~ Fly Fishing

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A Few of the Best Fly Fishing Spots in the United States

All across the United States there are many beautiful, exciting places that are excellent or fly fishing.  The following article just highlights a few of them.

Sitka, Alaska is a major stopover for salmon heading to British Columbia, Washington, and other Alaskan waters.  Fly fishermen at Sitka, have a higher fishing catch rate than any other marine area in Southeast Alaska.  June is the best month for fishing this area.

The Colorado River at Lees Ferry, Arizona, is one of the best fly fishing spots for rainbow trout.  The fish are comfortable all year round in a 15-mile stretch of cold water that flows from the depths of Lake Powell between Glen Canyon Dam and the upper end of the Grand Canyon.  Fly fishermen can also book a guide and go flats fishing for 25 pound carp.

Saltwater fly fishing is at its best at Montauk Point, New York.  Montauk Point is the easternmost point of Long Island and is best known for striper fishing. Fly fishermen have miles of beautiful shoreline in which they can cast their fly.

Gunpowder Falls, Maryland, is an excellent place to catch cold water trout.  A deal was struck by the Maryland state authorities and Trout Unlimited to start cold water releases from Pretty Boy Dam.  This has resulted in a combination of wild and stocked brown, brook, and rainbow trout.  Most of the fly  fishing is in Gunpowder Falls State Park.

Fishing Creek, Pennsylvania, is one of the states top wild trout streams.  It generally stays cool throughout the summer.  There is a five-mile stretch called the Narrows, near Lamar, that is a very popular area  for fly fishing.

Driftless Area, Wisconsin, has many excellent fly fishing streams loaded with brown trout.  There is excellent access to all of southwestern Wisconsin's eight counties.  There are 68 streams in Vernon County alone, including Kickapoo River and Timber Coulee Creek.  Most fly fishermen in this area use mayfly and caddis imitations.

Laguna Madre, Texas, is full of rivers and lakes that are excellent fly fishing locations.  Texas also has its southern coast, which is among the world's greatest saltwater fly fishing areas.  The saltwater flats of Laguna Madre, next to Padre Island, are full of all different kinds of fish that make for a great fly fishing experience.

Henry's Fork, Idaho, is a great destination for rainbow trout.  If you are fishing the Island Park area, it is better to fish in runoff conditions.

Lake C. W. McConaughy, Nebraska, is the largest lake in the state and also has some of the best fly fishing.  Another excellent fly fishing spot in Nebraska is the Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area, which is a series of twenty sandpit lakes that have been carved into the Platte River basin.  Red Willow reservoir is also a favorite of fly fishermen in this area of the country.

Kauai, Hawaii, is a great spot for fly fishing largemouth, smallmouth, and peacock bass. This Garden Isle also has excellent saltwater fly fishing.

Whether you like fresh or salt water fly fishing, there are thousands of places to fish across the country that offer the fly fisherman endless opportunities and experiences.

Different Types of Fly Fishing Casts

The art of casting is a very important skill in fly fishing. It requires gradual,  synchronized movements. It helps to think of each movement, both the back cast in the forward cast, is divided into three steps.  The first is loading, the second is the momentum of projection, and the third is the pause.  It takes a lot of practice to master the art of casting in fly fishing.

There are several types of casts. The most common of these include the basic cast, false cast, side and reverse casts, roll cast, and double haul cast.

In fly fishing the easiest cast, called the basic cast, is simply casting the line straight back and then directly forward. Anyone new to fly fishing should master the basic cast before going on to other techniques.  Use a short length of line to begin with if you are new to fly fishing.  This will help you gain sufficient control of the line, while practicing short gentle movements.

The false cast is a variation of the basic cast.  It consists of the same backward and forward movements as the basic cast, and is immediately followed by another set of the same movements.  The fly line actually travels backward and forward repeatedly without touching the water.  Practicing this type of cast helps to build precise timing that is required in fly fishing.

In fly fishing the side and reverse casts are generally used when wind is a problem.  They are also used if there are obstacles that can make a regular cast difficult.

A roll  cast is generally used if the fisherman finds himself with his back to such obstacles
 as a high riverbank or a wall of vegetation.  When these conditions exist, a basic cast is almost impossible.  You need to let out a good length of line in front of you; it's best to let the current take it a short distance.  The drag of the water on the line will load the rod, and you can cast forward without needing to execute the back cast.

Using a double haul cast in fly fishing will enable you to cast a much longer line than is possible with a basic cast.  In order to do this you need to have a much faster line speed.  This is done by making much larger casting movements, applying more strength, and loading the rod more before the forward cast.  During this cast both hands of the fisherman must work independently.

The above five types of fly fishing casts are the ones used most often.  There are many other types of casts also, including the S-cast, the parachute cast, and the mend cast.

Casting is the basic physical skill involved in fly fishing.  Its purpose is to place the fly exactly where you want it to be, just like any other skill it takes practice.  Accuracy and the delicacy of the presentation are very important when fly fishing. Mastering the basics of fly casting first will make it easier to move on to the more difficult casts.

Fly Fishing Accessories

In addition to the clothing and your balanced outfit there are many accessories that you should have for fly fishing.  Some of these  accessories may seem strange, but when wading, it is necessary to have all of your gear and tools with you. 

You already have your fly fishing vest with plenty of large pockets, because that is part of a fly fisherman's basic wardrobe.  You might want to put a patch of sheepskin on the front of the vast where you can keep alternative flies handy.  You should also have a spring-loaded retractable spool that attaches to your vest to hold a pair of nail clippers. They come in very  handy for trimming knots. You might want to attach a patch of rubber for straightening leaders.  Ideally, the  vest should have a large back pocket to carry light rain gear.  Some vests also have a ring at the back of the collar, where you can attach the net to keep it out of the way.

The choice of your fly boxes is very important. One should have large compartments where you can store dry flies without crushing their hackles. You should also have one or two smaller boxes with foam linings and metal clips.  These are for holding your wet flies, nymphs, and streamers. Having a couple of small vials to hold your dry of flies after catching a fish also comes in very handy.

A spare spool for your reel, already loaded with backing and line, is a good idea to have with you. Also a  few spools of monofilament leader material, a leader wallet,  a sharpening stone, and a  Swiss Army knife are important for the fly fisherman to have within easy reach.

Insect repellent  is essential when fly fishing.  The main ingredient in many insect repellents is DEET, which is an industrial solvent and can damage the varnish on your fly rod, eat away the finish on your fly line, weaken your leaders and destroy your rain gear. If you do use an insect repellent with DEET be very careful of what it touches and try to limit its use.  There are many products today that do not contain that solvent.

Having a good pair of polarized sunglasses will help you to see the fish and protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun.  It's also important to have a small pocket flashlight with a flexible neck.  This can be very useful for many things including changing flies at dusk or dawn.  Other useful items include a thermometer, a small container of split shot, a good knife with several blades, and a small first aid emergency kit.

Many fishermen like to take a collapsible wading staff with them while fly fishing.  It helps them  to keep their footing if they are wading in a heavy current or on a slippery, rocky bottom.  A small cotton mesh net with a short handle comes in handy for netting your fish. If you intend to keep your catch a small canvas or woven willow basket for holding your fish will work well.

There are many other accessories available for fly fishing today.  Many of the choices depend on each fisherman's personal preferences.

