Fly Fishing The sport of fly fishing has been around for years and years. In medieval times, anglers fished for food, but the sport has evolved over the years to become a real test of skills. Anyone who has become involved in the sport of fly fishing knows how addictive in can be -- but in a very good way! Fly fishing is markedly different from regular fishing. With plain fishing, you use lures and often live bait to bring fish to your line and hook them. When you are fly fishing, you use a fly that resembles a real insect that the fish feed on naturally. The line is longer and you mimic the movement of the fly or insect on top of the water so that the fish thinks they are biting at a real insect. Casting is constant in fly fishing. You put the fly out in the water and then draw it back several times so that the fish thinks the fly is landing on the water and then taking off again. With regular fishing, you cast your line and let it rest until the fish bites making the bobber sink into the water. You can catch some pretty hefty fish using either method, but when you are fly fishing, you have the opportunity to "battle" the fish for survival. This can be extremely satisfying as man battles nature for the top position. Flies are made out of natural materials in fly fishing while regular fishing utilizes latex and plastic lures made out of man-made materials. Many avid fly fishermen say that the fish are much more attracted to the natural lure rather than the man-made ones. This, they say, makes fly fishing an amazingly satisfying sport. You can fish just about anywhere -- a local pond, a lake, or even a reservoir. When you are fly fishing, you will want to go where the fish are most plentiful. That means traveling (perhaps) to rivers and streams where fish like trout and walleye are known to live. The challenge in fly fishing lies in making the fly look real to the fish below water. Fly fishing in remote places like Alaska and Canada are great vacation getaways. You can plan a fly fishing trip to many different spots including Mexico, South America, and even Russia. That can be a great adventure -- much more so than just fishing your local lake or pond. Chess has been called "the sport of kings", but many avid fly fishermen consider fly fishing to be the real sport of kings. It takes skill, finesse, and a lot of patience to get good at fly fishing. Thousands of anglers couldn't agree more. When you've been fly fishing once, you'll want to go back over and over and over again. May the fish bite well for you! The Best Fly Fishing Trip Money Can Buy When money is no object, you have so many options when planning a fly fishing trip. Maybe you've saved up your money and now are ready to experience the ultimate fly fishing trip. You don't even have to leave the country to get the best fly fishing trip money can buy. But if you want an amazing experience, you will want to consider an international fly fishing trip. There is a great book on the market right now titled The Best Fly Fishing Trips Money Can Buy. It was written by a world renowned fly fisherman named Pat Ford who has achieved sixteen fly rod world records. He has been fly fishing for years and was eager to share his expertise about world-class fly fishing destinations. Mr. Ford enlisted the help of other fly fisherman to tell YOU about the best fly fishing trips that money can buy. They have reviewed and recommended fly fishing in destinations all over the world. Some of these places include: Katmai, Alaska; Bermuda; Costa Rica, and Guatemala among others. You can find this book online at amazon.com for $26.37 or at other outlets like Wal Mart, Barnes & Noble, and overstock.com at various other prices. Some of the most exotic fly fishing destinations are covered in this amazing book, and it is recommended by fly fishermen all over the world. When you are able to travel to beautiful locations and not worry about money, you can get a fly fishing trip that you will never forget. Consider the waters of the Amazon, the beautiful landscape of Bolivia, or the clear waters of the Galapagos Islands. The choices abound, and when you have the guidance of someone like Pat Ford to help you toward the best destinations, you're sure to be a winner on your trip. This book, The Best Fly Fishing Trips Money Can Buy, covers both saltwater and freshwater species of fish. You can learn the nuances of catching these fish and where you can find them in plenty. Some of the fish you can learn how to catch include: bonefish, tarpon, sailfish, salmon, and tiger fish among others. This book gives you tips on how to find world-class catches in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Make your next fly fishing trip one you will never forget. Invest just a little money in the book The Best Fly Fishing Trips Money Can Buy and let the experts guide you towards places that perhaps you've only dreamed of. Fly Fishing Equipment Just as with any other sport, the equipment you use when fly fishing can be very important. There are various types of equipment that you need when you undertake fly fishing, and be prepared because some of it can get quite expensive! Of course, you'll need a rod and reel. What type of rod you choose depends on the type of fish you will be angling for. Fly rods are ranked according to their net weight capabilities (nwt). The nwt number will tell you what type of fish you will be able to catch. Fish that weigh 8 pounds will require at least an 8 nwt rod, etc. The larger the nwt number, the larger fish you can catch. Some rods are multi-rated (e.g. 7-9 nwt). These rods are good to use because they can accommodate a variety of fish, but multi-rated rods tend to be less flexible than single rated rods. Rods are made of fiberglass, graphite, or bamboo. Fiberglass rods are durable and less expensive. Fiberglass rods are best for beginning fly fishermen because they can be used in a variety of situations. Graphite rods are lighter and will give you more fighting weight when it comes to landing a fish. Bamboo rods can be expensive, but they are extremely strong and are suited to a more laid-back casting style. Your fly line will need to match the nwt of your rod. If you have an 8 nwt rod, you'll need to use an 8 nwt line. It is acceptable to go one or two sizes above or below your rod weight (i.e. 9 nwt or 7 nwt). Buy line that is strong and durable. Some lines are specially designed for freshwater, saltwater, etc. You will also need to have a durable net that you can carry with you. After the fish has lost its will to fight, a good net is used to scoop them out of the water. This can be a big part of your fly fishing equipment because without a good net, you won't be able to get your fish out of the water! Having the right fly fishing equipment is important for both the beginner as well as the experienced angler. As you get better and better at the sport, you will begin to see how important having good equipment can be. You can always upgrade, so it's good to start out small and work your way up to the more expensive stuff. Your fly fishing equipment can make a world of difference between landing that big fish or catching an ordinary one. Fly Fishing Gear The term "fly fishing gear" can be used to refer to a lot of parts of your fly fishing supplies. In this article, we'll discuss various piece of fly fishing gear that are important to have on hand. You already know you need a rod and reel, but there's so much more involved