For many, outdoor sports are great ways to relax in our increasingly fast paced and technologically dependent world. Getting away from the everyday stresses and hustle and bustle of life is one of the many draws of spending some time in the great outdoors. Though there are several ways to enjoy Mother Nature at its finest and fly-fishing is the outdoor activity of choice for millions of Americans.

This form of fishing can be practiced in both salt and freshwater. This allows versatility of location for the fisherman and perhaps contributes to its popularity. Though this form of fishing is most notably known for being used in mountain streams, it is an effective technique for use in lakes and ponds as well.   This adaptability allows the fisherman to catch a variety of fish species using several different methods. Species that are often caught using these techniques include trout, bass, steelhead, and salmon.

In order to effectively fly fish, a few materials are needed. A fly rod and line are of course required, however, artificial flies are notably important since this is where the “fly” is fly fishing is derived. These artificial lures are almost weightless and are key in achieving the signature casting technique of this sport.   Lures that resemble live insects and bugs combined with the fisherman’s unique casting technique incite the fish to bite.

Fly Fisherman Action Shot

Flies can be bought or made by the fisherman. Many flies consist of wire, beads, yarn, thread, feathers, and hair. Because these flies are made to look as if they are live insects floating above the water, knowledge of which insects and bait different fish species prefer will also help the fisherman decide which lure to use and when to use it. Knowledge of which fish species live in the body of water the fisherman is fishing will also be very helpful in determining lure and technique. For example, trout live in lakes, ponds, and rivers that are cold year-round. Thus, when fishing in cold water it is a good idea to use flies that resemble the insects trout prefer.

There are also different categories of fly fishing with varying techniques and methods. Dry fly fishing is the most popular form of fly fishing because it allows the fisherman to see everything that is happening. When dry fly fishing, the fisherman casts the lure on the water’s surface and is able to see the fish approach, bite, and eat the lure. This is one of the most entertaining aspects of dry fly fishing and contributes to its popularity.

Many fishermen have different techniques for different water, bait, and species. There are many discussions on which of these techniques are most effective but one thing is for sure. Whether you are a seasoned fisherman or just starting a new hobby, fly-fishing is a great way to spend the day relaxing outdoors alone or with friends and family.

Where are your favorite places to go fly fishing? Tell us about it in the comments!