Fly Fishing Around The World

Fly fishing is a popular sport around the world. With a history dating back nearly 2,000 years it should not be surprising that many of the world's cultures have adopted various styles of fly fishing for their sport fishing activities.

Fly fishing is a sport where the basics can be learned in a few hours with a guide but where the advanced techniques of the masters will take years of dedicated effort. This combination of factors helps to keep people interested in fly fishing for many years.

Fly fishing is also diverse enough that it works well for quite a variety of fishing conditions. Fly fishing will serve you well whether casting a fly into a small, mountain trout stream in North America and Europe or whether casting for bonefish in the Caribbean. The sports flexibility has served to make it a popular sport option around the world.

The earliest records of fishing with artificial flies record that Macedonian fishermen used six-foot rods with six-foot lines to fish. These fly fishermen crafted artificial flies using a hook decorated with red wool and insect wings.

Interest in fly fishing increased in England and Scotland throughout the years though little was written until 1496 with the publication of The Treatyse On Fysshynge With An Angle. The 1653 publication of The Compleat Angler by Isaaak Walton contained several chapters on fly fishing. The publication of these books, along with the information they contain, demonstrates that fly fishing was an established fishing sport by the time of their publication. The development of fly fishing clubs throughout England in the 1800s served to further develop and popularize the sport.

The chalk streams of Southern England were well suited to dry-fly fishing with their shallow waterways and weeds that grew in the water to just below the surface. Northern England and Scotland also saw the development of wet-fly fishing around the same time. However, anglers in Southern England strongly favored dry-fly fishing and tended to look down on wet-fly fishing as an inferior perversion of their sport. Fly fishing continues in England and the same chalk streams can still be fished today though most access is through privately owned and managed land.

American anglers in the Catskill Mountains area of New York began experimenting with dry-fly design in the late 1800s. These anglers began designing artificial flies to mimic the native insects that the trout naturally fed on. Like Isaac Walton, some of these anglers wrote about their adventures. These publications served to further interest in the sport. The American fly fishers were also more open than their English counterparts to experimenting with wet-fly fishing.

Fly fishing interest has continued and grown considerably in the United States and in Canada, The development of fiberglass manufactured fly rods following World War II, along with synthetic line and leaders, made the sport more affordable for many anglers. Inland fishing is frequently done with dry flies on streams and rivers. Coastal fishing often involves wet-fly fishing in bays or surf. Fly fishing has also been adapted by bass anglers.

Many Caribbean and southern-hemisphere locations are popular saltwater fly fishing destinations. Fly fishers travel great distances to fish for bonefish and tarpon. Other southern-hemisphere locations like Belize offer both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing

Fly fishing is a growing sport around the world. There has probably never been a better time to start fly fishing than today. The basic equipment to start fly fishing is more affordable than ever and the worldwide opportunities for fly fishing are just about limitless.

Fly Fishing Catch and Release

Once you make the decision that you want to become part off the world of fly fishing, you have to then decide if you are going to keep your catches or release them back into the water safe and sound. Some fishermen keep all the fish they catch, others release all that they catch, and some choose to use a combination of the two.

These fly fishermen keep only what they are going to eat, or give to other people to eat, and release all of the other fish they catch.

If you decide to practice fly fishing using the catch and release method, it is very important  that you crush the barb of the hook you are going to use. The other choice is to use a  hook without barbs. This is done to avoid any unnecessary injuries to the fish. It is also important to keep the fight as short as possible so the fish does not become overtired. At the first opportunity, bring the fish to hand but do not take it out of the water. While holding it under the water, remove the hook using a pair of fishing pliers.

If the fish seems to be too tired to swim away,  hold it gently just under the surface of  the water with one hand around its caudal wrist, which is just ahead of the tail. With the other hand, support the fish under its belly. Rock the fish gently back and forth making sure that the water enters its mouth and flows over its gills. Using this method, the fish should gain its energy back quickly. When you feel the fish try to pull away,  gently release your hold on it. Using the catch and release method of fly fishing can be very rewarding.

Often fishermen believe they should release the smaller fish that they catch and keep the larger ones. They might not be aware that the larger fish usually represent the more genetically suitable spawners. They are the ones that are the most valuable fish for keeping a healthy species. It is wiser to keep the smaller fish to eat and release the larger ones back into the water.

Some people while fly fishing,  feel that it is all right to catch as many fish as possible as long as they release them all. However, catch and release is not foolproof. Many fish are injured during the process and some even die. At times, even though the fisherman doesn't keep any of the fish he catches, the overall fish mortality rate for that day is higher then if he had caught and kept the legal limit. Most fish, even if they are not physically injured, will sulk for a while after they have been released because of the trauma of being caught and released.

Catch and release fly fishing can be a wonderful way to experience the sport. Every release of a fish contributes to the conservation efforts that ensures the future of having future stocks of fish.

Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass

For fly fishing for bass can provide some of the most exciting fishing in the country.  The largemouth bass is probably the most popular game fish in America.  The popularity of fishing for bass is partly because no other freshwater fish has a wider distribution.   Largemouth bass can be found from southern Canada to South America. Smallmouth bass are also excellent for fly fishing, but they prefer slightly cooler waters and are not as ever present as  the largemouth variety.

 Generally, the warmer the water, the larger the bass will grow.  For example, a four or five pound bass may be large for a northern lake, but warmer southern waters regularly produce 10 pounders and better.  The temperature of the water is a key factor not only in fly fishing, but in all fishing. When fishing for bass it is an especially important factor. 

The best fishing will take place just after the bass have spawned, which is going to vary according to the temperatures. For largemouth bass spawning takes place when the water temperatures reached the low to mid-60s.  In Minnesota for example, a female bass may not deposit her eggs until mid-June, while in Florida the female bass may spawn as early as February.

The behavior of the largemouth bass is also influenced considerably by the top temperature of the water.  On hot summer days, they usually feed during the early morning hours and then again during the last few hours of daylight, when the sun isn't as bright and the water temperature is cooler. Bass are generally found in areas of the water that have a lot of vegetation and cover. They spend a lot of time near the water's edge among the grasses, reeds, and other plants.

Many  fly fishermen fishing for largemouth bass use bass bugs and poppers. Poppers were designed as a surface lure to be skipped across the top of the water in a series of quick retrieves.  Other good fly patterns for largemouth bass or the Muddler Minnow and the Wooly Worm.  There are some  fly fishermen that prefer to use streamers and bucktail.

When fly fishing for bass the fly is worked differently than it is for trout.  Poppers are worked  not only for their appearance but also for their sound.  Generally, when a fly is cast for bass it should be allowed to remain unmoving for a longer period of time then for trout. It is estimated that 60% of bass strikes are made on a still fly.  Bass tend to inspect your fly for some time before making the decision  whether to take it or not. It is important to remember while fly fishing, that the warmer the water,  the  longer it will take the bass to take a fly.

At times fly fishermen like to tease  the bass with repeated casts over the area where they think he's holding.  Teasing can sometimes be a very effective method in bringing a lazy fish up for a strike when nothing else seems to work

Fly fishing for largemouth bass can be a wonderful, exciting experience.

Fly Fishing For Men And Women

Fly fishing was once viewed as a sport for men. This may be due in part to the early elitist status of the sport. Even nostalgia tends to favor the masculine involvement in fly fishing. However, fly fishing is now appropriately recognized as a great sport fishing option for men and women alike. In fact, estimates are that there are well over one million women who now participate in fly fishing. Some estimates are that women now account for 15-20% of modern fly fishers.