in your fly fishing gear. Of course, you'll need to have a variety of flies to use as bait for the fish. Flies are meant to mimic the look and movement of a fish's natural food source. Some fish prefer different flies, and when you use what they are used to eating, your chances are better of landing a bite. Keep several different types of flies close at hand so you can choose the right fly for the specific fish you are angling for. You will also need to have several different weights of lines so you can switch them out if you find yourself in waters with larger fish. Of course, your fly rod has a lot to do with what line to use, but if you have an 8 nwt rod and are finding some 10 pound fish, go ahead and switch to a 10 nwt line to increase your chances of winning a fight with that prize-winning trout. Part of your fly fishing gear includes what you wear while fishing. You'll need to have a good pair of waders so you can keep dry while going after your fish. Pick a pair of waders that will meet your fishing situation. Chest high waders are usually a good choice because they allow you to wade in all depths of water. You will also need a fishing vest with lots of pockets that will hold your flies, line, and other pieces of gear. The pockets should fasten with Velcro so that you have easy access to what you need. You don't want to be on the water and realize you need a different fly only to miss out on a passing school of fish because you were fumbling with your pockets. A good pair of fishing pliers is almost a necessity. Many rivers and streams are exclusively catch and release water. That means that once you catch the fish, you need to let it go. This helps propagate the population and promote healthy fishing at all times. You will want an easy way to get the hook out of the fish's mouth without causing harm to its body. Fishing pliers are designed to do just that. Finally, your fly fishing gear should include a waterproof camera. If you are lucky enough to land a whopper, you'll want to document it as part of your prize! When you are amassing your fly fishing gear, things can eventually get out of hand. Many fly fishermen have an abundance of gear with the possibility that they might need something specific in a certain situation. That's just fine, but the essentials that are listed above are a start! Fly Fishing Reels Your fly fishing reel can be as important as your fly fishing rod. At one time, many people thought of the fly fishing reel as just storage for your line, but it has evolved into so much more. The reel can make a big difference in being able to drag in your fish or failing to do so. Most fly fishing reels are made of aluminum. When using, the fisherman strips line off the reel with one hand while casting with the other. He (or she) then retrieves the slack line by winding it back up on the reel. The type of reel you use depends on the fish you are trying to catch. Some reels are better suited for larger fish as well as more demanding conditions while on the water. Your fly fishing reel should have a solid handle that is easy to manipulate. Some reels come with double handles -- one on each end of the spinner -- that makes it much easier to grab hold of and wind up. Which one you choose is up to you! The spool holds the fishing line. Attached to the spool on the outside is a small weight called a counter balance. This assures that the reel spins smooth and true without any interference from the rod or the angler. Many spools have exposed rims. This actually serves a very useful purpose when you are struggling with a fish. You can cup your hand on the outside of the room so you can play with the fish and save your tackle if you are using light flies. The drag on a fly fishing reel creates pressure and prevents the line from free spooling or back lashing. You can have a click drag on your reel which are springs that put pressure against a gear stopping it from moving. These reels are noisy, though, so keep that in mind. Disc drags are either pads or gears that have calipers like brakes on a car. As the pressure on the gear increases, the pad clamps down stopping the drag. The reel clamps to your fly rod with a "seat" that clamps down on the handle with "feet". All reels are made to the same standard so the seats that are on fly fishing rods with handle all fly fishing reels. So, basically, you can pick out your rod and then choose the reel you want and not have to worry if it will fit your rod. Choosing your fly fishing reel depends a lot on what type of fishing you will be doing. If fishing for large game fish, you will want one that can handle the pressure of the weight of the fish. If you are just fishing for trout and bass, you will want a standard reel that will make bringing your fish in just a little bit easier. Fly Fishing Rod In the sport of fly fishing, your rod is one of your most important pieces of equipment. Fly rods come in various shapes and sizes, and which one you choose depends a lot on how you are going to be using the rod. Fly fishing rods come rated in terms of the net weight they can handle (designated by nwt). That means if you are fishing waters for fish up to 8 pounds, you should use an 8 nwt rod. The higher the number, the bigger fish the rod will be able to handle. Some rods are multi-rated (i.e. 8-10 nwt). These rods are good because they can handle a variety of situations, but you will sacrifice flexibility in the performance of the rod. A multi-rated rod is good for beginning fly fishermen because of it's ability to adapt to various fishing scenarios. Rods are made of three different materials: fiberglass, graphite, and bamboo. Fiberglass rods are the best choice for beginners. They are durable and considerably less expensive than the alternatives. Most fly fishing rods are made of fiberglass. Graphite rods are a little more expensive, but they are lighter than fiberglass. They are better at casting than other rods and can handle many types of fishing situations. Graphite rods are strong so they'll give you more fighting weight when trying to finish your catch. Bamboo rods were the earliest rods used in the sport of fly fishing. Today, bamboo rods are quite expensive, but they are amazing strong and durable. These rods are suited for a slow, soft casting style associated with slow, leisurely fishing. Bamboo rods are very graceful, but they can be difficult to handle in certain situations, so this is not a good choice for beginners. The length of your rod makes a difference as well depending on what type of fishing location you are in. Rods less than 8 feet long are good for tight, narrow places and areas with overhanging trees. Eight to nine foot rods are ideal for trout and bass fishing in open areas where you can get casting distance. Anything nine feet and over is for wide open waters and long distance casts. You can also use a nine foot and above rod for fishing from a float tube. Put some thought into your fly fishing rod. While it's not the only piece of gear that matters, it can be the one piece of gear that can help you bring in a monster fish or a baby fish. Think about what you want to accomplish on your fishing expedition and choose a rod that you help you achieve your goal. Fly Fishing Knots When you are fly fishing, tying the right knots can make a world of difference in your success or failure. It's important to not only select the right knot for the situation but also to tie it properly. Poorly tied knots