Want to know the difference between a leader and a tippet? Are you curious about tips for landing the big one? We are here to answer the internet’s most asked questions about fly fishing.
What’s the difference between fly fishing and regular fishing fly fishing?
Fly fishing, your fly line is what is weighted and creates your cast and then with regular fishing or gear fishing or conventional fishing, that is where you have a lure or bait, that is what is weighted. And so that would be what projects your cast and loads your rod to make the cast, whereas fly fishing, you have typically an unweighted fly and your fly line is what is weighted, and that is what creates that bend in your rod.
What kind of fish do you catch while fly fishing?
Fly fishing, you can catch any fish you want, it’s just what fish you want to fish for. Whatever your home waters have and hold for fisheries, you can fish for them with a fly rod. Just trying to figure out what they eat, that’s the tricky part.
Is fly fishing expensive?
Yes, but there are so many opportunities and possibilities to still make it obtainable. Majority of the cities and areas that you live in, you’ll have local fly shops that you can go to and they have gear that they will loan you. But when you’re starting, sometimes the price tag of things definitely can stray people away. It did for me at first, when I started. You don’t have to get a brand-new rod. You don’t have to have brand-new waders. That’s something that usually you progress into as you adapt to the sport.
How many types of fly fishing are there?
There’s dry fly and wet fly fishing. And so the dry fly will be you’re fishing on top of the water or fish that are coming up to eat your fly, and then subsurface or underwater would be your fishing any hatches or bugs and bait fish and life that would be underwater that the fish are feeding on.
What gear do you need for fly fishing?
A positive attitude, a fly rod, and a reel and line and your fly. It’s usually a four-piece rod. It can be a two-piece and it can be a one-piece. You’ll also want to look into a fly box, stuff to hold your flies in whether that’s a backpack or a hip bag, and then waders and boots.
What do I wear when fly fishing?
Look at where you’re fishing and the weather and the environment.
Can you go fly fishing when it is raining?
If it’s not fun for you, don’t put yourself through misery just to catch a fish. But with the rain, it’s not gonna bother the fishing. It will change the hatches that are happening in the bug life.
What time of day is best for fly fishing?
You can go fishing any time of the day. It’s just all about figuring out what the fish are eating at that time.
Do I need a fishing license?
Yes. You always want to look up the regulations. If you have a hired guide, you want to ask if you need to get your fishing license or if it comes with the guide service. In almost all places you can buy a fishing license online. Otherwise, you can go to your local fly shop and they can help you with that as well.
How do I learn how to fly cast?
There are many different ways. I signed up for classes when I first learned to fly fishing. There are fly fishing instructors that you can reach out to and find online. There are so many different types of casting techniques that you can do. And so YouTube is your friend there. There are a lot of really great ones. Simon Gawesworth is someone that is an incredibly influential instructor in the fly fishing world. And his videos are great.
What are some different casts to use?
To begin with, an overhand cast and a roll cast are probably the two casts that are gonna help you the most when you start.
Does talking scare the fish?
Definitely, your voice carries and the vibration carries and that can definitely, the fishes have a lateral line that allows them to feel those vibrations under the water. And so if that does carry to the fish, they’re gonna feel it.
How do I choose a fly to use?
The biggest thing is when you show up to the water, just take a moment and just stand there and listen and watch the water. Chances are a fish is gonna come up and eat something. If there’s a hatch happening and then you’ll wanna look and see, okay, well they’re eating on the top of the water.
What are the different knots needed to know for fly fishing?
The cinch knot is something that is probably the number one that most people use and then a loop knot or Surgeon knot is really popular too. A loop knot is going to create a little loop in front of your fly. And so that little loop lets your fly have action when it’s in the water and then a clinch knot is it’s a knot that’s clinching down to the eyelid of your fly.
When is fly fishing season?
In Summer, spring, fall, and winter, you can fly fish in any of those seasons. Anytime you’re going out to new waters or water that you’re not sure, always check the regulations. You wanna make sure that that’s open. Maybe a certain spot on the river is closed but the next section over is open.
What is a leader?
A leader is a transparent line that connects your fly line. Most of the time they have a pre-made loop knot and then your fly line also has a loop on it. And so you just loop to loop those to connect them, that leader is always transparent and it’s usually anywhere from seven and a half to nine feet.
What is a tippet?
Tippet is another transparent line. And this is what connects to your leader and your tippet is gonna add length and it’s also a smaller gauge of line. And so believe it or not but fish are smarter than you would think. And there is the term called "line shy". And that means that the fish won’t eat if they can see your line. And so that’s going into why both the tippet and leader are transparent so that the fish can’t see it. The size of the fish does matter with your tippet. So if you’re fishing for a larger species of fish, always make sure that you’re fishing the proper meter.
How do I know where I’m allowed to fish? Can I just show up at a river and throw a line?
No, you can’t just show up at a river. You always wanna check to see what the regulations are like I was saying before. That could be done by calling the fly shop. For the most part, they will always know regulation-wise when the closures are happening and the regulations can change.
Do you use bait while fly fishing?
No, you use an artificial fly and that’s the beauty of fly fishing. Materials are so pretty to me and tying your fly is so fun. It just feels great when you create a fly and you go on the river and you get it to work, it’s just the best feeling ever.
Do I need waders?
It does depend on where you live and what the water you’re fishing is. I just pretty much always wear waders and boots even in the summer when it’s hot.
What do you wear under waders?
It depends on the season and the weather, we recommend pants that keep you warm and a long sleeve thermal or base layer with a sweatshirt, a puffy coat, and then a raincoat. In the summertime, wear something comfortable either leggings or quick-drying shorts. It’s just about your comfort level really, underneath the waders and then how much you can fit in them. Especially for the winter time.
Can you go fly fishing when it’s windy?
Yes, you can. Will it drive you crazy? Probably also, yes. Sometimes when it’s windy, it can then toss a lot of the bugs in the water off of the grass and will make a feeding frenzy for the fish. So there are sometimes when it’s just worth it to put up with it because it might be the best fishing you’ll ever have. So it all just depends on the threshold of what you can stand.
Do I need a boat for fly fishing?
No, you don’t. It’s beautiful floating down a lot of rivers, but you do not have to. You can easily walk and wade. A lot of times, boats are very expensive. So if you hire a guide, there are walk and wade-only guides and there are guides that guide you out of the boat. And so it kind of depends on what you wanna do.
How do I unhook my fish?
I would recommend fishing a barbless fly. It’s better on the fish and it’ll create way less time with your fish handling. There also are fish de-hookers and you can buy them in various places. And it’s just a little tool that slides over your barb or the shank, and it will help you release that out of the fish’s mouth.
What is mending?
Mending is a technique. It’s a way for you to have control and manipulate your fly line, to give you the best and most natural presentation to the fish. You’re matching the current of the river or the river speed and keeping your line with a nice tight presentation with your fly line.
Does the speed of the water affect the catch?
If you do catch a fish and it’s in really fast water it’s gonna be really hard for you to land that fish. If you’re someone that’s not comfortable in the rivers and there’s lots of rocks and moss and it’s slippery. And then you usually will lose your fish as soon as you lose that tension in your line.
Where do I store my fish after catching it?
Usually, where you store it is either on ice or cooler, in a cooler bag, they make fish bags. And if you harvest it and walk to your campsite then obviously you don’t need anything. You can just go harvest it right away. Some spots even have fish cleaning houses on the river.