Interestingly, the first book on fly fishing ever published was written by a woman. Dame Juliana Berners published A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle in 1496. Berners is reported to have been a nun and noblewoman. Berners certainly must have tied and fished her own artificial flies. There are equally influential women involved in fly fishing today.

There is a growing market catering to fly fishing for women. Some outfitters are dedicated to teaching women to fly fish while other outfitters report that the number of women participating in fly fishing classes routinely outnumbers men. Fishing clubs for women are also becoming quite popular, particularly around popular fly fishing areas.

Fly fishing does not normally require a lot of physical strength. Fly fishing is far more about speed, finesse and style. Women actually do quite well at fly fishing.

The catch-and-release ethos so prevalent in fly fishing may be appealing to many women as well. While traditional fishing often closely resembled hunting trips with the objective being to bring home food, sport fishing activities like fly fishing often are more about the thrill of the catch. Photos and great memories are frequently the only thing brought home from fly fishing trips. The fish often stay right where they are. Many fly fishers even use barbless hooks now to make catch-and-release fishing even easier.

Fly fishing provides a great opportunity to get out in nature without having to kill anything. There are certainly women who fish to catch supper but many people, both men and women, enjoy fly fishing because of the opportunity it provides to get in touch with nature. Fly fishing is a very relaxing sport but also provides good exercise at the same time. The rhythm of the cast is soothing for many people. Fly fishing also provides opportunities to see a variety of wildlife and birdlife in their natural environment. The scenic backdrops around many fly fishing destinations are also simply incredible.

Fly fishing clubs and groups provide social networking opportunities and camaraderie. Men and women both enjoy these benefits. With the advent of specialty, women-only fishing clubs and groups many women are finding a home with fly fishing.

Manufacturers are also recognizing the significant increase in participation by women. Women can now buy waders that are actually designed for women - rather than relying on the closest mens size they can find. Fly fishing rods are also now being designed with women in mind. Womens fly rods are designed to be somewhat lighter and to have smaller handles. These improvements are good news for all women who enjoy the fly fishing sport.

Fly fishing is a great sport for everyone - men and women, adults and children. Everyone can enjoy a day out fly fishing.

Fly Fishing In Popular Culture

Fly fishing is an ancient style of fishing that has become an important part of popular culture. Images of fly fishing gear often evoke powerful emotions in the viewer.

Fly fishing was practiced at least as early as the 2nd century by Macedonian anglers; however, some argue that fly fishing may have originated even earlier with the Chinese.

Little is known of the development of fly fishing from the 2nd century through the end of the 15th century. The English publication of a book in 1496 detailing dozens of  artificial fly designs suggests that the sport was kept active during this period though. Fly fishing continued to grow in popularity for some time in England, Scotland, Scandinavia and the United States. However, the sport eventually came to be viewed as an elitist sport, in part due to the high cost of fly fishing gear. Early fly rods were crafted from a tropical wood and later from bamboo. Both types of rods were expensive. By the 1920s interest in fly fishing in the United States had peaked.

Following World War II, fly fishing interest increased in the United States again. The introduction of fiberglass fly fishing rods, monofilament leaders, and synthetic line all served to lower the cost of fly fishing gear. Fly fishing interest in the United States was once again on the rise. Many of our fathers and grandfathers were fly fishermen of this era, and the overall respect that is given that generation in American culture may be reason enough to explain the enduring strength of fly fishing in popular culture.

Over the years Western fly fishing has emerged with its own cultural image. This may be due to several factors, including the American romanticizing of Western culture in general along with some brilliant marketing by early Western fly fishing entrepreneurs. The Western American cultural image of fly fishing is inextricably linked with horses, wide-brimmed hats, and leather apparatus. Western-clad fly fishers wading a rocky river while horses graze nearby on the aspen-lined shore is a powerful picture that transports most of us to a place we want to be. Whether the image is completely rooted in reality is not important.

Consider how many images designed to communicate masculinity feature fly fishing gear. Artists and graphic designers know that fly fishing images are a powerful way to communicate masculinity - whether attempting to speak to men or to speak about men.

Even those who have not held a fly rod in years are powerfully impacted by the image of a fly rod or a fly fishing scene. The picture instantly transports people back in time. Fly fishing is so deeply embedded in the American culture that a single picture can take us back to childhood or transport us to a far away place. In this place the world seems right again; everything is once again as it should be.

Fly fishing is an important part of popular American culture. Images of fly fishing abound in movies, magazines, books and homes. Even an image of fly fishing apparatus communicates powerfully to many Americans. Fly fishing is an important part of American popular culture and history.

Fly Fishing Terms You Need to Know

In the world of fly fishing there are many words that are important to know. Many of these words are unusual or have a different meaning when used in reference to fly fishing. The following list includes some of the more unusual and double meaning words used by fly fishermen.

Action: a general term often used to try to describe the feel of the rod - such as sft, hard, slow, or fast

Attractor:  usually a  bright colored fly that is not usually tied so that it imitates a particular type of food

Belly:  the sagging portion of a fly fishing line

Blank:  a rod without a handle, reel seat, or guides

Blood Knot:  the common name for a barrel knot

Chalk Stream:  a stream, usually found in valleys, that is spring fed and slow moving with a lot of vegetation

Complex Hatch:  the simultaneous hatching of several types of species of insects

Compound Hatch:  the masking, or hiding, of a hatch of smaller insects by a hatch of larger insects that occurs on the same day

Cutthroat Trout:  a true trout that is found mostly in the western part of the United States

Dapping:  a fly fishing technique in which the fly is repeatedly bounced on and off of the surface of the water

Down Eye Hook:  a hook that has the eye bent below the shaft

Dropper:  the secondary fly that is attached to the leader in a cast of flies

Emerger: a term that is used to describe any insect that moves up towards the water's surface preparing to hatch into the adult stage

Feeding Lie: where a trout goes in order to actively feed

Flat-butt Leader: a fly used in fly fishing where the butt section is formed into a ribbon shape

Freestone Streams: fast moving, tumbling streams with rock covered bottoms

French Snap: a small clamp, often used by a fly fisherman to attach his net to his vest

Holding Lie: where a trout generally remains when not actively feeding

Leisenring Lift: a technique used in nymph fly fishing where the line is lifted, causing the imitation fly to move upwards, right in front of the trout's suspected lie

Midge Rod: a short, light weight rod

Natural - a living insect, as opposed to an artificial, or man-made, insect or fly

Nymphing: any oaf the various fishing techniques in which the fly fisherman presents an imitation of the underwater stage of an insect

Presentation: the method of placing a fly where the fish is most likely to see it; includes the manner in which the cast in completed and the method in which the fly is fished

Rise: the act of the fish taking an insect from the water's surface

Run: a term used to describe a particular stretch of moving water

Shooting: a casting technique

Spate: high water

Stripping: quickly retrieving line or pulling line from the reel

Terrestrial: of or relating to an insect whose life cycle is completely spent on land or in plants

Waders staff: a sturdy rod about as high as the armpit of the person fly fishing used for support in heavy water

There are many words and terms that are unfamiliar to most people but not to those who enjoy fly fishing.

