Introduction to Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing is an angling method that aims to catch fish using artificial flies. Traditionally, salmon and trout are the types of fish caught using this method. But in recent times, a wide variety of fish have been added to the list like pike, carp and striped bass. As an angling method, fly fishing differs from other methods in its technique for casting. Other methods rely on the weight of the lure to pull the line. But in fly fishing, the line is cast rather than the lure since the lures used in this method are too light to be cast.

Possibly one of the oldest techniques of catching fish, fly fishing is a sport in which many people relish the thought of spending uninterrupted time in the water of a lake, river, stream and even the ocean angling for fish. With first reports of fly fishing dating back to the early 1700's, it is considered by many to be an art involving the ability to cast a fly line as well as to make artificial flies that either mimic natural food or attract the fish, creating an instinctive strike at the artificial lure.

With traditional fishing techniques, casting is done with the weight of the lure or bait leading the line into the water. With fly fishing, the fly is too light to pull the line and the casting technique involves throwing the line onto the water, which in turn sends the fly to the desired spot. Trout and salmon are the traditional targets for fly fishing, but many other species such as bass and panfish are also popular among fly fishermen.

The sport continues to attract anglers with many of them challenging themselves to catch as many different species of fish as they can by fly fishing. It is also growing in popularity to send a fly into the ocean for tarpon and other game fish, although the equipment used will much more durable than that used on lakes and in streams.

Casting Techniques Vary By Location

The method used to cast a fly line can be compared to whipping a rope on the ground to remove a kink in the rope. The line attached to the rod is lifted over the head and sent behind the angler and then rolled forward towards the target. This process is repeated several times when fly fishing until the line is out far enough to reach the desired position on the water.

There are two basic types of flies used in fly fishing, the dry fly, which is designed to stay on top of the water and the wet fly, which has a tendency to submerge, mimicking the actions of a natural prey for the fish. The flies used in fly fishing are usually tied by hand and designed to replicate the various stages of growth of a specific insect. Depending on the time of year, the fly can resemble an insect in its earliest stage and progress through adulthood, attracting the fish expecting the delicacy during that time of year.