There is no other overwhelming feeling than to get out of the house and communicate with nature, spend quality time, and bring home a good catch. You can use a variety of fishing methods but there is nothing like fly fishing.
Whether you are a beginner or professional angler, fly fishing must have intimidated and enticed you at the same time. Read on to know all about fly fishing.
It’s a unique method of angling that is considered one of the very fulfilling and challenging sport fishing by its supporters. This sport is described as an addiction or sometimes a religion by fly angling enthusiasts.
It is a tricky technique that uses lure imitating any type of insect. The lure is offered slightly underwater or on the surface of the water. Unlike other fishing types, it only uses light or ultralight artificial lure. To get into real action anglers usually have to wade in the water.
History Of Fly Fishing
Being the oldest fishing method, it dates back to 200 CE. We can find fly fishing references in the books of 15th-century writers. These writers mentioned fly fishing as one of the methods used by Macedonians.
In Canada and the USA, the water conditions are different from gentle European water bodies. The rocky streams and Rivers are packed with trout and salmons. By 1780, there were many fly fishing gear dealers in the USA. They had complete fly fishing tackle such as flies and rods. The earliest North American cradles of fly fishing were:
- Newfoundland Canada
- Cape Cod
- Cumberland Valley
The popularity of fly fishing is soaring high since the 19th century. Theodore Gordon and Edward R. Hewitt are known as fly fishing legends who helped to develop the first and only American fly fishing school.
Type of water for fly fish?
You can practice in both saltwater and freshwater. You can fly fish in cool, cold, or warm water for different species such as trout, steel head salmon, walleye, perch, pike, and catfish. In saltwater, you can fly fish for tarpon, snook, bonefish, redfish, and surfperch.
Is fly fishing difficult to master?
The truth is, just like anything new, it is difficult. But if you know where to fish, how to fish and you have the right fly fishing gear than you would learn it easily. You should also join a fly anglers club. By listening to their stories and tricks you can learn a lot. The only pro-tip is to learn from a seasoned fly angler and keep practicing. You should not get frustrated and dissuaded.
Is fly fishing different from other methods?
Fly fishing is different from other methods due to the difference in the basic technique. To understand fly fishing we should take a look at the conventional fishing setup. The conventional method involves, heavier weight or lure casting and the line follows it. The weight and bait allow you to get a good casting distance. Bait is kept in place by floats used.
But in fly fishing, a heavy line gives the casting distance. The weight of the fly is very less. Very technically and delicately lightweight fly is cast to avoid alarming the fish. Since no weight is used in fly fishing, it is compensated by using a combination of line setup and casting method.
Types of flies
Fly fishing flies are divided into 3 main types i.e. wet, dry flies, and streamers. Anglers believe that your success with fly fishing depends upon the type of flies you use. Wet and dry flies imitate different insects but the method of using them is very different.
Wet fly – In this method, a wet fly is used. It is designed to look like a drowned insect or nymph. It looks very natural and fish gets tricked as many insets fall in the water and are devoured. It is presented in such a way that it lands slightly under the water. These flies move with the current. They are usually bright colored. Since these flies go under the water, a little weight is incorporated such as copper wire, bead heads, etc.
Wet flies are best when the wind is blowing and water conditions are rough.
Dry fly – In this method, the flies used are delicately offered on the water surface. These flies are buoyant and float on the water. To make them float, feathers and oil is used. They are designed to imitate small terrestrial animals such as adult insects. They are commonly considered flies for freshwater fishing.
Choose dry flies according to the season of the insects. If the water is calm and the sun is bright, fish would go deep in water and this is when you can use dry flies. Anglers think that dry fly is more difficult to use and requires skill and expertise to make it look realistic.
Streamers – They mimic highly active aquatic animals or dead bait fish minnows, crayfish, or leeches. Streamers are used to catch big fish. Aggressive or hungry big fish look for big meals and that is when streamers help you. They also cover a large water area in a small-time. Not only that streamers are very exciting and result in explosive acrobats by the big, powerful fish. Streamers can be effective when you cannot find insects or in deep murky water. The best places to use streamers are around submerged trees or behind rocks.
Fly fishing tackle
Fly fishing tackle includes many items such as fly rods, fly reels, line, etc. Mentioned below is the detail of a few fly fishing essentials.
Fly rods – A variety of rods are available with different specifications. Your rod selection depends upon the type of fish you are targeting. Rod also lays the foundation for the type of line and rod you would use. You can find spey rod, single-handed rods, and switch rods. Beginners should use medium action rods.
Generally, 0-2 rod and line is for pan fish and small trout. 3-5 rod and line let you cover large casting distances.6-7 for tough weather. For beginners, a 5wt nine-foot rod is an ideal option for freshwater fly fishing.
Reels – Reel helps to release and store line. It also provides drag necessary to catch fish. Click and pawl system is a little old as compared to the disc drag system. Disc drag provides more drag than click and pawl system. Both systems are good in any situation.
Lines – This piece of equipment allows you to present your flies and cover casting distance. Fly lines come with tapers such as weight forward or double taper. Using weight forward makes it difficult to present the flies carefully. Double tapers are easy to cast and reverse lines.
Fly line is of three types:
-Sink tip-most of the line floats except for the tip. Best for wet flies.
-Float line-most commonly used. Best for dry flies.
-Full sink-they sink completely. They are good for fast-flowing deep water.
Leader, tippet, and backing
A leader is a transparent, colorless connection between the fly and the line. Most commonly used leaders have a length of 8-9 feet.
Tippet is a mono filament line that lies between the leader and the fly. This 2-4 feet long line is very flexible and allows the fly to swim and float smoothly.
Backing is a reserve line that becomes handy when you are fighting a strong fish.
What type of people prefer fly fishing?
People looking for some quality time with good pals and scenic beauty prefer fly fishing. Hours of interaction with nature is enough to appeal to anyone though.
-The best location for fly fishing in the USA
Bristol Bay, Alaska
This beautiful place has what fly anglers look for i.e. greenery, peace, and plenty of fish. As fly fishing is very common here, you can easily find the essential fly fishing gear. Anglers can find arctic char, salmon, and rainbow trout here.
Frying pan River, Colorado
Although there are many superb fishing areas in Colorado, for fly fishing Frying Pan River is the best. It is not only a remarkable place for fly fishing, but it also has enthralling scenic beauty.
Jupiter Inlet, Florida
This is an ultimate fishing spot for fly anglers looking for saltwater fish. You can also enjoy shark fishing during winters.
If you are learned and practice fly fishing, you should visit this place. You can practice basics here. Fly fishing is rewarding throughout the year. Fly fishing for trout is very common here.
Green River, Utah
This fly fishing location is very well-known for trout. It is overcrowded in summer and fall but closed during winters. So you can visit this place during spring and enjoy the strike and the natural beauty around.
Time To Wrap It Up – Not a Fly By The Way
Fly fishing is a very fun and challenging sport. Before heading out, it is important to know everything about it to avoid any hassle. Fly fishing is a relaxing and exciting experience that lets you get involved in every part of the game making it incredibly satisfying.