Thinking of joining the sport of fly fishing? You can fly fish just about anywhere; be it in rivers, still waters, in hundreds of trout fisheries available in the country, other fishing venues owned by local fishing clubs, even in the sea! But what is fly fishing? It is the sport where you attempt to catch fish by using an artificial fly as bait. It is practiced using a fly line, rod, reel, and a fly.
Selecting Equipment for Fly Fishing
As with any sport you will need some equipment to play, in fly fishing you will need a fly rod, a tapered line, a fly reel, some flies and a leader. Not necessarily, but you will also need a hat and a pair of sunglasses for your comfortability. Polarized glasses are for vision; they will allow you to follow the fly carefully by cutting through the glare on the water. Thus, you can be able to detect strikes easily and hopefully, catch more fish.
The hat will cover your head, prevent the sun from burning your ears and getting around the edges of the sunglasses to your ears. In case of an errant cast, the hat also protects the back of your head and your ears from the fly. Some description of these equipment follows to help you choose those suited for your situation.
1. A fly
This is an artificial lure constructed out of feathers, some synthetic material or fur. These materials are fastened to a hook to imitate the shape, color and size of the food that fish likes – the fly. There are other items used as bait in place of the fly like imitations of other small fish, small insects or anything that can attract the fish. These are known as lures.
2. A leader
It encompasses the things between the fly line and the fly. It is also tapered small enough to tie to a fly. The leader allows the fly to be delivered to the target and drifts naturally in the current.
3. Choosing a Leader
Whether you should choose a braided, knotted or knot-less. Knotted leaders; these are constructed by tying four to six slowly descending diameters of mono together till you reach your tippet diameter. It is presumed flies turn over better with knotted leaders.
– Knotless leaders; these are single strands of mono that taper from butt section to level tippet section.
– Braided leaders; these are very supple to reduce drag, transfer energy, absorb shocks, and have the allowance for changing tippets easily.
What length do you need? – Depending on the water you are in, it is recommended you choose 15 inch to 18inch leaders with dry flies on calm water, 9inch leaders for dry fly and nymph when fishing on faster water, 7 inch leaders for small stream fishing, and 12inch leaders on slow moving streams where a fish can easily see the fly line on the surface.
4. Choosing a fly line
The weights of the fly line and the rod must match. The rod has a weight inscribed on it that you should check first.Then you need to choose a taper for your flying line that best suits you. Fly lines come in different forms;
– Weight forward – in these lines, the weight of the fly line is measured in the first 30ft, the weight is concentrated more towards the end of the line. It tapers down to a thin running line that allows easier long distance casts.
– Double taper – these have a tapering section, between 6 and 10 feet long at both ends of the line with a level section in between them. They are easier to cast long roll casts. It is the best choice when going to fly catch in restrictive conditions that require roll casts and delicate presentations.
– Shooting taper – these lines are short sections of the fly line usually attached to a separate running line. They are used specifically for long distance casting and they are delicate. They are often used when fishing for salmon, steel head, and some saltwater species.
Fly lines can either be floating or sinking; if going in deeper waters, you need a sinking line which is denser and hence sinks faster.
5. Choosing Reels
Usually sold by the rod weight and size of line they are designed for; in fly fishing everything needs to balance, that is, the line, the rod, and the reel all have to match.