All about Fly Fishing

Up until this point, we have discussed fishing in a wide variety of locations and in many conditions. The type of fishing that is enjoyed in these areas is typically with a spinning rod, but it is also possible to fly fish in most of the same areas as well. Fly fishing is a different type of sport, and it is one that is enjoyed by millions of people.

It is also rather specific, and when you learn to fly fish, you will be much closer to the fish and the environment where you are spending your time. Of course, there are going to be variations in the way that fly fishing is handled, and you can increase your knowledge and participation in the sport in a variety of ways. We will discuss some of those factors in this chapter, as well as how you can get started with fly fishing today.

Common Fish Species

Almost any type of fish that can be caught with a spinning rod can also be caught with a fly rod. The main difference is the way that you are presenting the bait to the fish, which in fly fishing, is done in a much more natural way. Here are some of the most common types of fish that are caught with a fly rod.


Rainbow Trout

Regardless of whether you are fishing on the river, in your local stream or at a lake, fly fishing for trout is a tradition that is followed by many anglers. There is something about presenting a fly to a trout and making them feel as if it is a perfectly natural part of the environment.

Any type of trout, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout can be caught on a fly. It is a great way to introduce yourself to the sport and, although it is not necessary for you to branch out into other types of fishing, you will more than likely want to try your hand at it.



If you have access to a warm water pond or lake, you might also find it beneficial to fly fish for panfish. It is a great way to introduce yourself to the sport because it is often done in an area where you can practice your cast and the fact that you are catching fish constantly is a reward in itself. In most cases, panfish can be caught along the shores of lakes, particularly if there is a structure nearby.



Although most fish are predators, a bass is a predator fish that can be enticed to taking a fly. If you’re in an area where panfish can be found, it is likely that you will also find plenty of large mouth bass.

Bass tend to feed on wildlife that is in the water, such as crayfish, minnows, and frogs. You can find them in areas that have plenty of vegetation or other cover that would allow them to hide easily. Smaller fish may be found in shallower water, but you will need to go to the deeper holes in order to find the larger bass.

Saltwater Fish

Bonefish saltwater fly fishing

You can also try your hand at fly fishing for saltwater fish. These fish tend to feed on smaller baitfish, which can be mimicked with the use of a proper fly. The easiest areas for you to flyfish for saltwater fish are saltwater flats, which give you plenty of room to do an adequate cast and do not have strong currents, which would make it difficult for you to handle the line.

If there are any structures nearby, they provide hiding areas for these fish and are an excellent choice for fly fishing. In addition, if birds are in the area constantly diving into the water, it is likely that they are on some baitfish and the fly fishing action can be quite fun in such an area.

Some common types of saltwater fish that can be found in these areas include tarpon, redfish, and bonefish.


Fly Fishing Tackle

The rod that is used for fly fishing is going to be specific to the sport. The action is different than with a casting rod, and it is designed in such a way that it is balanced so that you can do a proper fly-cast.

Fly rods vary from each other in length and action, so it is a good idea if you try to match the rod with the type of fishing that you will be doing. Fly line is much heavier than the monofilament line, which is what you would be using in a spinning rod and reel combo. It is also weighted, which allows it to be cast for long distances using the fly fishing cast technique which will be discussed in further detail in the Techniques paragraph below.

The fly line is also tapered at the end, and you will attach a leader and tippet of varying length, which will be invisible in the water and allows you to present the fly to the fish in a natural way. Most fly fishermen also have a variety of accessories and other tackle which they will carry with them. This would include a fly box, which will help to keep the individual flies separated and available for use.

A streamside tool kit is also something that you will certainly want to have at your disposal, as well as a net and if you’re going to be keeping the fish, a creel. Fly fishing is one of the more common types of fishing which is done from within the water. You would want a good set of hip waders for that purpose. Standing in the water, particularly if you are fishing in a small stream, allows you to cast properly and to present the fly upstream from your position. The fly can then be drifted downstream in a natural way.


fly fishing bait

The bait that you are going to be using when fly fishing is the fly. Flies are made with materials such as feathers, hair, and fur. They are tied in such a way that they will look and act like natural bait in the water, be it an insect, larvae or even a small fish, such as a minnow. It is important for you to match the fly with the type of fish that you will be targeting.

In addition, you should check for the types of insects or fish that are in the area, so that you can choose a fly which is specific for that purpose as well. In many cases, choosing the wrong fly could cause the fish to spook, and you will not have much success. It is not only fishing in the proper manner, which will make you a successful fly fisherman, but you also need to make sure that you are using a proper fly.

You can purchase flies at a local bait shop, or you can buy them online, but eventually, you may want to try your hand at tying your own. This is considered to be a traditional part of fly fishing, and many anglers have taken a lifetime to master tying individual flies. It helps you to get more in touch with the sport, and it is undoubtedly going to give you a greater appreciation for each and every day that you are able to spend on the water.


There are many different techniques that are used for fly fishing but the most important thing for you to understand is how to cast properly. Most fly-casting is done in an overheated manner, in which you will use the weight of the fly line and steady movement of your arm constantly to lengthen the line and present the fly to the fish gently.

Take the time to practice this type of fly casting, as it will serve you well when you are on the water. You can also vary this standard cast, depending upon the conditions around you.

The basic concept is to allow the line to cast itself and not to try to “throw” the line, as you would with a spinning reel. Another common type of fly fishing cast is the roll cast. This is also important to master because it can allow you to present the fly to the fish, and it is also used at the beginning of a standard fly casting technique.

With a roll cast, you would flip the tip of the rod downward and allow the line to roll over itself, flipping the fly gently out in front of you into the water or picking it up off of the water, so that you can begin your cast.

As far as other techniques that are used in fly fishing, these depend upon the type of fish that you are after and the water conditions. Regardless of what type of fish you are after, however, it is important for you to present the fly naturally. If you are able to trick a fish into thinking that your fly is natural bait, you have really accomplished something that only a small percentage of fishermen are able to accomplish.

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