Sunday Share - 5 Fly Fishing Tips

By Guest Blogger 09/20/2015

As the former President of the Australian Boating Industry Association, Rod’s passion for boating and fishing is utilised in his current role as Managing Director of CH Smith. Offering his masterful expertise, Rod ensures that customers leave with a love for the sea that parallels his own. He's written an informative piece on the basics of fly fishing for some Sunday reading.

5 Fly Fishing Tips For Beginners

Have you ever wanted to try out fly fishing? Do your friends and family members rave about it and beg you to come? If so, what are you waiting for?

The overall goal of fly fishing is to get fish to latch onto imitation bugs and bait fish attached to the fishing pole. Rather than using a worm or any other type of bait, fly fishing uses artificial bait to coax the fish into taking a bite.

The fly part of fly fishing comes from watching insects on the water. When you see fish go to snatch a bug that’s drifting on the surface of the water, you’ll want to cast your line so it lands in roughly the same spot. With a little luck, that same fish that just at the fly will think your line is a fly as well and will go for it. Just reel it in and you’ve got yourself a solid catch.

Fly fishing is a highly enjoyable past time, and once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature to you. Even if you’re a beginner, you too can master fly fishing and start catching some great fish.

Where Should You Fish?

Most fly fishers are going after fish such as trout, salmon, carp and panfish. What you want to catch will determine where you should go on your fishing trip.

Mountain streams are one of the best places to go fly fishing as you have the best chance of catching trout or salmon, but really, you can fly fish anywhere. Some people prefer calm ponds and lakes, while others like to fish near saltwater. The choice of where to go fly fishing is entirely up to you and will depend on exactly what you want to catch.

Selecting The Best Rod

Selecting a good rod can be a tricky experience and of course we all want to get the most for our money. Choosing what rod you want will vary on how often you fish, how serious you are, if you fish tournaments and other factors. There are a lot of lower priced rods that are very good quality that would suit those beginners among us. Additionally, one rod will not work for every type of fish you want to catch. If you plan on going for many different types of fish, then you will need a variety of rods.

If ever possible, always try out the rod before you buy it.

The Difference Between Wet And Dry Flies

Have you heard these terms tossed around and not understood what they mean?

Dry flies float. They’re made of a light material, and they use tighter wire hooks. The materials are also non-absorbent to keep the fly bobbing in the water longer. Some fly fishers like to put a silicone-based preparation to keep them drier and floating all day.

A wet fly, however, will sink in the water. They’re usually tied on with a heavier hook to help them sink better. You may also hear wet flies called nymphs. These are wet flies that are somewhat smaller, and they have beads on the tip to help them sink faster. Most nymphs will have either brass or tungsten beads attached. Brass will sink quickly, but tungsten will take the line straight to the bottom.

For fish that are more likely to look for insects on the surface, the dry fly will be best. If you’re targeting fish that stay deep below the surface, then a wet fly will be more effective.

Learn To Tie The Best Flies

The more realistic the fly looks, the better chance you have of fooling the fish. No one instinctively knows how to tie flies; it takes patience and practice. Selecting the right fly pattern will attract the type of fish you want, so learn about the three most common flies and start catching some fish:

-    Adams Dry Fly: This is perhaps one of the most common types of dry flies, and it is extremely versatile. If you’re not sure what type of fish you want to catch, this fly will be effective with many types of fish and it is a safe bet.

-     The Wooly Bugger: This type of fly is designed to look more like a bait insect such as a leech or a larva-esque insect.

-     Pheasant Tail Nymph: Most effective with trout, the pheasant tail nymph is a great imitation of mayfly nymphs.

Pack The Essential Boat Safety Equipment

Before you head out to go fly fishing, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve packed a few other essentials for your trip. Having a rod, reel and fly line are essential, but you’ll need a few other items before you leave your home.

Safety should always be a priority when fly fishing so make sure you bring the necessary safety equipment. Be sure to pack an inflatable PFD (personal flotation device) just in case something were to happen to your boat or in case you were to be swept off by a current. In a mountain stream, you could be knocked over by the rushing water. A PFD, however, will ensure that you stay above the surface and can reach safety.

You should always pack a first-aid kit with you before you leave, and if you’re planning on taking an overnight trip, consider taking a few other pieces of safety equipment and boating accessories with you, such as:

-     A compass

-     Flares

-     Fire extinguisher (for boats)

-     Torches

-     Flotation raft

Now that you know more about fly fishing, when’s your next trip? Tell us about it!