I have only just decided to try trout fishing and at 71 I have left it rather late and there is so much to learn.
I read all the posts that seem relevant but much gentler advice is sometimes required to save my blushes.
Hello, 4wings, welcome to the forum and the sport.
I don't know of a beginners' corner here so just fire away if you haven't found the answers you want with a search. Be as specific as you can about the type of fishing you are considering - stillwater or river, browns, rainbows, etc., - then ask. No need to be embarrassed, we're all still learning, too.
I took it up just before my 50th birthday, so I'm a bit younger than you, but no spring chicken; I'm sure you haven't left it too late. There is indeed a lot to learn, and clearly experience is very significant and the best fly fishers are those who have been developing the key skills for a long time - casting, presentation, reading the water, fly selection. However, you can still learn and improve quickly, acquiring skills step by step while gaining huge enjoyment from the sport.
I started with a one hour lesson on a small still water, and apart from casting and playing a fish the coach explained the basics of the equipment, i.e. the weight classes for rods, reels and lines, construction of the leader and five or six flies which were likely to work on the day ( as indeed they did). Then I did some online research and bought basic kit for small still waters, explored more still waters, improved my casting, learned to use different flies according to season, started using dry flies and so on.
Until someone told me I didn't know that rods could be single handed, the meaning of "tippet," the definition of a nymph, etc etc. As mentioned above, ask any question without embarrassment !
I'd echo the comments above. I'm self-taught but have had a period of 20 plus years where I have done little fishing owing to location and family, etc. I'm 60 now and picking it up again. I have received great advice here. To give an example, tying knots now is completely different to when I was a relative youngster as my eyesight has inevitably deteriorated. Folk on here were quick to advise on what they do.
Welcome to the forum and the best sport in the world.. ;-)
Do you know anyone locally that fishes, someone with a bit experience would be helpful to you.
I had my dad's guidance when I got into fishing his experience was hugely beneficial to me.
If you can't arrange anything locally it's worth hiring a guide.
It's already been said there's no daft other than ones you don't ask!
Thank you all, (what a nice lot you are) I have booked a lesson at Chew Valley but I think I would prefer
stream or brook. Enormous fish are something I have not been used to aside from beach fishing and Pike at Slapton Ley..
A lesson is definitely the place to start, preferably several!
Fly fishing is actually three sports in one, fishing, casting and shopping. Because the third is the easiest to achieve a lot of people spend a lot of time and money doing it. These days pretty much all the gear is very good indeed and doesn't have to cost very much, the trick is getting a balanced outfit for the sort of fishing you'll be doing. Your teacher is the best source of this information at first, so by all means read everything you can but don't buy anything until you've had a few hours with your guy.
It's probably best to learn how to cast on a lake as there's no current to consider and no obstructions on the back cast, you'll learn the basics and can then learn the techniques used on rivers. Streams and brooks can be the hardest form of the sport because you have to be accurate in confined spaces - it'll break your heart if you attempt it too early.
But go ahead, ask anything, just be aware that you'll probably get as many answers to your questions as answerers
The only problem is, much of it is conflicting and can lead to severe confusion.
I suppose if a beginner keeps in mind that there is not such a thing as a 'black and white' answer in the sport of fly fishing,, and most answers come in varying shades of grey, then a newbie won't get too disheartened and disappointed.