How to be Fly

Jonathan Barron
Staff Writer

 

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Regular fishing can be tedious. Performing the same movement over and over again with no focus provides a boring time. This is why fly fishing can give the proper and better experience that every fisherman deserves.

Fly fishing requires different equipment and a much more precise technique than what you’re probably used to. There are three things that are a necessity to fly fish, the correct weight fly rod, correct weight fly line, and the right flies. I will go in depth about each of these items and their significance and how you can use them to the best of your ability and ultimately catch fish.

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Fly Rods

The significant difference between fly rods and other rods are their material and length. Most fly rods come on average about 9 feet long, which may seem overwhelming but the rod overall is light. Each rod comes in different weights ranked varying from 1 weight to 15 weight (15 weight being the heaviest). Depending on the force the fish can apply, having the correct rod is essential in landing the fish. For instance, for small lake trout weighing around 2 to 3 pounds, a good weight rod for the job is around a 3 weight. For a salmon weighing roughly 6 to 8 pounds, a 5 or 6 weight will do the job. Heavier salmon such as the chinook, would normally require an 8 or 9 weight rod. However, it is possible to catch heavier fish on a lighter rod, but this requires much better handling and skill than the normal rookie has. A good weight rod to gain experience and learn on is a 5 weight rod. It is perfect for trout and smaller salmon.

Fly Line & Reel

The fly rod can only be used with the correct weight line and reel. Weighted lines are the trick to the perfect cast and proper tensions with a fish on. Lines are weighted in accordance with the weight rods. For example, a 5 weight rod should get 5 weight line, and a 10 weight rod should get 10 weight line. When numbers are mixed, there is an imbalance in the forces exerted with casts and causes a presentation that will never catch a fish. Imagine trying to cast a blade of grass with a giant tree log, it wouldn’t work very well. The same principle applies inversely, a tiny twig couldn’t cast giant rope very well. This logic applies to fly rods, fly line  and reels. It works best to have matching weight gear.

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So we have the rod and the reel, but the most important part of fly fishing is the fly. I could go on and on about tying flies, what flies to use for each species, or the numerous varieties of flies, but to stick the basics for beginners there are two main types: wet flies and dry flies. There are other categories however for freshwater fishing these kinds are good for starters.

Wet flies are the types of flies that sink in the water. These are good for imitating nymphs and other species that are underwater. To use a wet fly productively, you need to have good knowledge of the waters you’re fishing in. Such as how deep the river is and the type of food source the sought after fish is going for. Also, Using wet flies in rivers takes more skill in casting to give the proper and natural mends.

Dry flies are the more fun type of flies, and can sometimes be more effective depending on the circumstance. Many fish such as trout and salmon who are residing in lakes often will come up to the surface to catch bugs. This is where a dry fly comes in best. The fly will imitate an insect, and the fish will be tricked into thinking it’s food. Typically you can see the fish coming to target your dry fly, which is very entertaining because sometimes you can play with the fish. No matter what though, you will feel the bite, set the hook and then fish on!

 

Fly Gear for Rookies:

Bang for the buck –
5-weight TFO – $170
5-weight Lamson Guru 2 – $239
Fly line – Rio Gold – $80

Total ~ $489

Premium –
5-weight – Sage X – $900

5-weight –  Galvan Torque 5 – $385

Fly line – Scientific Anglers SharkWave – $100

Total ~ $1385

 

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