Preparing For Your Trip
Yes absolutely! We take beginners out everyday and everyone enjoys it.
Yes, we do take out children of all ages and it's a fun trip for the entire family!
We provide all the necessary gear for your trip and it is included in the cost. If you have your own equipment, we encourage you to bring it with you, and feel free to pick up some new flies and gear from our Yosemite Rivers Fly Shop!
Absolutely! Although Yosemite sees around four million visitors a year, very few take advantage of the great fishing that the park has to offer.
No special permits are required for fishing in Yosemite. Your California State fishing license is all that is needed.
The best fly fishing starts in Yosemite in early May and runs through mid November.
The Merced river has some great pre runoff fishing in the spring, Mid-March to the 10th of April or so. Biggest hatches of the year.
About Fly Fishing
Fly casting involves a unique and fluid technique, where the angler uses the weight of the fly line to make delicate presentations. Casting in conventional fishing relies on using the weight of the lure or bait to cast the line. The casting motion is more straightforward and forceful.
As fly anglers, we use artificial flies that are tied from feathers, fur, thread, and other materials to imitate various aquatic insects, baitfish, or other natural prey of our targeted species. Conventional anglers use a variety of artificial lures, such as plastic worms, crankbaits, spinners, jigs, etc. that are made of metal, plastic or other synthetic material.
This results in different casting mechanics, gear selection and presentation techniques.
Level of Fulfillment:
Learning to fly fish can be challenging, yet I haven't met an angler who developed the basic foundation of skill and knowledge required to be successful at fly fishing, who then went back to preferring conventional fishing and didn't find fly fishing more rewarding and productive in terms of number of fish to the net.
In addition to the level of fulfillment, there are also more options and a higher level of realism to your presentations. Conventional fishermen are unable to "match the hatch" by throwing small realistic flies to feeding fish. Due to the laws of physics, fly fishing enables you to make a realistic presentation of a small insect or aquatic life that would be impossible with a spinning rod due to the requirement of having a heavily weighted tackle to cast. Trout are very selective, you may fool a fish or two with that shiny hunk of metal, but usually when the trout sense that heavy splash from your tackle, you won't be fooling them anytime soon.
Fish Mortality and Access to Protected Waters:
Many of the best trout waters in the United States are restricted to artificial flies, and single barbless hooks, some are open only to fly fishing. This is due to the increased fish mortality that comes from conventional fishing practices, such as treble hooks, and retaining fish.
1) Unlearning conventional casting habits: Most of us learned to fish with a conventional spinning rod, and that's okay! Yet, bringing the rod up slowly, and forcing the fly and line down like we used to do results in a poor cast, and your line either tangled, or slapping the water and scaring off the fish. Humans learn through repetition, so after a casting lesson and some instruction from one of our guides, you'll have your fly cast dialed in and be on the fish before you know it.
2) Setting the hook two hard; pulling the fish out of the water:
It's ok to get excited, that's one of the best parts of fly fishing, yet trout have delicate mouth's, and we're not bass fishing. Even the most seasoned angles will set the hook too hard when the levels of adrenaline start flowing out there on the river, and when it happens we often break the line, or pull the hook out of the fish's mouth. When new fly fishers get their first trout on the line, the instinct is to often set the hook with all their might, or raise the rod high into the air and pull the fish out of the water, which also causes the same results. If you make this common mistake, you'll hear us yelling, "keep'em wet!"
3) Too much line in the water or in the air: We can't catch fish when our line is waving around in the air, in a tangled mess at the end of our rod, or stuck in a tree. Furthermore, the more line we have on the water, the more the current is pulling our fly under, or through the water unnaturally (drag). Long fancy casts are fun, but not needed or a best practice when it comes to catching fish.
4) Bending at the shoulder or wrist when casting:
Oftentimes new casters will bring their arm through the correct motion to cast, only to move their wrist or shoulder out of position. By tucking your elbow in place and keeping a firm wrist, you can help ensure your rod and line go to the intended target.