Flyfishing refers to a type of angling where you use the weight of the line to cast the lure(fly), rather than the weight of the lure.The casting stroke comprises of two consecutive casts: the back cast and front cast, which is how the fly is delivered to the target. The back cast and front cast are supposed to be mirror images of each other, only difference being that in the front cast, the fly delivery has to be incorporated as well.
The back cast allows you to straighten out the line and leader, which is required for delivering a smooth and efficient forward/front cast. If you will PM your address i'll send you a couple of dvds with proper instruction, that will help setup you up with the cast in no time. The cast is the lure for the fisherman, its been said. I, too, have found myself lost in repetitions of trying to emulate a good cast, akin to poetry in motion. Only caveat is, that it may take some time to get a good handle on the casting stroke, and requires some investment in practice hours.
You'll need a flyrod and fly reel for this. Flyrods are classified according to the weight of the flyline and consequentially the rod [ 1Wt being the lightest, 13 wt being the heaviest] and according to the action[ slow action = accurate but slow casts with less distance, medium action = best compromise for intermediate and beginners, fast action = long distance casts, but difficult to learn the action in the beginning]. Action refers to the stiffness of the rod , the bend in the rod. In flycasting, you force a bend in the rod to form a closed loop , which then travels and unfurls the leader to deliver the fly. The loop is the most essential part of the cast and the most difficult as well. Slow action means that the rod flexes more[ the rod bends in the mid section depending on the amount of force used] and bends slowly, so that you can feel and see the bend being formed, so response time is adequate to make both the back and forward cast. In fast action rods, the rod is stiff and the bend is formed faster, and only in the tip section of the rod. This allows for higher line speeds and hence more distance, but its difficult to get the feel of the rod to form good loops, initially,
Flyline and Flyrod weight are closely linked. 4wt/5wt are ideal for trout being light rods/line which can handle the fish well without being overpowering for the fish. 6 Wt are better for windy conditions for trout, and for nymphing. For carping and saltwater if i were to buy just one rod it would be either an 8wt or a 9 wt.
Fly reels are geared in a 1:1 ratio. Drag is set with a washer, which is usually controlled by a rotary knob on the side of the reel, pivoted on the central shaft of the reel. The fish is played more with the bend on the rod, than the reel itself. Palming the spool with the fleshy part of your palm , when a fish is running, also acts like a drag. Fly reels are described in arbor size, which refers to the amount of storage you have for your flyline on the reel. Mid arbor and Large arbor are preferred.
Flylines are hollow nylon "tubes" coated with a gliding agent, that reduces friction. You always require terminal tackle, being the leader and tippet. Leader sizes vary from 3' to 12' depending on application. 9' leaders are considered par for just about everything. Leader materials can be either nylon/regular mono or fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbons are more expensive but have better strength and are deemed invisible under water( having the same refraction index as water). Leaders are generally tapered towards the end. This helps in turning the fly over and reduces tangles at the end of the line. Tippet is referred to a 1.5' to 3' section that you will tie to the end of the leader. The tippet thickness should be the same as the end of the leader. Tippet is basically for the flies. When you change too many flies, the tippet (obviously) runs out with each fly ties. Rather that tying the fly on the leader and loosing the leader more often, replacing tippet is a much more efficient and cost effective way of changing flies! Leaders and tippets are available as matched pairs by all major manufacturers. They are rated in break-test strength by the pounds ( 3lb, 4lbs,5 Lbs, 6Lbs, 8Lbs, 10Lbs, 12Lbs, 15Lbs, 20Lbs etc) or in an "X" notation; 0x being the thickest section and 7x being the lightest. For carping and salting I use 1x, 0x, 10lb, 12Lb test leader/tippets. You'll surely never break the flyline ( unless you cut it somehow), the lost fish are usually on count of frayed leaders, tippets and bad knots!!
Flylines are generally sold as floating lines , sinking lines and intermediate lines. Floating lines are required for top water action, when you want the fly to float on top. Sinking lines do just what they say, they sink and take the fly down to the required depth. Alternatively you can sink a floating line by using weights( split shots etc) , but casting the heavier rigs requires more practice, to avoid tangles. You can buy spare spools for most fly reels. These spools are readily interchangeable so one spool with a floating line and one spool with a sinking/intermediate line will suffice.
You would also need backing. Dacron 20lb or 30Lb is ideal. Its usually tied to the flyline with a nail knot. Flyline is generally 100'. Leader/tipper would be about 9' to 12' depending on how you're rigged. 150'to 200' of backing is insurance , in case your fish decides to dance with you. The fun of flyfishing is the light leader/tippet combination that tests your patience is every possible way. Backing just allows for a little more leeway, in your favor!! That being said, trout will almost never get you into backing, unless you get a monster on the other end of the line. Mahaseer, carp and salties can easily get you into the backing and stressing out for more!!
What can i say.... Match the hatch, to figure out exactly what your game is eating and to imitate it with a lure made of a hook, feathers, tinsel, dubbing, thread and some voodoo :) :)
You will find a million flies online and they all may work equally well. But to start with a small and effective selection is how you WON'T break the bank. Fly patterns for carp would include eggs, grass/moss, dragonfly and damsel fly nymphs, bottom insects available in the waters that you fish. For salties the best patterns are the clousers and the deceivers.Different colors and sizes are important to "match the hatch" which refers to matching what the fish are currently eating.
This is the tricky part. Flyfishing needs a little bit of gear to start off, but once the basics are covered, how much you want to spend on it depends more on your Fish-a-holism rather then actual NEEDS!
You can get flyfishing combos starting from $100 which would include rod/reel/line/leader, ready to fish outfit. If you ask me I would advise to spend about $200 to $300 for an outfit, but thats just me. The $100 outfit would also suffice , to start with.
You will need to buy an assortment of leaders/tippets. Budget out about $50 minimum to start with. This part is expensive as you will be carrying multiple sizes of each pair.
Flies: set aside about $50-$100 for this one. Initially you may buy a larger assortment to understand what works and what doesnt in your waters. Some flies are constant and work everywhere, the rest you need to experiment with. Flies start at about $1 and go upto $5 a piece depending on sizes, materials and complexity[ and BRAND!!].
This should help set up up. Ask me/call me for any specific queries you have.