History Of Fly Fishing

Fly fishing has been around in various forms for many years. Early historical records indicate that Macedonian fishermen were using artificial flies to catch fish as early as the second century. The Roman Claudius Aelianus described the Macedonian anglers as using six-foot rods with six-foot line. Aelianus detailed how the Macedonian fishermen would craft artificial flies from a hook with red wool and insect wings tied on. These Macedonian fishermen were apparently quite successful with their technique. There is also some evidence that fishing with artificial flies may even predate the second-century Macedonian techniques.

Unfortunately, little else was written about ancient fly fishing methods. It was 1496 before any major work was published describing fly fishing.

It is thought that modern fly fishing probably developed in England and Scotland. Fly fishing techniques similar to modern techniques began to be developed in England in the 19th century. Around this time fly fishing clubs were also formed in England to accommodate a growing interest in the sport. Part of the interest in fly fishing in southern England was because of the prevalence of shallow, weedy rivers. Fly fishing proved to be well-adapted to this type of water course.

Fly fishing quickly became something of an elitist sport in England. Fly fishing purists insisted on fishing with dry flies only and looked down on wet fly fishing as being inferior. Wet fly fishing continued to be developed around the same time, however. The US and Scandinavia also saw fly fishing popularity increase during the 19th century. However, anglers in the US and Scandinavia did not share the English view concerning the superiority of dry fly fishing. US and Scandinavian anglers fished both dry and wet flies.

Fly fishing materials have continued to develop over the years. Significant advances have been made in fly fishing equipment, including rods, line and flies.

Early fly fishing rods were made from a tropical wood known as greenheart. Bamboo replaced greenheart as fly fishing popularity spread. Bamboo rods were further refined as American rod builders developed advanced rod building techniques that involved cutting the bamboo into strips before gluing the bamboo back together around a solid core. Following World War II fiberglass became a popular material for fly rod construction. The fiberglass rods were more affordable than their bamboo predecessors since bamboo rods may take as much as 100 hours to build. Modern fly fishing rods are usually made from a graphite compound. Modern rods are less expensive than earlier rods and perform exceptionally well.

Artificial flies were originally made from natural materials like feathers and fur. Most modern flies are made from synthetic materials.

Fly line has also been improved quite a bit. Fly fishing line used to be made of horse hair. Horse hair line was replaced by silk line. The silk line was an improvement over horse hair but  the line still had to be removed from the reel periodically to allow it to dry.

US interest in fly fishing peaked in the 1920s with Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin being the most popular areas for fly fishing. Interest increased again in the 1950s with the development of affordable, fiberglass fly fishing rods, synthetic fly line and monofilament leaders. These developments served to make fly fishing a more affordable sport for many people.

How Are Dry Flies Made

Fly fishing is an interesting sport with a growing number of people participating. When people start out fly fishing they usually just buy all of the gear that they need, including their artificial flies. Once people get hooked on fly fishing though they often start thinking about making their own artificial flies as a way to stay involved with the sport during the off-season months. While some artificial flies can be tricky to make others are actually well within the abilities of the average fly fisher. Even children can learn to tie artificial flies and this is an excellent way to get them involved in the sport.

The earliest description of tying artificial flies dates back to the 2nd century. Macedonian anglers, fishing on the Astraeus River, had devised a method of fly fishing using artificial flies. These Macedonian fly fishermen started with a hook and then tied red-dyed wool around the hook. They would then tie small feathers onto the red wool to complete the artificial fly. Apparently these fishermen were quite successful with their primitive artificial flies.

18th century American fly fishermen took the design of artificial flies to a new level while studying the trout streams of the New York Catskill Mountains. These fishermen discovered that their success with fly fishing could be greatly improved by designing artificial flies that mimicked the native insects around the stream. These artificial flies successfully fooled the trout into thinking that a real insect had landed on the water. This knowledge gave rise to studying insect hatches to determine which artificial fly would be most successful. Different artificial flies are successful on different water at different times.

Artificial flies were originally made using natural materials like feathers, fur, wool and similar materials. Most artificial flies are now made using synthetic materials. Another recent development in artificial fly design has been the use of the barbless hook. Many fly fishers practice "catch and release" and extracting a barbed hook from a fish after landing it can be quite difficult. While barbless hooks make it somewhat more challenging to keep the fish on the hook they are easier to extract - from the fish or the angler!

Artificial flies are now made in thousands of designs and styles. The number of choices can be quite overwhelming to new fly fishers. All artificial flies have certain basic characteristics though and, despite newer materials and more choices, the basics of artificial fly manufacturing has not changed much in two thousand years of fly fishing. All artificial flies start with a hook. The hook is then disguised to resemble an actual insect that the target fish eat or to attract the target fish with color, motion, etc.

The materials that the hook is decorated with have changed over the years but some of the classic designs have not. Wool, fur and feathers were once common choices for artificial flies. Newer materials include plastic, mylar, foam and metals. These materials are either tied or glued onto the hook in special patterns to attract fish.

Salt Water Fly Fishing

Salt water fly fishing has grown in popularity over the past half century as many fisherman experience the thrill and excitement of the sport. Some choose to don their waders and fish from the shoreline, some prefer to use a small boat as they explore shallow fishing areas, and still others opt for the adventure of deep sea fly fishing. Nearly three quarters of the earth is covered with salt water, giving those who enjoy salt water fly fishing an unlimited number of places to fish.

Understanding the flow of the tides is essential for any salt water fly fisherman. Tides affect the water's temperature and its clarity two of the factors that have an effect on the movement of the fish in the area.  If you are fly fishing near an inland bay or a lagoon, the tides will play a major role in choosing the best area f to fish. For example, if the body of water is tide-drained through a narrow creek, fish will be feeding on the smaller fish that have been swept through it. The best place to fish is down side of the mouth of the creek.

On both the Atlantic and Pacific coats the tide rises and falls twice within a twenty-four-hour period. In the Gulf of Mexico, there are some places where the tide rises only once a day. There are  thousands of miles of coastline in the United States which offer an almost unlimited number of locations for fly fishing.

Most salt water fly fishing is done in relatively shallow waters, or very close to the shore. This is called inshore fishing, and includes fly fishing done from the shore or from a small boat in shallow waters. Many varieties of fish can be taken while inshore fishing including striped bass, channel bass, bluefish, bonefish, flounder, bonito, barracuda, rockfish, cobia, halibut, jack crevalle, jewfish, ladyfish, mackerel, pollack, pompano, shark, snapper, snook, rooster fish, tarpon, and weakfish.

Deep water fly fishing can be extremely exciting and challenging to a salt water fly fisherman. This type of fishing is done in water more than twelve feet deep from a boat that can range in size from a ten foot skiff to a 50 foot oceangoing vessel. Deep water fly fishing is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to fish.

Deep water fish sought by fly fishermen are roughly divided into to categories, roamers and homebodies. Roamers are mostly pelagic and move great distances in a short time. Some of the varieties of roamers that can be caught while fly fishing include albacore, dolphin, marlin, wahoo, sailfish, yellowtail, and tuna. Homebodies sometimes appear in schools, but it is not unusual to find a solitary one. Homebodies include African pompano, Great barracuda, rockfish, grouper, amerjack, and snapper. These are only a few of the many vanities that are available to fly fishermen that fish the deep ocean waters.