will mean lost fish and frustration for you, so knowing about the right knots and how to tie them can be a huge part of the fly fishing experience. Before you tighten a knot, moisten it with saliva or with water you are fishing on. This will help the knot slide and seat properly. Lubrication also decreases excessive heat which can weaken the monofilament. Heat is generated by friction created when the knots are drawn up tight. Moistening the knot will reduce this heat and allow you to have good, strong knots. Tighten knots with a steady, continuous pull. This is called seating the knot. Make sure the knot is tight and secure. To check this, pull on the line and leader to be sure it holds. It's better to test its strength before you cast rather than to have it break once you get a hook. There are plenty of books available that give step-by-step instructions on how to properly tie specific knots. You can also find many tutorials online that can show you how to tie specific knots. You will need to know how to secure your line to the reel. This is called "Backing to the fly reel" and there is a specific knot as to how to achieve that. When you are backing to the fly line, you should use either an Albright Knot or a Nail Knot. The Nail Knot is also good for using when tying the fly line to the leader. When securing the leader to the tippet, good knot choices include the Surgeon's Knot or the Barrel Knot. Securing the tippet to the fly can be achieved easily with a Clinch Knot or a Duncan's Loop. It has been said that the weakest part of a fly fisherman's equipment is his knots. A fighting fish will test every link in between the angler and itself. If one of these link is lacking, the line will break and the fish will be lost. Unless you're really eager to share a "the one that got away" story, learning to tie knots can be the most important part of your fly fishing experience. Some fly fishing knots are simple to do -- others are a little more complicated. Practice tying knots before you get on the water. Become proficient at it and be sure you can do it in low light in case you have a broken line. There is no one knot best for any specific situation -- the choice is personal. But when you are fly fishing, you need to depend on your knots and it's worth taking the time to learn properly. Fly Fishing for Bass When you mention fly fishing to people, many times they think you are fishing exclusively for trout. However, there are some amazing spots you can fly fish for trophy sized bass as well. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass abound in rivers and lakes, so why not try your hand fly fishing for bass? Many experienced fly fishermen report that bass fly fishing can be extremely challenging as well as extremely satisfying. Bass have larger mouths than trout, so your choice of lures is much more diverse. They strike hard and fight strong, so when you are fly fishing for bass, expect to be exhilarated by the fight in these guys! Experts suggest that you use a 6-7 weight rod, but if you are especially experienced, you can use a 4-5 weight rod. If you choose the smaller rod, you may have trouble casting the larger flies, so be aware of that. You can use a floating or a sinking line with a weight forward taper. You should have a 7 ‡ to 9 foot leader tapered down to a 10 pound test. Most bass are opportunistic feeders and will bite at anything. In general, however, flies for bass fishing are usually larger and influence a bigger bite. Try big muddler minnows, clousy minnows, wooly buggers, poppers, leech patterns, and crayfish patterns. Size 8 or 10 would be a little on the small side while size 2 or 1/0 would be a little too large, so opt for something in between. Largemouth bass live in shallow water habitats among reeds, water lilies, and other vegetation naturally found in the water. They are adapted to warm waters in the 80 degree range and are seldom found deeper than twenty feet down. They prefer clear waters with little or no current. They stay fairly active year-round, but tend to stay near the bottom in the winter months. Great bass fly fishing can be found in various locations throughout the United States. In the northeastern United States, try the rivers and streams in the Adirondack Mountains such as the Mohawk or Black Rivers. There are also some prized bass in the Great Lakes region. Southern Ontario in Canada can also provide some great opportunities to catch trophy sized bass. Bass fly fishing can be a great experience for both the beginning fly fisherman as well as those with a little more experience. Fly fishing for bass requires a little bit of finesse and some tenacity when they bite. Stay with the fish and pull a whopper out of the water you can be proud of! Fly Fishing for Trout Fly fishing is most often done for the various species of trout that exist in the waters and streams of the Western United States. For example, a fly fishing trip to Colorado will find you catching mostly rainbow trout, but if you are fishing the Great Lakes region, you will be looking at more bass fishing than trout. The best places for trout fishing, besides in Colorado, include North Carolina, Ontario, Northern California, and Washington. Trout prefer smooth, clear running streams and rivers that can be found in the mountains, so you'll get some great scenery while you are fishing. Rainbow trout can be wild and explosive fish to hook. Expect it to take some work when you land your rainbow when trying to reel it in. These fish have very colorful markings, and are a favorite food fish for many people. Rainbows thrive in cool, clear streams and rivers. They prefer a water temperature ranging from 55 to 60 degrees. The best time to catch rainbows is in the spring and fall before spawning. They respond well to a variety of flies including spinners, streamers, and nymphs. Brown trout don't fight as hard as rainbows, but they are much more cunning than their cousins. They can be a challenge to hook in the first place, so use some patience if catching brown trout is your goal. They are timid fish who are very aware of their surroundings as well as any predators including you! The ideal home for brown trout is a slow flowing stream containing lots of minnows. They like warmer water in the 60 -- 70 degree range. For the larger fish, you will want to fish during darker light. They can be caught with dry flies, streamers, and stonefly nymphs The brook trout has brilliant coloring and are smaller than their other trout relatives. They can be quite wild when hooked, so expect a bit of a fight with brook trout. They are not as plentiful as rainbows or browns, but they can be found. They prefer colder water from 40 to 50 degrees. If you are lucky enough to hook a brook trout, you will be rewarded. The fish travel in schools, and once action begins, it can be overwhelming. In the summer, use a spinner and cast into shallow bottoms. You can also use bucktail on a sinking line to try and land one of these beauties. Fly fishing for trout is an exciting experience for any fly fisherman. When you have a rainbow hooked and have to fight for your own leverage, the challenge can be enormous, but when you pull that baby out of the water, you will be satisfied with your performance. Seek them out and enjoy the experience of fly fishing for trout. Different Types of Fly Fishing Casts The art of casting is a very important skill in fly fishing. It requires gradual, synchronized movements. It