As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. At Amazon, I enjoy the cheapest prices. If you buy here you are sure of a good price and I earn a small percentage from Amazon. A win/win situation for both of us! This section is devoted to “Best Fly Fishing Accessories”. But of course, the other types of accessories are also discussed in the other sections.
Fly Fishing: Preface
In this section, I will discuss some fishing accessories. Starting with these for fly fishing. Other accessories will be discussed on other pages.
Many anglers enjoy fly fishing. With this technique, a so-called artificial fly is used as bait. These counterfeit flies usually resemble invertebrates or other food organisms. The fly fishing technique is used in both freshwater and saltwater.
Not every country uses the same theory of freshwater fishing. For example, the North Americans divide the freshwater fishery into 2 types: cold water species including salmon and trout and a second type is the warm water fish such as bass, and in Great Britain where the temperatures vary less, the cold-water fish (salmon, trout) and warm water fish (all types of whitefish). Fishing techniques will be adapted to the natural environment of the fish. You can go fishing in an open ocean, small streams, bays, lakes and ponds, large rivers, …
For fly fishing, a casting rod in combination with a reel is used. It also requires a specially weighted fishing line that allows you to cast the “fly” to the target. To make the line heavier, a layer of plastic is used that covers the line and thus provides the necessary throwing power. This is the principle for fly fishing and it is completely different from bait fishing or spinning where the weight of the lure or sinker is used for casting.
The artificial flies come in all shapes and sizes: in the form of a baitfish, an imitation of an insect (flying or swimming), and even very attractive designs that in fact have nothing to do with nature. They are all made to float or sink. Sizes can vary up to a few millimeters and a maximum of 30 cm. Most commonly used are between 1 and 5 cm in size. An artificial fly is made using a fishing hook that is covered with natural or synthetic materials, but also with fur, feathers, or fastening hair. There are artificial flies that are intended to fish one specific species of fish while imitating their favorite prey.
Fly fishing is most commonly used to fish for salmon, grayling, or trout. But due to the number of lures that are constantly increasing, there are also artificial flies that mimic the favorite food for example carp, bass, pike, and panfish. But also for saltwater fish, lures are used to eg. catch striped bass, snook, bonefish, redfish, and tarpon.
In fly fishing, there will always be fishermen who mistake unexpected small catches as the prey of their intended fish. They then take these with them to make a similar-looking artificial fly. In the future, materials would already be made to fish for larger species of fish. People even think of sharks, tuna, marlin, and wahoo. It simply remains interesting to recreate the fish’s favorite foods so faithfully and then basically go fishing for any fish.
Methods of Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing: Casting
As I mentioned before, fly fishing is aimed at casting a weighted line and not attracting the fish. So people are effectively going to find themselves where the fish are. That is completely different from bait fishing, where the weight of the lure plays a role in fishing. Here, therefore, a living organism is used to lure the fish, so in fact the opposite of fly fishing. The smell, shape, and movement of the bait play a role in this.
When casting the fishing line, the weight of the line is used initially. Casting also creates twists, loops, or waves in the line that will “unfold” as the line flies further, allowing the distance to be bridged further. These waves are called “loops”.
Casting itself also requires different “talents” to be used depending on weather conditions and the species being fished. The most commonly used technique is “forward casting”, which attempts to transfer the most force from the tip of the rod to the line.
The opposite is called “false casting” where the intention is to land the fly on the water. Other forms of casting are side or curve cast, the roll cast, the tuck cast, and the single or double haul. False casting is the most difficult method because the fisherman has to land his fly-fish on the water without sinking so that it appears as if the fly has just landed on the water.
Fly fishing for trout
This is certainly the most popular type of fly fishing. Most anglers love to go trout fishing. In fact, the very first artificial flies were created from trout fishing. A trout feeds just below the surface of the water 90 percent of the time and is looking for something bigger than a dry fish fly. It is therefore a misconception of man that dry fly fishing is always used when fishing for trout. What is used are the so-called “nymphs” which are designed to drift close to the riverbed, also called “nymphing”.
If you are a novice:
Novice fly fishermen prefer a so-called “attractor” to lure the fish because it is more visible and they can enjoy seeing the trout themselves. An example of this is the “Royal Wulff”. But you also have the natural variants such as the “elk hair caddis”, the fake caddisfly, or the mayfly imitation such as the parachute Adams. The parachute is mainly suitable for landing the fly fish very softly and as naturally as possible on the water surface. Especially when fishing in rivers that suddenly flow faster or slower, it is very difficult to perform fly fishing consistently.
A correction technique that can be used for this is the so-called “Mending”. To work effectively with “mending”, care must always be taken not to disturb the natural “drift” of the artificial fly. When learning to “mix” it is important that the fisherman can effectively see the fly fish on the water. After a fish has been caught, the used fly-fish cannot be used for a while. It takes time to dry.
After drying the fly-fish is placed and shaken in a container full of fly “dressing”; a hydrophobic solution. A forward-looking fisherman will therefore use a new fly-fish identical to the previous one. Trout are known to always swim upstream. It is therefore logical that the fly fisherman will cast his lure in that “current” where he himself will stand in the lower part (downstream).
Trout fishing in still water
When fishing for trout in still water (such as a lake), a completely different technique is used. It is useful if one can use a vessel there such as a float tube, a pontoon boat, or a canoe. This way the fisherman can fish larger areas and he is not obliged to wade in the water. Also important to know is that trout like to stay near an incoming stream or an underwater fountain. For this, it is recommended to use a streamer fly such as a “woolly bugger”. A trout also likes to visit so-called transition areas in the water. Think of: weed bed edges, subsurface river flow at inlets, and dropoffs.
Catching the trout
Catching trout in fly fishing is more difficult than spinning. One has to play with the fish a bit and wear it down, as it were. This is particularly important with large fish. So it can take a while before the catch is in and that makes it extremely challenging for the trout fisherman. It is important to master the handling of the rod and line very well and ensure that the line is not subject to shocks so that it could break.
An experienced fly fisherman even uses the tips of his fingers to manipulate the line. Catching itself should not take too long either, because an exhausted fish could die if released too early.
Return the trout to its habitat
Releasing a trout again is very delicate because the fish is quickly damaged. It is therefore recommended to wet your hands before touching the fish. If not, the trout’s scales will undoubtedly come off, causing damage to the animal. Keep the trout in the water to treat it. Out of the water is also not fatal as long as the unhooking is done quickly and the fish is back in the water as soon as possible. (And this with wet hands!).
Release the fish
When the fish is in the water, keep it as deep as possible for a while so that it can adjust and become stable. It is also recommended to manually water the fish gills for a fish that has fought for a long time. So be sure to take the time to let go of a fish because if that happens too soon it will sink to the bottom and suffocate. And especially with exhausted fish!
I hope I have made you a little wiser with this information and as long as we treat the fish with respect we will be able to keep the fish stock intact. So this article was mainly about trout fishing but I have many other articles that will cover other fish species. Thanks for checking it out!