Whether you decide to fish inshore or deep sea, slat water fly fishing will provide an exciting, challenging and memorable experience.

Selecting Your First Balanced Fly Fishing Outfit

If you have decided to start fly fishing, one of the most difficult steps is the selection of your first outfit. To be a successful fly fisherman it is essential that each piece of your outfit works together in a comfortable and efficient way. When all the pieces work together, an outfit t is said to be balanced. The five essential pieces that make up an outfit include the line, rod, reel, leader, and fly.

Many people that are beginning fly fishing chose their line first. This is because it is necessary to choose the line weight. There are dozens of different types of lines for fly fishing. Picking the correct one is very important One of the main things to remember is that it is critical that the line weight designation in the code matches the one on the rod that is used. The most common type of line used by beginning fly fishermen is the double tapered line.

There are many types of lines including weight forward, shooting taper, level line and tapered line. The function of the line chosen for your first balanced outfit should be floating. About 95% of the time a floating line will fit your need when fly fishing. The weight of your first line will depend mostly on where you are going to fish.

When choosing you first fly fishing rod there are three main things to consider. These are the material the rod is made from, its length and its action. Fly fishing rods can be made from fiberglass, bamboo, graphite, or baron. Fiberglass is the least expensive material used to make a rod. However, it is losing some of its popularity because of its weight and required diameter. Bamboo, or cane, fly fishing rods are hand crafted works of art. Because of this they are very expensive. They also require a lot more care then a rod made from a synthetic material. The most popular fly fishing rod today is made of graphite. They are very light weight, durable, and are designed to provide the fisherman with any type of needed action. Rods made from baron are the most expensive of all the synthetic rods.

The reel that you choose for you first balanced fly fishing outfit will be one of three types: single action, multiplier, and automatic. A single action fly reel is a basic reel and should be the one chosen for your first balanced outfit. Multiplier and double action reels have their uses but neither should  be the first one used for fly fishing.

In fly fishing, a fly leader is the little piece of monofilament line that is used to attach the end of the fly line to the to the fly. It is important to choose the correct leader to make sure that the power that is generated during the cast is transferred from the end of the fly line to the fly. There are many considerations when choosing the proper leader. These choices include whether the lead should be tapered or straight, knotted or knotless, how much it should weight, and the size of the tippet.

Choosing a fly for your first balanced fly fishing outfit will depend on many factors including where you are going to fish, the type of fish you are after, and your own  personal preference.

Once you have chosen the five items that make up your balanced outfit for fly fishing you are ready to go out and cast your line and catch those fish.

Specialized Clothing for Fly Fishing

Compared to outdoor clothing for camping or hunting, clothing designed for fly fishing is somewhat specialized. Fly fishermen spend time partly on land and partly in the water, making their clothing needs somewhat unique. The special items needed for fly-fishing includes waders, a fishing vest, rain gear, underwear, polarized sunglasses, gloves, and a hat.

For fly fishing, hip or chest waders are just about essential. Hip waders are good for fishing in small streams but have there limitations. Chest waders that go up above the waist are the best for almost all fly fishing situations. Chest waders come in two types. Boot-foot waders, in which the boot is an integral part of the wader, and stocking-foot waders, which require a separate pair of wading shoes. Many fly fishermen prefer to wear socking-foot chest wader made of neoprene.

A fly fishing vest with a lot of big pockets is a basic clothing need for the fly fisherman. The pockets are needed to hold all of the fly fishing paraphernalia that an angler needs to have with them. No one wants to have to leave the water every time they need something. A vest with Velcro fasteners is best because it provides quick and easy access to all your tools, but closes securely.

A good quality rain suit is very important. The best ones are made of materials that breathe, so that you do not get wet on the inside from perspiration. Make sure that the jacket closes securely at the wrists and around the neck. Having a hood on the rain jacket is also important.

When fly fishing, full length underwear under your waders is a necessity. The underwear will stop heat loss from occurring, if for example, you are standing in a cold stream for several hours. The best choice of underwear is made of wool. Other good choices are Durofold, which is a combination of cotton and wool, and polypropylene. The same guidelines also go for socks.

Although it is not an actual piece of clothing, a good pair of polarized sunglasses are very important for fly fishing. Not only will they cut down on the glare from the sun, but they will also make it easier to read the water.
Wearing gloves for fly fishing presents a contradictory problem. Gloves keep the fingers and hands warm, however, while fly fishing it is necessary to have full, or almost full, sensitivity in your fingers. Fly fishing gloves leave the last joint of the fingers free allowing for the sensitivity that is needed.

To a fly fisherman, his hat is very important. It should be wide brimmed so it protects your face, ears, and the back of your neck. It protects not only from the weather, but also from hooks if a poor cast or a gust of wind carries the fly toward your head.

Wearing the correct clothing will not only keep you safer and drier, but it will add to your enjoyment of the sport of fly fishing.

Stream Fly Fishing for Trout - Know Their Holding Lies

When fly fishing for trout it is especially important to understand the various types of trout lies. Trout take up their positions, or lies, based on a set of three of their basic needs when they are in moving water. These needs are shelter from a constant current, protection from predators, and the need for adequate food.

Swimming against a strong current can be very tiring for a trout. Therefore, they look for shelter from the current which is their first need. Sometimes the trout rest behind objects in the water, such as a large rock, which breaks the current. But most of the time trout stay in holding lies that are close to the current. They want to be able to dash out and grab any food that the current brings their way.

The second need that the trout have is protection from predators. They generally prefer water that is deep enough, or rough enough,  that they cannot be seen on the bottom by predatory birds such as kingfishers or osprey. The trout usually hold where there is some type of cover to protect them. They look for cover, such as a log, a deep pool, or an undercut bank to keep safe. At times while fly fishing, you might see small or  medium sized trout feeding in the shallows far from any type of shelter. However, it is very unusual to see large trout feeding in the shallows, unless there is some type of cover nearby.

The third need, which often overrides the other two, is the need for adequate food. It seems trout live by a basic formula - the food it eats must give it more energy then they expend getting it. A trout will fight against a strong current if hatching, migrating, or drifting insects appear.  To the trout the amount of food that the insects offer justifies the extra energy needed to fight the current. Often, during a heavy hatch, trout may hold near the surface of a pool, or flat, putting themselves in danger from predators while they greedily feed.

For fly fishing, knowing the three basic needs of trout which cause them to hold in certain types of water, while avoiding others, is an invaluable piece of knowledge. Knowing the spots of the water that meets one, two, or three of the trout's basic needs, is knowing where the fish are holding.

Trout have three types of holding lies. Deep holes which look like dark areas in the streambed are often used to escape from the current. The best deep holes have boulders or logs for cover. Eddies below points, such as the edge of a boulder, create a slack water pool, and sometimes a reverse current pool, that often hold many trout.  Upwelling springs appear as light spots of bubbling sand where the silt has been washed away. Many trout are drawn to these springs in the summer and the winter because they have a stable temperature.

Successful fly fishing depends on knowing as much as possible about the habits and habitats of the fish you are hoping to hook.

The Etiquette of Fly Fishing a Stream

Fly fishing can be enjoyed by everyone. It transcends all the boundaries associated with age, status, or wealth. Stream fly fishing is known as a gentle sport and that should be reflected in our stream manner and etiquette.  For the most part, the rules of stream etiquette are nothing more then good old common sense. However, they might entail things that have been forgotten, or that a beginner might not think of while fly fishing.