helps to think of each movement, both the back cast in the forward cast, is divided into three steps. The first is loading, the second is the momentum of projection, and the third is the pause. It takes a lot of practice to master the art of casting in fly fishing. There are several types of casts. The most common of these include the basic cast, false cast, side and reverse casts, roll cast, and double haul cast. In fly fishing the easiest cast, called the basic cast, is simply casting the line straight back and then directly forward. Anyone new to fly fishing should master the basic cast before going on to other techniques. Use a short length of line to begin with if you are new to fly fishing. This will help you gain sufficient control of the line, while practicing short gentle movements. The false cast is a variation of the basic cast. It consists of the same backward and forward movements as the basic cast, and is immediately followed by another set of the same movements. The fly line actually travels backward and forward repeatedly without touching the water. Practicing this type of cast helps to build precise timing that is required in fly fishing. In fly fishing the side and reverse casts are generally used when wind is a problem. They are also used if there are obstacles that can make a regular cast difficult. A roll cast is generally used if the fisherman finds himself with his back to such obstacles as a high riverbank or a wall of vegetation. When these conditions exist, a basic cast is almost impossible. You need to let out a good length of line in front of you; it's best to let the current take it a short distance. The drag of the water on the line will load the rod, and you can cast forward without needing to execute the back cast. Using a double haul cast in fly fishing will enable you to cast a much longer line than is possible with a basic cast. In order to do this you need to have a much faster line speed. This is done by making much larger casting movements, applying more strength, and loading the rod more before the forward cast. During this cast both hands of the fisherman must work independently. The above five types of fly fishing casts are the ones used most often. There are many other types of casts also, including the S-cast, the parachute cast, and the mend cast. Casting is the basic physical skill involved in fly fishing. Its purpose is to place the fly exactly where you want it to be, just like any other skill it takes practice. Accuracy and the delicacy of the presentation are very important when fly fishing. Mastering the basics of fly casting first will make it easier to move on to the more difficult casts. A Few of the Best Fly Fishing Spots in the United States All across the United States there are many beautiful, exciting places that are excellent or fly fishing. The following article just highlights a few of them. Sitka, Alaska is a major stopover for salmon heading to British Columbia, Washington, and other Alaskan waters. Fly fishermen at Sitka, have a higher fishing catch rate than any other marine area in Southeast Alaska. June is the best month for fishing this area. The Colorado River at Lees Ferry, Arizona, is one of the best fly fishing spots for rainbow trout. The fish are comfortable all year round in a 15-mile stretch of cold water that flows from the depths of Lake Powell between Glen Canyon Dam and the upper end of the Grand Canyon. Fly fishermen can also book a guide and go flats fishing for 25 pound carp. Saltwater fly fishing is at its best at Montauk Point, New York. Montauk Point is the easternmost point of Long Island and is best known for striper fishing. Fly fishermen have miles of beautiful shoreline in which they can cast their fly. Gunpowder Falls, Maryland, is an excellent place to catch cold water trout. A deal was struck by the Maryland state authorities and Trout Unlimited to start cold water releases from Pretty Boy Dam. This has resulted in a combination of wild and stocked brown, brook, and rainbow trout. Most of the fly fishing is in Gunpowder Falls State Park. Fishing Creek, Pennsylvania, is one of the states top wild trout streams. It generally stays cool throughout the summer. There is a five-mile stretch called the Narrows, near Lamar, that is a very popular area for fly fishing. Driftless Area, Wisconsin, has many excellent fly fishing streams loaded with brown trout. There is excellent access to all of southwestern Wisconsin's eight counties. There are 68 streams in Vernon County alone, including Kickapoo River and Timber Coulee Creek. Most fly fishermen in this area use mayfly and caddis imitations. Laguna Madre, Texas, is full of rivers and lakes that are excellent fly fishing locations. Texas also has its southern coast, which is among the world's greatest saltwater fly fishing areas. The saltwater flats of Laguna Madre, next to Padre Island, are full of all different kinds of fish that make for a great fly fishing experience. Henry's Fork, Idaho, is a great destination for rainbow trout. If you are fishing the Island Park area, it is better to fish in runoff conditions. Lake C. W. McConaughy, Nebraska, is the largest lake in the state and also has some of the best fly fishing. Another excellent fly fishing spot in Nebraska is the Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area, which is a series of twenty sandpit lakes that have been carved into the Platte River basin. Red Willow reservoir is also a favorite of fly fishermen in this area of the country. Kauai, Hawaii, is a great spot for fly fishing largemouth, smallmouth, and peacock bass. This Garden Isle also has excellent saltwater fly fishing. Whether you like fresh or salt water fly fishing, there are thousands of places to fish across the country that offer the fly fisherman endless opportunities and experiences. Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass For fly fishing for bass can provide some of the most exciting fishing in the country. The largemouth bass is probably the most popular game fish in America. The popularity of fishing for bass is partly because no other freshwater fish has a wider distribution. Largemouth bass can be found from southern Canada to South America. Smallmouth bass are also excellent for fly fishing, but they prefer slightly cooler waters and are not as ever present as the largemouth variety. Generally, the warmer the water, the larger the bass will grow. For example, a four or five pound bass may be large for a northern lake, but warmer southern waters regularly produce 10 pounders and better. The temperature of the water is a key factor not only in fly fishing, but in all fishing. When fishing for bass it is an especially important factor. The best fishing will take place just after the bass have spawned, which is going to vary according to the temperatures. For largemouth bass spawning takes place when the water temperatures reached the low to mid-60s. In Minnesota for example, a female bass may not deposit her eggs until mid-June, while in Florida the female bass may spawn as early as February. The behavior of the largemouth bass is also influenced considerably by the top temperature of the water. On hot summer days, they usually feed during the early morning hours and then again during the last few hours of daylight, when the sun isn't as bright and the water temperature is cooler. Bass are generally found in areas of the water that have a lot of vegetation and cover. They