Fly fishing is a very old form of fishing and requires finesse and accuracy to catch fish, although fly fishing in no way limits you to catching small fish. It is possible to catch nearly any type of fish by fly fishing, but the majority of anglers use flies for salmon and trout fishing.
The best that historians can tell, the first record was in the second century AD in Mesopotamia. Flies were tied using rooster feathers and were cast using a six foot pole with line that was about as long. Modern day fly fishing setups are actually somewhat similar, although they have definitely progressed.
Fly fishing rods are typically longer than a normal fishing rod and very light. The line is heavier than you might expect, and the weight aids in casting. For the most part, the reel is a line holder and does not spool line out when you cast, as with many other rod and reel combinations.
When fly fishing, the angler releases a portion of line and essentially whips it back and forth, trying to place the fly in front of a fish to entice it to strike.
There are a large variety of different flies, but most of them are very small and lightweight. They can float, sink, or be designed to suspend a few inches beneath the surface. More so than most types of fishing lures, flies are made to resemble the food the fish actually feed on.
The main types of flies, although there are many subgroups, are dry flies and emergers, nymphs, streamers, wet flies, saltwater flies, bass and panfish flies, and salmon and steelhead flies. These basic types of flies can be modified for different fishing situations and color patterns and combinations are nearly endless.
One of the most popular uses of their gear is trout fishing. Although you do not need a fly fishing setup to go trout fishing, many accomplished anglers eventually go down this road. Fly fishing for trout works well because the tiny flies resemble the trout's actual food source.
Trout fishing guides recommend that you look at what kinds of insects are active where you are fishing and use flies that resemble them. The local insect population will help you determine not only the type and color of fly to use, but also whether to use a fly that will float or sink.
The sport of trout fishing and fly fishing in general has a reputation of being hard on the wallet, but many sports stores offer fishing gear for beginners at a reasonable price. While beginner gear will eventually need to be exchanged as the level of skill of the angler increases, choosing low cost equipment to start means the fisherman can save for upgrades.
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