One of the most important things to remember is not to crowd another fisherman. Sometimes the temptation is very strong to fish the same water where someone is catching a lot of fish, but that is as rude and inconsiderate as someone cutting into a serving line at a restaurant buffet. If you come upon a spot where someone is fly fishing and having a good catch, the proper thing to do is stop far back from the edge so the fish don't stop eating. You may watch for awhile, both because fly fishing is a beautiful sport to watch and perhaps you will learn something.  If the person that was fishing moves further along the stream, it is acceptable to slowly and quietly  enter the water where he had been fishing. Otherwise, move well beyond the fisherman to another point of the stream

Fly fishing casts a common bond amongst all people that love and appreciate the sport. It is important to be friendly to other fishermen that you may come across. If you meet another fly fisherman who is outside the stream, take a moment to be friendly. Sometimes a little chat will give you insight as to what patterns are working best that day, or you could give some tip  that will help him to have a better day. If you come upon a fly fisherman that is in the stream a friendly nod or wave is sufficient. Be friendly to all fishermen not just those fly fishing. You never know, sometimes a few minutes spent talking with a non-fly fisherman, could result in his wanted to give the sport a try.

Taking care of the environment is essential in stream etiquette.  Stream fly fishing is done in some of the most beautiful areas of the country. It is essential that we do everything we can to keep it that way. No one should ever litter. The environment should look exactly like it did when you have finished fishing for the day as it did when you started. It is not uncommon to see someone who is fly fishing picking up any litter that they come across on the stream banks, or in the water, and carrying it out with them. It only takes a moment to clean up after yourself and that will keep the area beautiful.

While fly fishing a stream, always remember to respect the trout. Trout have been blessed with the natural instinct and temperament to make them a real challenge to a fly fisherman. Only keep what you intend to eat, release any others.

The basics of stream etiquette for fly fishing are very simple. By following them you will ensure that you are doing your best for the environment and you will always be a welcome stream companion.

The Five Main Types of Fly Fishing Flies

Although there are hundreds of  types of flies used for fly fishing, most of them fall into five specific categories, or types.  These types are dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers and buck tails, and terrestrials. The main purpose of the fly is to imitate an insect that the fish wants to eat.

A dry fly imitates a natural insect that is floating on the top of the water. Fish are very sensitive to any motion of their water and how currents move the insects they want for food. In fly fishing, if a dry fly is moving even slightly against the current, the fish will have nothing to do with it. The fly  may look like something the fish recognizes but it is not acting the same an insect would. The fish recognizes it as something foreign in the water and leaves it alone.

In fly fishing, a wet fly is imitating a drowned, or drowning,  natural insect and is fished below the water surface.  No one is sure if the wet fly is seen as a drowning adult insect or a nymph from the perspective of the fish. Most fly fishermen today seem to believe that it is seen as a nymph. Because of this less and less wet flies are being sold. Wet fly fishing is the oldest form of fly fishing. It dates  back to descriptions of the early Macedonian people.

A nymph is the stage between an egg and the adult in the life cycle of an insect. In fly fishing, flies that resemble nymphs are growing popularity. The nymph fly is just below the surface of the water. When a fish bulges the water without breaking the surface, he is nymphing. This means that the fish is eating the natural nymphs just as they are emerging from their shell. This is what a nymph fly imitates.

Streamers and buck tail flies do not imitate any part of the insect's life cycle. These types of fly fishing flies are much larger and represent small bait  fish such as sculpin minnows. The main difference between theses two types of flies is that streamers are tied with feathers, and bucktails are tied completely with hair. Fly fishing that uses these two types of flies generally requires more rod and line manipulation. The movements are supposed to duplicate the motions of the little fish. 

Although most flies represent water insects, a terrestrial fly is made to imitate a land insect that has fallen into the water. The two most common terrestrials that are imitated for fly fishing are the ant and the grasshopper.

Besides these basic five categories of flies, there are many other kinds of flies that are used for fly fishing. Some of them are a combination of one or more of the basic categories and some do not fit into any group. The most important thing to remember is that it doesn't matter how the fly looks to you, the fisherman. It matters how the fly looks to the fish.

The Importance of Setting the Hook When Fly Fishing

The sport of fly fishing consists of many specialized skills that come together in a delicate balance of rhythm and precision.  Setting the hook is one of those specialized skills.  Many times the techniques for setting the hook are neglected by  fly fishermen who spend many hours practicing and reading about casting and fly tying skills. Unlike many of the skills of fly fishing,  it is almost impossible to practice setting the hook without a live fish on the end of your fly  line.

The first step in a successful hook actually begins when you tie your fly, either at home or on the river bank.  It is very important to make sure that your hooks are razor-sharp. A dull hook doesn't have a good chance of finding its mark in the mouth of the trout. 

In most fly fishing techniques it is important to set the hook as quickly as possible.  If the water is fast, the trout usually strikes the fly very quickly and with a lot of force. It won't take long for the trout to realize that he has an artificial fly in his mouth, and he can, and will spit it out in a split second.

Fly fishing in slow moving water is the one exception to setting the hook as quickly as possible.  When the water is slow trout feed in a more leisurely fashion. They may require a second or two in order to take the fly.  If you set the hook too soon, you'll most likely pull the fly away from the trout.  However, if you set the hook too late the trout may have already spit it out.  There again is the delicate balance so often seen in fly fishing.

Sometimes while fly fishing the fishermen becomes so excited when he hooks a trout that he sets the hook with too much force. This usually results in broken tippits.  Setting the hook quickly, doesn't mean pulling on it with great force.  One way to avoid broken tippits is to use a slip strike which cushions the tippit.

If you are fly fishing using an upstream presentation, strip in the line with your line hand at the moment that you set the hook. This will remove most of the slack in the line and improve your chances for a good hook set.

When setting the hook using surface techniques of fly fishing,  it is very important that you are able to see your fly in order to get a good hook set. If you are fly fishing using an underwater technique, it is essential that you can see your indicator when setting the hook. In both instances timing is very important.

Many experienced fly fishermen spend a lot of time imagining the strike and thinking about how they will move when they set the hook.  They do this because they know that in fly fishing, the more imaginary trout you hook and land in your mind, the better your chances of taking an actual fish.

The Mysterious Allure of Fly Fishing

There is something about fly fishing that captures the hearts of many fishermen.  To many people, the point of fishing is simply to catch a fish. However, this is not the case when it comes to fly fishing.  Of course the fly fisherman wants to catch a fish.  He actually devotes an extraordinary amount of energy, time and ingenuity to doing just that. But there is more to fly fishing than just catching a fish. He is interested in the activity itself.  It is the act of fishing from which the fly fisherman derives so much pleasure, not just from the end result.

What is it about fly fishing that makes it so enticing?  There is one main physical difference between other types of fishing and fly fishing. That difference may be the key to the enjoyment so many find in the sport of fly fishing.  In all other forms of casting, the fisherman is throwing a weight on the end of his line, whether it is a lure or a sinker. Certainly, this does require a great amount of precision, but it is essentially like throwing a rock in the water.  The fly fisherman, on the other hand, is casting only the weight of the line itself, which is spread out over 30 or 40 feet of line. The tiny fly at the end of the line is virtually weightless, and it provides no momentum at all. Fly fishing requires precision, delicacy, a gentle fine touch.

