To be fruitful, all fishing entails proper amounts of patience, intelligence, strategy and skill. As an art and a science, however, fly-fishing is on another level. Trickier techniques and significant differences from other methods mean much conventional fishermen’s wisdom must be cast aside.
Making Your Lure
The measure of any lure is its ability to attract fish. Fly-fishing aims to trick the fish with something that mimics a fly or other form of natural fish food. Artificial flies are traditionally constructed from bits of animal hair, fur and especially pheasant feathers tied to a fishhook. Once in the water, their innate natural properties allow them to act as passible imitations of prey for fish.
Casting Your Line
Rather than casting a lure as in most fishing styles, fly fishers cast their line. Fishing flies are so light that they can’t actually be cast, so fly-fishing line is made heavier to compensate, and fly rods made lighter and more pliable.
More than tackle, though, the way you cast is what really counts. Fly fishers typically practice “forward casting,” arcing the rod over the shoulder before launching the line forward for maximum momentum. A basic forward cast can be widely modified to account for local conditions.
Perfecting Your Craft
Dozens of diverse factors determine an angler’s approach. While most fly-fishing is focused near stream beds, dry fly-fishing involves floating one’s line on the surface, using “dry flies” as bait. Preferred by some folks for the tangible thrill of seeing their catch, this approach attracts trout who hang around the edges of currents, coming up to feast on surface-level bug life during hatch season. Conversely, “nymphing,” which requires casting the fly down to the depths where fish live, catches more fish overall.
Fly-fishing presents unique challenges over other forms of fishing. On the other hand, you’ll find that the long hours and hard work are especially rewarding when you finally catch what you’re after.