so if you break it you haven't lost anything. For the price of a postage stamp, you can get it fixed. I would start there. You can get rods a little cheaper than that, but I don't believe the quality is quite there. Then if you really love the sport, you have something that you can use for a long time without spending a lot of money."
White teaches fly-casting and fishing techniques to individuals and groups. He can be reached through the BassPro Shop.
• NRA BANQUET -- The Southern Nevada Friends of the National Rifle Association will have its 11th annual dinner and auction April 21 at Sam's Town.
Attendees will have the chance to participate in live and silent auctions as well as prize drawings. Individual tickets are $50, but other sponsorship opportunities are available.
For more information, contact Joe Luby at (702) 451-1158 or at email@example.com. Tickets can be purchased at CCS Gunsmithing, 2216 S. Rainbow Blvd.
Doug Nielsen is an award-winning freelance writer and a conservation educator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.