spend a lot of time near the water's edge among the grasses, reeds, and other plants. Many fly fishermen fishing for largemouth bass use bass bugs and poppers. Poppers were designed as a surface lure to be skipped across the top of the water in a series of quick retrieves. Other good fly patterns for largemouth bass or the Muddler Minnow and the Wooly Worm. There are some fly fishermen that prefer to use streamers and bucktail. When fly fishing for bass the fly is worked differently than it is for trout. Poppers are worked not only for their appearance but also for their sound. Generally, when a fly is cast for bass it should be allowed to remain unmoving for a longer period of time then for trout. It is estimated that 60% of bass strikes are made on a still fly. Bass tend to inspect your fly for some time before making the decision whether to take it or not. It is important to remember while fly fishing, that the warmer the water, the longer it will take the bass to take a fly. At times fly fishermen like to tease the bass with repeated casts over the area where they think he's holding. Teasing can sometimes be a very effective method in bringing a lazy fish up for a strike when nothing else seems to work Fly fishing for largemouth bass can be a wonderful, exciting experience. Fly Fishing Terms You Need to Know In the world of fly fishing there are many words that are important to know. Many of these words are unusual or have a different meaning when used in reference to fly fishing. The following list includes some of the more unusual and double meaning words used by fly fishermen. Action: a general term often used to try to describe the feel of the rod -- such as sft, hard, slow, or fast Attractor: usually a bright colored fly that is not usually tied so that it imitates a particular type of food Belly: the sagging portion of a fly fishing line Blank: a rod without a handle, reel seat, or guides Blood Knot: the common name for a barrel knot Chalk Stream: a stream, usually found in valleys, that is spring fed and slow moving with a lot of vegetation Complex Hatch: the simultaneous hatching of several types of species of insects Compound Hatch: the masking, or hiding, of a hatch of smaller insects by a hatch of larger insects that occurs on the same day Cutthroat Trout: a true trout that is found mostly in the western part of the United States Dapping: a fly fishing technique in which the fly is repeatedly bounced on and off of the surface of the water Down Eye Hook: a hook that has the eye bent below the shaft Dropper: the secondary fly that is attached to the leader in a cast of flies Emerger: a term that is used to describe any insect that moves up towards the water's surface preparing to hatch into the adult stage Feeding Lie: where a trout goes in order to actively feed Flat-butt Leader: a fly used in fly fishing where the butt section is formed into a ribbon shape Freestone Streams: fast moving, tumbling streams with rock covered bottoms French Snap: a small clamp, often used by a fly fisherman to attach his net to his vest Holding Lie: where a trout generally remains when not actively feeding Leisenring Lift: a technique used in nymph fly fishing where the line is lifted, causing the imitation fly to move upwards, right in front of the trout's suspected lie Midge Rod: a short, light weight rod Natural -- a living insect, as opposed to an artificial, or man-made, insect or fly Nymphing: any oaf the various fishing techniques in which the fly fisherman presents an imitation of the underwater stage of an insect Presentation: the method of placing a fly where the fish is most likely to see it; includes the manner in which the cast in completed and the method in which the fly is fished Rise: the act of the fish taking an insect from the water's surface Run: a term used to describe a particular stretch of moving water Shooting: a casting technique Spate: high water Stripping: quickly retrieving line or pulling line from the reel Terrestrial: of or relating to an insect whose life cycle is completely spent on land or in plants Waders staff: a sturdy rod about as high as the armpit of the person fly fishing used for support in heavy water There are many words and terms that are unfamiliar to most people but not to those who enjoy fly fishing. How Are Dry Flies Made Fly fishing is an interesting sport with a growing number of people participating. When people start out fly fishing they usually just buy all of the gear that they need, including their artificial flies. Once people get hooked on fly fishing though they often start thinking about making their own artificial flies as a way to stay involved with the sport during the off-season months. While some artificial flies can be tricky to make others are actually well within the abilities of the average fly fisher. Even children can learn to tie artificial flies and this is an excellent way to get them involved in the sport. The earliest description of tying artificial flies dates back to the 2nd century. Macedonian anglers, fishing on the Astraeus River, had devised a method of fly fishing using artificial flies. These Macedonian fly fishermen started with a hook and then tied red-dyed wool around the hook. They would then tie small feathers onto the red wool to complete the artificial fly. Apparently these fishermen were quite successful with their primitive artificial flies. 18th century American fly fishermen took the design of artificial flies to a new level while studying the trout streams of the New York Catskill Mountains. These fishermen discovered that their success with fly fishing could be greatly improved by designing artificial flies that mimicked the native insects around the stream. These artificial flies successfully fooled the trout into thinking that a real insect had landed on the water. This knowledge gave rise to studying insect hatches to determine which artificial fly would be most successful. Different artificial flies are successful on different water at different times. Artificial flies were originally made using natural materials like feathers, fur, wool and similar materials. Most artificial flies are now made using synthetic materials. Another recent development in artificial fly design has been the use of the barbless hook. Many fly fishers practice "catch and release" and extracting a barbed hook from a fish after landing it can be quite difficult. While barbless hooks make it somewhat more challenging to keep the fish on the hook they are easier to extract -- from the fish or the angler! Artificial flies are now made in thousands of designs and styles. The number of choices can be quite overwhelming to new fly fishers. All artificial flies have certain basic characteristics though and, despite newer materials and more choices, the basics of artificial fly manufacturing has not changed much in two thousand years of fly fishing. All artificial flies start with a hook. The hook is then disguised to resemble an actual insect that the target fish eat or to attract the target fish with color, motion, etc. The materials that the hook is decorated with have changed over the years but some of the classic designs have not. Wool, fur and feathers were once common choices for artificial flies. Newer materials include plastic, mylar, foam and metals. These materials are either tied or glued onto the hook in special patterns to attract fish. The Importance of Setting the Hook When Fly Fishing The