Fly fishing

angling method

Fly fishing is a method of sport fishing. An artificial fly is cast into the target area with a fly line and fly-fishing rod. This way, the fisherman or woman can catch a lot of fish, both freshwater and marine. They use special equipment, such as fly-fishing rod, fly-fishing reel, fly-fishing line, and pitfalls, which are made from natural or synthetic sling materials.

Woman fly fishing in Nova Scotia, Canada, ca. 1900
A fly fishing reel and rod. Schotland
March Brown Parachute dry fly
Fly Fishing in Äkäsjoki, Lapland.



Fly fishing probably began in ancient Egypt, but its modern form goes back to the England of the second half of the 19th century. Fishermen caught fish with live and later artificial insects. This method spread to the rest of Europe. National and international competitions and championships were started. This brought fly fishing to the attention of the public.

Types of fly fishing


Lake fly fishing


Lake fly fishing is done on backwaters and mostly on reservoirs, ponds and lakes. The actual hunt is done either from the bank or from the water, by wading or from a boat. When fly fishing a lake, you want to look for structure, like trees, or boulders. The gear that should be used for lake fly fishing is a 5wt or 6wt rod but could vary depending on the size tippet or the size of fish you are targeting. [1]

River fly fishing


River fly fishing is usually done in flowing waters. It is normally done by wading. The fisherman or woman stands in the water or on the bank dressed in special waders and wading boots. To find fish in a river you want to look for things that will hold fish like pools created by structure or a bend in the stream or river, and feeding lanes which are the seams that are created when the fast water meets the slow water. The gear is very similar to fly fishing a lake, where you can use a 3 to 6wt rod for trout. Bernhardt, M. (2024). How to Fly Fish a River-For Beginners. DriftHook.

Sea fly fishing


Sea fly fishing is done by wading as well as fishing from a boat. The size of the rod is based on the size and species of fish.

Dry fly fishing


Dry fly fishing is done with a floating line. The bait floats on the water. The fly often looks like hatched insects or other food on the water surface. Matching the hatch of insects during the correct time of year is crucial. Some common and popular flies to use for trout are the Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, and the Chernobyl Ant. The gear used for dry fly fishing is a little lighter. The size rod doesn't matter too much, it really comes down to the size of line. A size 3x leader works just fine but you might want to use tippet to get an even smaller sized line so that the trout can't see your line. Good tippet sizes to use are 4x to 6x. Mooers, D. (2024, January 4). Dry Fly Fishing: An Anglers Guide.

Wet fly fishing


Wet fly fishing is done with all types of fly-fishing lines. The fly is underwater and looks like drowned or newly hatched insects.

Streamer fishing


Streamer fishing is mostly done with sinking fly lines. The flies look like insects or other organisms like bait fish, leaches or crayfish. A streamer is fished with an active retrieve instead of letting the bait float down with the current like a dry fly or nymph. Streamer fishing is a great way to cover water quickly. They will also attract the bigger and more aggressive trout because they trigger reactionary strikes. Fishing with a streamer, you will want to use heavier gear because you are using a heavier fly and could also be targeting bigger fish. A 7wt or 8wt rod would be ideal but you can use a 5wt or 6wt as well. Donaldson, W. (2019, July 15). Fly Fishing Streamers-Everything You Need to Know. Flylords, 16.

Nymph fishing


Nymph fishing is done with all types of fly-fishing lines. The flies look like young insects and insects that are in their larval stage. Being that nymphs sink; you will want to use a strike indicator. A good rule of thumb for where to set you strike indicator is 1.5 times the depth of the stream or river you are fishing. So, if the stream is 3 feet deep you would set your indicator about 4.5 feet. The gear for a nymph is the same as a dry fly except now you are just adding that strike indicator to your line. Some common flies to use are the hares ear nymph, a copper john nymph, and pheasant tail nymph. Cermele, J. (2023, May 10). A Basic Guide to Flyfishing With Nymphs.

Fly fishing equipment


Fly-fishing rod is a kind of fishing rod which is designed only for fly fishing. Its purpose is to give enough power to the fly-fishing line, which carries an artificial fly to the hunting area.

The fly-fishing line moves an artificial fly to the place of casting. It is only supposed to be used for fly fishing and with the fly-fishing rod and fly-fishing reel. It is not suitable for other ways of fly fishing because it would be damaged.

The fly-fishing reel is used for storing and backing the fly-fishing line. The fly line is stored in a coil. This coil revolves around its vertical axis in the reel. The fly-fishing line is reeled by moving the coil. The coil is secured with a handle.


  1. Joubert, Pierre (2021-02-09). "Fly Fishing on Lakes: A Guide to Lake Fishing". Into Fly Fishing. Retrieved 2024-04-16.