Many fly fishermen want to learn as much as they can about their sport, not just about fishing techniques. That includes the study of the insects that the fish feed on, studying the freshwater habitats, leaning about the  history and lore of their sport, as well as the techniques of fly casting and fly tying. The fly fisherman has to be aware of everything from the cycles of the seasons to the life cycles of the insects.  Fly fishing is not just another method of catching fish.

Fly fishing embraces the rhythm of nature as well as the rhythm of the rod.  The rhythm of the rod carries your mind, body and spirit to the water. Whether you catch a fish are not, the water will always give you a little bit of its own, strength, some of its energy, and the wonderful feeling of peace.

The sport of fly fishing takes place in some of the most beautiful settings of the world including mountain streams, scenic lakes, the ocean's shorelines, and out on the high seas.  Fly fishermen see and appreciate the wonders of nature. They care about the fish as well as the environment. Many of them take a proactive stance on environmental issues.

An anonymous fisherman once said fly fishing has a special hold on the spirit of man.  This is because of all forms of fishing, it requires a perfect balance between discipline and freedom. Perhaps part if the mysterious allure of fly fishing is the feeling of harmony with nature and the gentle balance between man and fish.

Top 10 Pieces Of Fly Fishing Gear

Fly fishing is an interesting and varied sport with a seemingly endless array of gadgets and gear. The number of options can be confusing to someone new to the sport. What are the most important pieces of gear for fly fishing? The top 10 pieces of fly fishing gear include a fly fishing rod, reel, line, leader, flies, waders, net, vest, clippers and sunglasses.

The fly fishing rod is the first piece of must-have gear for fly fishing. Fly fishing rods are different from traditional fishing rods and are uniquely designed to allow casting of the fly line and fly. Most rods today are constructed from some type of graphite compound; however, some rods are still made from fiberglass or bamboo. Fly rods are categorized based on the weight of the line they are designed to be used with.

Fly fishing reels are actually less important than rods. Unlike traditional fishing, with fly fishing you do not reel the fish in. Fly fishing techniques involve stripping line with the free hand. Many fly fishing reels are actually quite primitive designs and therefore not all that expensive. Anglers frequently "palm" the reel to create drag rather than relying on internal drag mechanisms in the reel.

Fly fishing line is specially designed for this style of fishing. The line is considerably heavier than traditional fishing line and is frequently tapered and designed to float. Some line is designed to sink, however. Many anglers attach a backer line between the fly fishing line and the reel to increase the available line.

The leader is a clear, monofilament line that attaches to the end of the fly fishing line. The fly is tied onto the end of the leader. The leader is tapered down to a very narrow diameter at the forward end. The leader looks a lot like traditional fishing line.

Flies are available in a wide assortment of styles and designs. Dry flies are designed to float on top of the water, wet flies and nymphs are designed to be submerged, and other flies are designed to be partially submerged. Flies may also be categorized as imitative or attractive. Imitative flies are designed to imitate or look like a particular insect. Attractive flies are designed to attract the fist without looking like any particular natural food source.

Waders may be optional if you are fishing in warm water. However, many anglers fly fish in cold water streams and find waders absolutely essential. Popular wader styles today include neoprene waders and waders with a waterproof lining. Neoprene waders work well in cold water and serve to keep the angler warm. Waders with a waterproof lining are breathable and convenient when hiking alongside a stream.

A net is another essential piece of fly fishing equipment. Since fly fishing is usually done while standing in the water it can be very difficult to land a fish without a good net. Nets frequently have a hook attached so that the net can be hooked onto the anglers waders or vest. A net is also particularly important if the angler is practicing catch and release fishing.

Since fly fishing is usually done in the water a fishing vest is a near-essential piece of equipment. Vests allow you to keep essential tools and gear neat and handy for when you need it.

Clippers are very useful for clipping line when changing flies. You will rarely see a fly fisherman without clippers in their vest or pocket.

Sunglasses are one piece of personal gear you will not want to forget. Sunglasses keep the sun out of your eyes as well as protecting your eyes from stray fishing hooks. Good quality, polarized sunglasses will also help you see much better while out on the stream. Many anglers would also add a hat and sunscreen to the list of essential personal gear.

There are many more pieces of gear and gadgets that are available for the fly fisherman. These ten items are perhaps the most essential for a fun and successful outing though.

Top US Fly Fishing Spots

Fly fishing is a sport that is enjoyed around the world. Millions of people have discovered the joy and excitement of fly fishing. While fly fishing is practiced in every state in the US some areas naturally rise to the top as offering the best fly fishing around.

The Catskill Mountains of New York are renowned for fly fishing. The late 19th century saw anglers in the Catskills developing artificial flies designed to imitate natural insects. The Beaverkill is perhaps the most popular of the Catskill rivers. The Willowemoc and the West Branch of the Delaware River are also very popular with fly fishers.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the surrounding area offers near-unlimited fly fishing options. The Snake River and Jackson Lake are popular fishing choices outside of Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole is accessible by ground or by air to the Jackson Hole airport. Jackson Hole provides more fly fishing options within a few miles than any angler could explore in one visit.

Henry's Fork of the Snake River offers legendary rainbow trout fishing. This area, particularly around Harriman State Park (Harriman Ranch) is legendary for its fly fishing. The area is open and offers unobstructed fishing. Downstream from Harriman Ranch the fishing is reputed to be faster paced.

The San Juan River in New Mexico affords excellent year-round fishing. The 10-mile stretch of river below the Navajo Dam boasts 10,000 fish per mile of river. The section below the dam is populated mostly by rainbow trout with brown trout and cutthroat trout found further along the San Juan.

Gallatin River around Bozeman, Montana is renowned for rainbow trout. Nearby, just south of Livingston, creeks have up to five insect hatches each day. DePuy's, Nelson's and Armstrong's all have fantastic rainbow trout fishing. Armstrong's Spring Creek is a meadow stream from 50 - 100 feet wide and known for its rainbow trout. Spectacular mountain scenery rounds out the fly fishing experience here.

The Wind River Range in Wyoming has an estimated 700 trout lakes. These lakes include cutthroat, brook, rainbow, grayling, brown and golden trout. This range is  primarily high country and offers great hiking as well as fly fishing.

Michigan's Au Sable River offers 180 miles of trout fishing. Located in northeast Michigan, the Au Sable River is home to rainbow, brook and brown trout, as well as steelhead from Lake Huron. The Au Sable offers a variety of fishing conditions along its distance.

The Jacks River in Georgia is a Conasuaga River tributary. The Jacks River is largely in the Chattahoochee National Forest and therefore is accessible to the public. The Jacks River provides fly fishing opportunities for rainbow, brown and brook trout. The area is popular with hikers but sees fairly light fishing activity.

Northeastern Utah's Green River offers extraordinary trout fly fishing. The tailwaters below the Flaming Gorge Dam offer outstanding trout habitat. It was this 30-mile section of river that produced a 30 pound brown trout only 10 years ago. Unfortunately, this secret is out and summer finds the river quite busy. Early spring and fall offer less competition and a very large number of trout.

The United States boasts some great fly fishing waters. There area even more opportunities if you venture north into Alaska or Canada. As this list shows though, there are many great fly fishing opportunities right here in the United States.

