How to Choose the Fly Fishing Flies


Flyfishing is a form of fishing that uses a rod and artificial fly in catching a fish. Through a fly fishing rods, and specialized weighted line and reel, the fly is casted on it. Flies can be created by using wire, thread, feathers, beads, hair and yarn forming it just like insects. Then, it is used to bait fish and attract different kinds of fish and marine species. Most people enjoy this activity in mountain streams, but some also enjoy doing it in ponds and warm waters and lakes.

Just like in traditional fishing, there’s also need to learn techniques on how to correctly carry out this activity. Here are some strategies and tips to consider:

Choosing Flies

  • Size – In choosing flies, it’s important to think about the size, color, shape and action. If you use it in saltwater, you should pay more attention to the action rather than the exact shape and size.
  • Dry vs. wet – The construction of the fly is the basis whether it will submerge, sink or float. Keep in mind that fish usually look for food in a specific area of the water that’s why it’s important to think about it when selecting a good fly.
  • Fly color – In selecting the color of the fly, you should consider the seasonal patterns. The winter, late fall, early spring flies are darker and matching with the underwater environment. The flies with lighter colors usually work well in warmer weather.
  • Flattery vs. imitation – The effectiveness of fishing depends on the food availability, fishing pressure and weather condition. But, it’s also important to think about whether to use exact imitation or impressionistic fishing flies.

Stalking Fish

  • Proper approach – The approach is significant in stalking trout, it’s because the height of the object is overstated in the view of the fish. The fish closer to the surface can view you from the farther distance as compared to those that are submerged. It’s the result of the light’s refraction on the water surface.
  • Think the position – Identify first the right position of casting so that you can obtain a better drift.
  • Planning and timing – It’s important to plan and determine the right timing in this activity since it is different from trout fishing. This way you’ll know the right position that will give the best presentation.
  • Walk softly – Fish are sensitive to vibration and sound that’s why it’s important to walk softly to avoid pushing the water. Fish were scared by the sounds of rocking or noisy boats.
  • Blind casting and prospecting – You can use longer casts when fishing in shoreline and mangroves. Proper casting depends on the water current and structure.


Determining the proper presentation of the flies is important, and drag is considered to be the common problem. It’s important to consider the drag-free presentations before changing the flies. If you’re facing the problem with drag, you can fix it by extending the length of the tippet or changing supplier or lighter tippet material. You can also use a more visible fly so that you can easily view the drag. Doing this activity in salt and freshwater requires using the nine-foot leaders that are the standard length. But, longer leaders should be used on spring creeks or still waters. It’s also essential to observe the behavior of the fish. Never attempt to cast upon seeing a feeding trout. Instead, you should observe the right timing of rising and what it feeds. This way you’ll know the right flies to use.

Aside from knowing the important details about this sort of fishing, it’s also essential to ensure having the right or appropriate fishing gears. Keep in mind that doing this activity may expose you to the outside environment that’s why you should ensure your safety by wearing the right outfit and gear. For many people, this activity may seem to be ordinary, but for those who are inclined to do such activity can say that it gives them the opportunity to enjoy the nature at the same time spending vacation time with family and friends.

Due to the uniqueness of this activity, fishing enthusiasts created a group in which they hang out not only to fish but also to enjoy the company of their teammates or fishing partner. Learning how to fly fish can be daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will be addicted to it and later on found out that you are spending your time and money to support the activity. It doesn’t only boost your adrenaline rush, but also excitement. But, you should be extra careful because, with just a wrong move, fishing can kill you. Thus, you need to be attentive at all times.


  1. Hi Philip,

    I see from your article ‘choosing fishing flies’ that you have used one of my copyrighted images of a Governor Aiken streamer fly. ALL my images are from one of my 26 published books about fly tying and fly fishing and are copyrighted these can only be used with written permission. I will be sending an invoice for the use of this image.

    If you have any questions.


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