sport of fly fishing consists of many specialized skills that come together in a delicate balance of rhythm and precision. Setting the hook is one of those specialized skills. Many times the techniques for setting the hook are neglected by fly fishermen who spend many hours practicing and reading about casting and fly tying skills. Unlike many of the skills of fly fishing, it is almost impossible to practice setting the hook without a live fish on the end of your fly line. The first step in a successful hook actually begins when you tie your fly, either at home or on the river bank. It is very important to make sure that your hooks are razor-sharp. A dull hook doesn't have a good chance of finding its mark in the mouth of the trout. In most fly fishing techniques it is important to set the hook as quickly as possible. If the water is fast, the trout usually strikes the fly very quickly and with a lot of force. It won't take long for the trout to realize that he has an artificial fly in his mouth, and he can, and will spit it out in a split second. Fly fishing in slow moving water is the one exception to setting the hook as quickly as possible. When the water is slow trout feed in a more leisurely fashion. They may require a second or two in order to take the fly. If you set the hook too soon, you'll most likely pull the fly away from the trout. However, if you set the hook too late the trout may have already spit it out. There again is the delicate balance so often seen in fly fishing. Sometimes while fly fishing the fishermen becomes so excited when he hooks a trout that he sets the hook with too much force. This usually results in broken tippits. Setting the hook quickly, doesn't mean pulling on it with great force. One way to avoid broken tippits is to use a slip strike which cushions the tippit. If you are fly fishing using an upstream presentation, strip in the line with your line hand at the moment that you set the hook. This will remove most of the slack in the line and improve your chances for a good hook set. When setting the hook using surface techniques of fly fishing, it is very important that you are able to see your fly in order to get a good hook set. If you are fly fishing using an underwater technique, it is essential that you can see your indicator when setting the hook. In both instances timing is very important. Many experienced fly fishermen spend a lot of time imagining the strike and thinking about how they will move when they set the hook. They do this because they know that in fly fishing, the more imaginary trout you hook and land in your mind, the better your chances of taking an actual fish. Fly Fishing Catch and Release Once you make the decision that you want to become part off the world of fly fishing, you have to then decide if you are going to keep your catches or release them back into the water safe and sound. Some fishermen keep all the fish they catch, others release all that they catch, and some choose to use a combination of the two. These fly fishermen keep only what they are going to eat, or give to other people to eat, and release all of the other fish they catch. If you decide to practice fly fishing using the catch and release method, it is very important that you crush the barb of the hook you are going to use. The other choice is to use a hook without barbs. This is done to avoid any unnecessary injuries to the fish. It is also important to keep the fight as short as possible so the fish does not become overtired. At the first opportunity, bring the fish to hand but do not take it out of the water. While holding it under the water, remove the hook using a pair of fishing pliers. If the fish seems to be too tired to swim away, hold it gently just under the surface of the water with one hand around its caudal wrist, which is just ahead of the tail. With the other hand, support the fish under its belly. Rock the fish gently back and forth making sure that the water enters its mouth and flows over its gills. Using this method, the fish should gain its energy back quickly. When you feel the fish try to pull away, gently release your hold on it. Using the catch and release method of fly fishing can be very rewarding. Often fishermen believe they should release the smaller fish that they catch and keep the larger ones. They might not be aware that the larger fish usually represent the more genetically suitable spawners. They are the ones that are the most valuable fish for keeping a healthy species. It is wiser to keep the smaller fish to eat and release the larger ones back into the water. Some people while fly fishing, feel that it is all right to catch as many fish as possible as long as they release them all. However, catch and release is not foolproof. Many fish are injured during the process and some even die. At times, even though the fisherman doesn't keep any of the fish he catches, the overall fish mortality rate for that day is higher then if he had caught and kept the legal limit. Most fish, even if they are not physically injured, will sulk for a while after they have been released because of the trauma of being caught and released. Catch and release fly fishing can be a wonderful way to experience the sport. Every release of a fish contributes to the conservation efforts that ensures the future of having future stocks of fish. Specialized Clothing for Fly Fishing Compared to outdoor clothing for camping or hunting, clothing designed for fly fishing is somewhat specialized. Fly fishermen spend time partly on land and partly in the water, making their clothing needs somewhat unique. The special items needed for fly-fishing includes waders, a fishing vest, rain gear, underwear, polarized sunglasses, gloves, and a hat. For fly fishing, hip or chest waders are just about essential. Hip waders are good for fishing in small streams but have there limitations. Chest waders that go up above the waist are the best for almost all fly fishing situations. Chest waders come in two types. Boot-foot waders, in which the boot is an integral part of the wader, and stocking-foot waders, which require a separate pair of wading shoes. Many fly fishermen prefer to wear socking-foot chest wader made of neoprene. A fly fishing vest with a lot of big pockets is a basic clothing need for the fly fisherman. The pockets are needed to hold all of the fly fishing paraphernalia that an angler needs to have with them. No one wants to have to leave the water every time they need something. A vest with Velcro fasteners is best because it provides quick and easy access to all your tools, but closes securely. A good quality rain suit is very important. The best ones are made of materials that breathe, so that you do not get wet on the inside from perspiration. Make sure that the jacket closes securely at the wrists and around the neck. Having a hood on the rain jacket is also important. When fly fishing, full length underwear under your waders is a necessity. The underwear will stop heat loss from occurring, if for example, you are standing in a cold stream for several hours. The best choice of underwear is made of wool. Other good choices are Durofold, which is a combination of cotton and wool, and polypropylene. The same guidelines also go for socks. Although it is not an actual piece of clothing, a good pair of polarized sunglasses are very important for fly fishing. Not only will they cut down on the glare from the sun, but they will also make it