Top Fly Fishing Spots In The World

Fly fishing is a popular sport around the world with millions of men and women enjoying fly fishing each year. Where are the world's best fly fishing destinations for that dream vacation? A lot will depend on how much you want to spend and the type of fly fishing you enjoy but these are some of the world's best fly fishing locations.

No consideration of the world's best fly fishing locations would be complete without the chalk streams of Hampshire, England. This is where modern fly fishing really all began. Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler published in 1653, fished these very waters. These waters are carefully managed with private, scheduled access only. But if you want a taste of authentic, English fly fishing, Hampshire might just be your destination.

The rivers of Labrador in eastern Canada are still home to native brook trout. Labrador's brook trout approach sizes seldom, if ever, seen in the United States. Brook trout of three to eight pounds are reportedly quite common with some being even larger.

New Zealand's North and South islands are well known for their fly fishing. Crystal clear waters are home to both brown trout and rainbow trout. New Zealand has opposite seasons to the United States so fishing New Zealand allows you to literally have the best of both worlds. New Zealand has been called a trout fishing mecca for the incredible fly fishing opportunities it provides anglers.

Patagonia, Argentina provides yet another reverse-season fly fishing paradise. Argentina's rivers are home to brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout. The Rio Grande River in Tierra del Fuego is also home to sea-run brown trout reputed to be the largest anywhere in the world.

Belize is well known for its saltwater fly fishing. Fly fishing in Belize provides the opportunity to catch bonefish, permit and tarpon all in the same day. Once you have had your fill of fly fishing there is always scuba diving or just relaxing on an incredible beach. The variety of activities available during a Belize vacation can make this location the perfect destination if your spouse is less thrilled than you are with fly fishing.

Christmas Island in Kiribati is a world-renowned bonefish fly fishing location. Christmas Island's shallow flats provide some of the world's best bonefish and trevally fishing anywhere. Christmas Island  has long been a popular, saltwater fly fishing destination.

Alaska offers some of the best fly fishing in the United States. The diversity of choices makes this an obvious consideration in the Americas. From streams to lakes and from rainbows to salmon Alaska is a dream fly fishing destination.

Where in the world should you pick for your next fly fishing vacation? Much will depend on your location, your budget and the style of fly fishing you want to experience. Fly fishing is a popular sport around the world with options for just about everyone. Whether you like saltwater or freshwater fly fishing, islands of mainland, there is a dream fly fishing destination for you.

What Makes Fly Fishing Special

Fly fishing is a special approach to fishing. Fly fishing is different from bait-casting or spin-casting because fly fishing uses a weighted line to carry the nearly weightless bait forward when casting. Traditional fishing tackle is designed to have a nearly weightless line carried by weighted bait on the end. Because of this important difference fly fishing has its own gear, equipment and terminology.

Fly fishing also requires some different techniques than traditional fishing. Traditional fishing may involve casting a baited hook and waiting for a fish to bite or casting and retrieving a baited hook. However, fly fishing involves casting repeatedly with brief pauses to allow the fly to float in the current.

Fly fishing rods are different than traditional fishing rods in several ways. Fly fishing rods are longer than most fishing rods with their length frequently between six and nine feet. Some fly fishing rods are even longer than nine feet, particularly those rods designed for salmon or steelhead fishing.

Fly fishing reels vary from traditional fishing reels as well. Fly fishing actually does not require much use of the reel. Early fly fishing reels were little more than storage space for the line. Fish are not reeled in when caught; rather, the angler strips line with his or her free hand. Many fly reels still are very primitive with designs very similar to those used in the 19th century.

Fly fishing line is quite different from traditional fishing line. While traditional fishing line is made of a clear, monofilament material, fly fishing line is comparatively heavy and translucent. Fly fishing line may be designed to float or to sink depending on the style of fishing it is intended for; the line also may be tapered or level, again depending on the type of fishing that is planned and the preference of the angler. Fly fishing line is available in different weights. Heavier line can be cast further and has greater wind-resistance than lighter line. However, a lighter line may provide for more precise casting by an experienced angler. Fly fishing line is normally around 90 feet long but may be attached to a backer to lengthen the overall line available for fish that like to fight.

A leader is attached to the end of the fly fishing line. The fly is tied to the end of the leader. The leader is a clear, monofilament line normally between six and fifteen feet in length. The leader is tapered to a narrower diameter an the end of the line.

Fly fishing is also special because of the variety of fishing opportunities it provides. Fly fishing techniques can be used on streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. Fly fishing works in salt water and fresh water, cold water and warm water. Fly fishing can open up many opportunities to fish new waters because the techniques and equipment are so adaptable.

Fly fishing includes an interesting history that extends back at least to the second century. Macedonian fishermen successfully used artificial flies on six-foot poles to catch fish with. Fly fishing popularity increased in 19th century England and Scotland before catching on in the United States.

Fly fishing is a historically interesting, challenging approach to fishing. Fly fishing offers many opportunities and variations to anglers. Fly fishing also includes a nostalgic element that may not be found with other fishing styles.

Which Fly Fishing Rod Should You Buy

Fly fishing is different from traditional fishing methods in several important ways. These important distinctions serve to make the fly fishing rod the most important piece of fly fishing equipment you buy.

Traditional fishing uses a rod equipped with nearly weightless, transparent, monofilament line to cast a weighted hook into the water. Fly fishing essentially reverses this process by using a weighted, translucent line to cast a nearly weightless hook into the water. The action of the fly fishing rod is essential to being able to cast the fly.

Fly fishing is also different from traditional fishing in that the fly fisher never puts their rod down. Fly fishers cast the entire time they are fishing. This makes the decision of which rod to buy very important. Anglers who are fly fishing will spend the entire fishing day with the rod in their hand making casts.

The method of bringing in a fish is also different when fly fishing. While the fishing reel is very important in traditional fishing it is not nearly so important in fly fishing. Fly fishing uses a technique of stripping line by hand. The fly fishing reel is largely used as a storage compartment for spare line.

The choice of which fly fishing rod to buy is indeed a very important decision that will impact your enjoyment of the sport a great deal. Nearly all modern fly fishing rods are made from some type of graphite compound. There are a few bamboo rods still made but they are quite expensive compared to a graphite rod. There are many choices of graphite fly fishing rods available though.

Fly fishing rods are categorized by weight (for instance, a 6-weight rod - also written as 6wt). The weight of the fly rod you buy will be determined by where you intend to fish. It is important to use line that matches the weight of the rod when fly fishing. Some rods are designed to be multi-weight rods and may safely be used with several different weights of line.

One general rule when shopping for a fly rod is to purchase the most expensive rod you can afford. This advice is based on the understanding that the rod is the most important piece of fly fishing equipment in your fly fishing outfit. You can always upgrade your reel later if you decide you want a better reel.

It is always a good idea to visit shops that sell fly fishing gear before making a final decision. Even if you plan to purchase your fly fishing rod through a shop on the Internet it will be helpful to actually handle several different rods before making a final decision. Remember too that while fly fishers tend to be an opinionated bunch, fly fishing rods are largely a personal preference. If a rod just does not feel comfortable in your hand it does not matter how many experts recommend that rod. Your choice will also be influenced largely by where you intend to fish. For instance, small mountain streams in New England will require a lighter rod than large rivers in the Rocky Mountains or Utah.

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