Fly Fishing really comes down to casting a “fly” into the water over and over again until a fish bites. That fish could be a trout, bass, salmon, panfish or even a bonefish. Whatever fish you are trying to catch, the fly you use will depend on where you are fishing and what time of year you are fishing. You could look under the stream rocks to see what type of insects are currently available, check your local fishing reports to see what the fish are biting on or ask the locals. Fly fishing requires you to come prepared with multiple type of flies and to change up as needed.
There are five different type of Flies: Wet Flies, Dry Flies, Nymphs, Streamers and Terrestrials.
You can purchase a general box of flies online like this one or you can learn to make your own. All the flies that we use are artificial meaning that there is not live bait used. Something else that is very different than spin fishing! Also, keep in mind that what works this month probably will not work next month because fish change with the environment. Before changing the fly on your hook, change up your location or your cast… more on that later but remember this tip!
📌 With spin fishing, the lure is weighted and that is what gets the line out in the water. With Fly Fishing, the line is weighted and the flies (aka lure) are weightless.
The five flies:
These sink below the surface of the water to appear like a sinking insect. They can also appear like an insect that dips below the water and rises above the water. These flies usually have a tightly wrapped body. With Wet Flies, some anglers add a “strike indicator” to this fishing line so they know when a fish bites the hook.
These flies are designed to sit on top of the water as if they are live insects floating. These are the most common flies that fly fishers use. They usually have a long tail. Fish see this fly and rise to the surface to strike. It can be quite exciting to catch a fish using a dry fly.
Nymphs are made to look like insects with full bodys. In real life, Nymphs lay their eggs and when they hatch they rise to the surface. It is then when the fish strike on the Nymphs. Nymphs are used when surface flies are not getting any strikes.
Personally, I love streamers. They are big fuzzy sparkly flies that are suppose to look like small fish but just look like crazy flashy flies to me. These are designed to act like injured fish to trick the bigger fish to strike. Streamers don’t usually work well in bright days but are great for dirty dark water. Trust me, when you convince a fish to strike on a streamer, it is almost always a big fish and fun to battle with!
These are a little more subtle and look like insects that have just landed or accidentally ended up in the water. Picture a pond where mini insects float around and sometimes just land in the water, that is what terrestrials look like. But, these can also be ants, beetles and even grasshoppers! The can look like living or dead insects. There has been studies to show that trouts in small streams eat almost nothing but terrestrials.
When all else falls with flies, remember this general rule: Bright Day:Bright Fly and Dark Day:Dark Fly