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What is Fly Fishing: Discovering The Art of In Fishing

Author: Tim Mossberg
by Tim Mossberg
Posted: Aug 28, 2022

One of the greatest aspects of fishing is the variety of types of fishing and fishing techniques to catch them. Fly Fishing is a method of fishing that is one of the most iconic and well-respected fishing styles. The history of fly fishing is rich and dates back hundreds of years to the first and second centuries on record. There is a lot to know about this historical method of angling, and in this article, we will thoroughly examine the method and how it fits into the angling world.

If fishing is considered somewhat of an art, then fly fishing is the best example of that art. The differences between Fly fishing and traditional fishing are rather extreme. Everything from the gear you use to the techniques needed to use that gear changes between traditional and fly fishing.

The difficulty of actually catching fish also plays a role; fly fishing is complex and requires a lot more attention to detail and patience than traditional techniques. Hooking under the water in a traditional setup doesn't normally feel as exciting as landing a small fish on a flying line and battling it out of the water.

The Equipment

To begin with, the tools of the trade are completely different. In traditional fishing, the idea is to cast out the hook on a light line to sink it below the water surface. Fly fishing uses a weighted line to move an artificial fly on the water's surface, enticing feeding behavior.

The fishing line and weight of the lure are very specific for fly casting, and the weighted fly line is the first thing the fly anglers use in their setups. Moving up the line toward the water, we then come to the leader, the tippet, and the fly itself.

The rod used in fly fishing is generally much more flexible and most commonly made from graphite. These rods come in an average length of around nine feet, longer than traditional rods. They have been tuned and designed this way for decades to get a good bend on the rod and more control over distances.

Next is the reel itself. Traditional fishing reels are larger and more sturdy, and they hold the spool of line vertical with the rod creating a bit of physical resistance to play with. In a fly fishing setup, an open reel is used where the spool is horizontal, giving the line more freedom to fly. A fly rod reel also sits behind the main grip of the rod versus a typical setup with its reel in front of the main grip of the rod.

Moving up the line toward our bait, we have the leader and the tippet. The weighted line leading to these two pieces can be any color because this is not what the fish will see. On the other hand, the leader and tippet connect your fly to the line and are designed to be stealthy and highlight the fly.

The line leader is the first transition from the weighty fly line toward the bait. It is generally a tapered monofilament that gets thinner to match the next piece, the tippet. The leader's main purpose is to stop the main line from slapping the water and potentially scaring the fish species prone to that.

Next comes the tippet and the smallest possible line you want to use in the rig. This is the final and most stealthy connection between the line and fly. Thin, Floaty, and flexible are the key characteristics of the tippet. The tippet gives the final action in the fly for you to bait fish.

Buying a fly rig setup is common since fly tying on your own is difficult to learn correctly. Depending on the types of flies and rigs you buy, they will typically be packaged with a chart telling you how much leader and tippet to use.

Finally, we come to the bait itself, the fly. There are thousands of different fly types and designs, and people even go so far as to collect rare and valuable flies to display in shadow boxes. Generally, flies are broken down into three types. These three types are dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. A dry fly is the most common type used and works by presenting on the top of the water, mimicking bug food. Nymphs and streamers are often used just below the surface to mimic either other invertebrates or small fish.

The type of fly you choose can almost always be researched ahead of time. It all depends on the species and region you are fishing in. The idea is to mimic local food and choose something appropriate for the water conditions present.

The Technique

The whole experience of fly fishing is very different from traditional fishing and is the other half of the fly-fishing story. Casting techniques for fly fishing are all about rhythm and feel. The mechanics you need to achieve this can be separated into a few different steps to follow broadly.

Before you start your cast, you'll want to have an idea of how your arm is going to move. The easiest way to learn is by picturing yourself from the side and thinking about the arc your arm will make overhead. You can also visualize a clock face in this side view to understand where your rod will go. For full casts, you would want to arc the rod from the 10 o'clock position to the 2 o'clock position, flying your weighted line patiently and precisely to dance the bait on the water.

Of course, this is much easier said than done, and practice is always necessary for such endeavors. Long arcs will help you reach further but with less action on the bait. Shorter casts between the 10 and 2 positions will not reach as far but offer more opportunity for a bite. You want to remember now to whip the rod around and use a lot of strength. Finesse is key in fly fishing and is partly why the learning curve and difficulty can appear high.

Wrapping it up

The immersive nature of fly fishing is one of its great appeals. This immersion arises from the inherent skill and focuses that this technique requires. The action of casting and actually fishing is unique and more engaging than typical fishing. Not only is there an art to the practice, but there is also an art to the gear you use and collect.

Fly fishing streams and rivers are often some of the most beautiful and amazing places to visit and enjoy. The reward of fishing these difficult waters by trying to mimic the smallest of creatures and set off a natural chain of events is incredibly satisfying. The depth this portion of the fishing hobby has is unmatched and if you have ever been interested in it, then know that it is never too late.

Short Description: In this article, we take a look at the world and art of fly fishing. We go over everything from the basics to what makes this style of fishing so intriguing and satisfying to conquer despite the high difficulty and challenges involved.
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Fish Monkey is the Fishing Glove expert - no Burns, no Cuts, and a Grip with Guts! The industry’s 1st and leading line of performance fishing gloves expert.

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Author: Tim Mossberg

Tim Mossberg

Member since: Aug 25, 2022
Published articles: 1

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