easier to read the water. Wearing gloves for fly fishing presents a contradictory problem. Gloves keep the fingers and hands warm, however, while fly fishing it is necessary to have full, or almost full, sensitivity in your fingers. Fly fishing gloves leave the last joint of the fingers free allowing for the sensitivity that is needed. To a fly fisherman, his hat is very important. It should be wide brimmed so it protects your face, ears, and the back of your neck. It protects not only from the weather, but also from hooks if a poor cast or a gust of wind carries the fly toward your head. Wearing the correct clothing will not only keep you safer and drier, but it will add to your enjoyment of the sport of fly fishing. Selecting Your First Balanced Fly Fishing Outfit If you have decided to start fly fishing, one of the most difficult steps is the selection of your first outfit. To be a successful fly fisherman it is essential that each piece of your outfit works together in a comfortable and efficient way. When all the pieces work together, an outfit t is said to be balanced. The five essential pieces that make up an outfit include the line, rod, reel, leader, and fly. Many people that are beginning fly fishing chose their line first. This is because it is necessary to choose the line weight. There are dozens of different types of lines for fly fishing. Picking the correct one is very important One of the main things to remember is that it is critical that the line weight designation in the code matches the one on the rod that is used. The most common type of line used by beginning fly fishermen is the double tapered line. There are many types of lines including weight forward, shooting taper, level line and tapered line. The function of the line chosen for your first balanced outfit should be floating. About 95% of the time a floating line will fit your need when fly fishing. The weight of your first line will depend mostly on where you are going to fish. When choosing you first fly fishing rod there are three main things to consider. These are the material the rod is made from, its length and its action. Fly fishing rods can be made from fiberglass, bamboo, graphite, or baron. Fiberglass is the least expensive material used to make a rod. However, it is losing some of its popularity because of its weight and required diameter. Bamboo, or cane, fly fishing rods are hand crafted works of art. Because of this they are very expensive. They also require a lot more care then a rod made from a synthetic material. The most popular fly fishing rod today is made of graphite. They are very light weight, durable, and are designed to provide the fisherman with any type of needed action. Rods made from baron are the most expensive of all the synthetic rods. The reel that you choose for you first balanced fly fishing outfit will be one of three types: single action, multiplier, and automatic. A single action fly reel is a basic reel and should be the one chosen for your first balanced outfit. Multiplier and double action reels have their uses but neither should be the first one used for fly fishing. In fly fishing, a fly leader is the little piece of monofilament line that is used to attach the end of the fly line to the to the fly. It is important to choose the correct leader to make sure that the power that is generated during the cast is transferred from the end of the fly line to the fly. There are many considerations when choosing the proper leader. These choices include whether the lead should be tapered or straight, knotted or knotless, how much it should weight, and the size of the tippet. Choosing a fly for your first balanced fly fishing outfit will depend on many factors including where you are going to fish, the type of fish you are after, and your own personal preference. Once you have chosen the five items that make up your balanced outfit for fly fishing you are ready to go out and cast your line and catch those fish. Salt Water Fly Fishing Salt water fly fishing has grown in popularity over the past half century as many fisherman experience the thrill and excitement of the sport. Some choose to don their waders and fish from the shoreline, some prefer to use a small boat as they explore shallow fishing areas, and still others opt for the adventure of deep sea fly fishing. Nearly three quarters of the earth is covered with salt water, giving those who enjoy salt water fly fishing an unlimited number of places to fish. Understanding the flow of the tides is essential for any salt water fly fisherman. Tides affect the water's temperature and its clarity two of the factors that have an effect on the movement of the fish in the area. If you are fly fishing near an inland bay or a lagoon, the tides will play a major role in choosing the best area f to fish. For example, if the body of water is tide-drained through a narrow creek, fish will be feeding on the smaller fish that have been swept through it. The best place to fish is down side of the mouth of the creek. On both the Atlantic and Pacific coats the tide rises and falls twice within a twenty-four-hour period. In the Gulf of Mexico, there are some places where the tide rises only once a day. There are thousands of miles of coastline in the United States which offer an almost unlimited number of locations for fly fishing. Most salt water fly fishing is done in relatively shallow waters, or very close to the shore. This is called inshore fishing, and includes fly fishing done from the shore or from a small boat in shallow waters. Many varieties of fish can be taken while inshore fishing including striped bass, channel bass, bluefish, bonefish, flounder, bonito, barracuda, rockfish, cobia, halibut, jack crevalle, jewfish, ladyfish, mackerel, pollack, pompano, shark, snapper, snook, rooster fish, tarpon, and weakfish. Deep water fly fishing can be extremely exciting and challenging to a salt water fly fisherman. This type of fishing is done in water more than twelve feet deep from a boat that can range in size from a ten foot skiff to a 50 foot oceangoing vessel. Deep water fly fishing is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to fish. Deep water fish sought by fly fishermen are roughly divided into to categories, roamers and homebodies. Roamers are mostly pelagic and move great distances in a short time. Some of the varieties of roamers that can be caught while fly fishing include albacore, dolphin, marlin, wahoo, sailfish, yellowtail, and tuna. Homebodies sometimes appear in schools, but it is not unusual to find a solitary one. Homebodies include African pompano, Great barracuda, rockfish, grouper, amerjack, and snapper. These are only a few of the many vanities that are available to fly fishermen that fish the deep ocean waters. Whether you decide to fish inshore or deep sea, slat water fly fishing will provide an exciting, challenging and memorable experience. The History of Fly Fishing No one really knows when fly fishing first began. It is believed that it existed long ago in ancient times. One of the earliest written references to fly fishing was made by Claudius Aelianus. In 200 AD he wrote of people that were fishing in a river with a hand made fly. He described how they attached red wool and feathers to a hook. The rods they used and the sting attached were each about six feet long. These people were the ancient Macedonians. Throughout history from Aelianus to the present people have been writing