Fly-fishing is different in that you cast the line, not the lure. This allows you to throw extremely light flies that can't be presented in any other way. Fly-fishing is efficient because you can make a lot of casts quickly so the bait doesn't stay in one place very long (just like a real fly). Fish also put up a great fight on fly rods because the rods tend to be light and limber.
Equipment Needed for Fly-Fishing
Reels don't have to be complex because all they do is hold the line. For trout and other freshwater fish, most of the fighting of the fish is done by pulling in line with your hands so the reel is not important there, either. Some reels have handles you crank to retrieve line, others have a lever that activates a spring to wind in the line. Reels for big salt-and freshwater fish that make long runs, like salmon and steelhead, do have a drag system to help you fight the fish.
The rod is the most important part of fly-fishing because it is what's used to throw the line. Rods are long and limber, often eight to ten feet in length. Fly line is thick and heavy enough to be cast; some kinds float and others sink. A monofilament leader is attached to the end of the line to separate the bait from the thick fly line that might spook a fish.
How to Use Fly-Fishing Equipment
Some people say fly-fishing is standing in the water waving a stick. But most fly-fishing is done away from the shoreline while wading or from a boat because the motion you use makes the line go almost as far behind you as it does in front of you.
For fly-fishing, pull enough line off the reel and through the guides so several feet lay in the water in front of you. Start waving the rod tip back and forth to get the line moving in the air. Strip more line off at the reel and release it on the forward cast to add more length to the cast. Continue this motion until enough line is out to reach your target.
Watch out for anything behind you on your back cast. You don't want to hit trees, bushes, or other people. Be very aware that your line goes out as far behind you as it does in front of you.
Remember, you must keep the line moving. Wait on the back cast until you feel it get tight before starting your forward motion. Start with a short line out and learn to cast just twenty feet or so, then gradually work up to longer distances.
FIGURE 3-5 A
FIGURE 3-5 B
Casting with a fly rod.
When to Use Fly-Fishing Equipment
The traditional use of a fly rod is fishing for trout using tiny feather lures. But you can use a fly rod any time and just about any place. From throwing small popping bugs for bream to throwing huge streamers for tarpon, you can catch any size fish in any kind of water. Pick a fly rod if you want to accentuate the fight of a fish. If you want to quickly drop a lure into an area, then move it to the next one, use a fly rod. Since you don't have to reel in between cast, you can quickly drop your bait, move it a little to attract a fish, then cast to the next spot. It's a very efficient way to catch fish.