Fly Fishing is a specialized technique for catching fish where the bait, which typically looks like a fly, is presented to the fish. The idea behind fly fishing is designed to appear to the fish as if a bug has landed on the top of the water or slightly below the waters surface to entice a strike. The goal is to try to find a fly that matches the hatch or bait fish in the area.
Fly Fishing - Types of Flies
In fly fishing, the fly is the bait that you use to entice the fish to strike. There really are thousands of different flies on the market, though they usually fall into three different types of flies.
The Most Common Types of Flies
•Dry Flies•Nymphs•Streamers•Wet Flies•Salmon Flies•Saltwater Flies•Warm Water Flies•Synthetic and Terrestrial Flies
Dry Flies are the most widely used. They are designed to present on top the water and mimic a fly or bug landing on the surface of the water to entice a fish to strike. They mimic adult aquatic insects as they emerge from the water. They also represent other bugs like grasshoppers, crickets, ants, and other bugs to entice trout, panfish, and bass to strike. Some dry flies mimic small mice to entice a big largemouth bass to bite. Our favorite dry flies are the Mosquito Fly, Blue Winged Olive Flies, Elk Hair Caddis Flies, and the Rainy’s X-Fly Parachute Fly.
Nymphs are designed to float just below the surface of the water to mimic a water invertebrate, or young insects in their larval form that live in the waters that the resident fish are used to eating in the wild. They are meant to be fished along, or near the bottom of lakes, and rivers. Nymph flies are highly effective for trout, panfish, steelhead, and salmon. Some of our top Nymph Flies are the Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph Flies, Montana Fly Company’s Hare’s Ear Flies, the Bead Head Prince Nymph Flies, and the Tungsten Zebra Midge Flies.
Streamer Flies are designed to mimic a small fish or other aquatic life, like baitfish, crayfish, leeches, and large aquatic insects like hellgrammites. Streamers are fished throughout the water column in lakes, rivers, and creeks. It is important to match the type of fly you use to the water conditions, location and type of fish that you are trying to catch. You can usually get good information on what types of flies to use at local bait stores in the area you are going to fish, or a little online research in a fishing forum, or other online research. Our favorite Streamer Fliles are the Pine Squirrel Leech Flies, Bead Head Autumn Wooly Bugger Flies, Rainy’s Empie’s Deadly Shinder Fly Assortment, and the Bead Head Crystal Wooly Bugger.
Wet flies imitate aquatic insects as they swim up to the surface. They are some of the most effective when fishing for trout, panfish, bass, salmon and steelhead.
Salmon flies are made for both the Pacific and Atlantic salmon, and also work very well for steelhead. Salmon flies aren’t really made to mimic any specific insects or baitfish, they are really made to trigger an agressive response from these agressive fish.
Saltwater flies represent the many food sources found in the ocean. From baitfish to crab and even shrimp, these patterns can catch everything from bonefish to tarpon. Our favorites include the Umpqua Saltwater Popper, Rainy’s Merkin Crab Fly, Rainy’s Gotcha Bonefish Fly, and Rainy’s Avalon Fly.
Synthetic and Terrestrial Flies
Cabela’s Grand Hopper Fly Cabela’s Cricket Fly Betts Bass Bug Popper Flies Betts Black Ant Flies
Warm Water Flies
Warm water flies are designed specifically for fly fishing in warmer lakes, rivers, and creeks. These flies target largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, perch, crappie, carp, stripers, and other warm water fish species. Our favorite warm water flies are the CB Bass Pop Fly Assortment, Edmond’s Stealth Bomber Fly Assortment, Rainy’s Carp Tease Fly Assortment, and Rainy’s J’s Frogman Warm Water Fly Assortment multi pack.
If you are looking to save some money, or are just starting to buy your first flies, buying a multi pack fly assortment set is the best way to go. This way you will get lots of different flies, in a lot of different colors, to try them all and see which ones work the best for your, and the location where you are fishing. Our favorite Fly Assortment Kits are the Wooly Bugger Fly Assortment, the ten piece CF Baitfish Fly Assortment, and the fourteen piece Alaska King Salmon Fly Assortment.
•Fly Tying Material Kit •Bucktail Fly Tying Material •Saddle Skins for Tying Flies •UTC Ultra Thread for Fly Tying
Fly Tying Kits
When you first start out tying your own flies it can be rather costly to get the different components you need to tie many different flies to fill up your fly box. It is a good idea to buy yourself a fly tying kit that has all the materieals you need to get started. We recommend the White River Fly Shop Masters Zebra Midge Fly Tying Kit, the White River Fly Shop Masters Foam Spider Fly Tying Kit, the White River Fly Shop Masters San Juan Worm Fly Tying Kit, and the White River Fly Shop Masters Woolly Bugger Fly Tying Kit. These kits will get you started in tying some of the best widely used fly fishing flies. About The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Fly Tying Experience Awaits!