about fly fishing, and many thousands of others have been enjoying the sport. The Princess of Soapwell, English, was an avid fly fisherman. Her name was Dame Juliana Berners and she was a master at her sport. At the time Columbus was searching for the New World, Dame Juliana was publishing an extensive treatise on the art of fly fishing. In her treatise she described the twelve styles of fly and included extensive instructions on how to tie them. She patterns were put into categories by the month that they were used most often. She also described the rod that was used for fly fishing during that time. It measured about 18 feet long and was very flexible, The rods were made of several different types of wood which added to their flexibility. Their lines were short, by today's standards, and were made of hand braided horse hair. The general rule of the time was that the line should not be longer then the fishing rod. The line was tied to the tip of the pole. Many fly fishermen of today have used her patterns for the fly. They say they are just as effective today as they were more than five hundred years ago. Several of the more popular patterns include the Black Gnat, the Wooly Worm, the Stonefly and the Whirling Dun. In the mid 1600's Isaak Walton published his book "Compleat Angler." Throughout history from then on, Izaak Walton has been considered the patron saint on angling, and of fly fishing in particular. In truth, it was actually his friend, Charles Cotton, that had contributed the portion of the book that pertained to fly fishing. The flies and rods described in this book were very similar to those described by Dame Juliana. However, the lines described were slightly different. They were still made of horsehair but were about six feet longer then those of the 1400's. The main difference was that some of the lines were tapered. It is believed that this was the first time tapered lines were described in writing. In the early 1800's, fishing line makers began mixing silk in with the horsehair. By the time of the Civil War the first all silk lines were made. They were coated with an oily coating which made them water resistant. Horsehair lines were almost never used after that. Occasionally they were found in England up to World War II. The first nylon line was made in 1948 and from that point forward synthetic materials have been used by most people for fly fishing. In 1952, a technology was created that made an automatically tapered line withe extreme precision. Fly Fishing Around The World Fly fishing is a popular sport around the world. With a history dating back nearly 2,000 years it should not be surprising that many of the world's cultures have adopted various styles of fly fishing for their sport fishing activities. Fly fishing is a sport where the basics can be learned in a few hours with a guide but where the advanced techniques of the masters will take years of dedicated effort. This combination of factors helps to keep people interested in fly fishing for many years. Fly fishing is also diverse enough that it works well for quite a variety of fishing conditions. Fly fishing will serve you well whether casting a fly into a small, mountain trout stream in North America and Europe or whether casting for bonefish in the Caribbean. The sports flexibility has served to make it a popular sport option around the world. The earliest records of fishing with artificial flies record that Macedonian fishermen used six-foot rods with six-foot lines to fish. These fly fishermen crafted artificial flies using a hook decorated with red wool and insect wings. Interest in fly fishing increased in England and Scotland throughout the years though little was written until 1496 with the publication of The Treatyse On Fysshynge With An Angle. The 1653 publication of The Compleat Angler by Isaaak Walton contained several chapters on fly fishing. The publication of these books, along with the information they contain, demonstrates that fly fishing was an established fishing sport by the time of their publication. The development of fly fishing clubs throughout England in the 1800s served to further develop and popularize the sport. The chalk streams of Southern England were well suited to dry-fly fishing with their shallow waterways and weeds that grew in the water to just below the surface. Northern England and Scotland also saw the development of wet-fly fishing around the same time. However, anglers in Southern England strongly favored dry-fly fishing and tended to look down on wet-fly fishing as an inferior perversion of their sport. Fly fishing continues in England and the same chalk streams can still be fished today though most access is through privately owned and managed land. American anglers in the Catskill Mountains area of New York began experimenting with dry-fly design in the late 1800s. These anglers began designing artificial flies to mimic the native insects that the trout naturally fed on. Like Isaac Walton, some of these anglers wrote about their adventures. These publications served to further interest in the sport. The American fly fishers were also more open than their English counterparts to experimenting with wet-fly fishing. Fly fishing interest has continued and grown considerably in the United States and in Canada, The development of fiberglass manufactured fly rods following World War II, along with synthetic line and leaders, made the sport more affordable for many anglers. Inland fishing is frequently done with dry flies on streams and rivers. Coastal fishing often involves wet-fly fishing in bays or surf. Fly fishing has also been adapted by bass anglers. Many Caribbean and southern-hemisphere locations are popular saltwater fly fishing destinations. Fly fishers travel great distances to fish for bonefish and tarpon. Other southern-hemisphere locations like Belize offer both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing Fly fishing is a growing sport around the world. There has probably never been a better time to start fly fishing than today. The basic equipment to start fly fishing is more affordable than ever and the worldwide opportunities for fly fishing are just about limitless. Fly Fishing Accessories In addition to the clothing and your balanced outfit there are many accessories that you should have for fly fishing. Some of these accessories may seem strange, but when wading, it is necessary to have all of your gear and tools with you. You already have your fly fishing vest with plenty of large pockets, because that is part of a fly fisherman's basic wardrobe. You might want to put a patch of sheepskin on the front of the vast where you can keep alternative flies handy. You should also have a spring-loaded retractable spool that attaches to your vest to hold a pair of nail clippers. They come in very handy for trimming knots. You might want to attach a patch of rubber for straightening leaders. Ideally, the vest should have a large back pocket to carry light rain gear. Some vests also have a ring at the back of the collar, where you can attach the net to keep it out of the way. The choice of your fly boxes is very important. One should have large compartments where you can store dry flies without crushing their hackles. You should also have one or two smaller boxes with foam linings and metal clips. These are for holding your wet flies, nymphs, and streamers. Having a couple of small vials to hold your dry of flies after catching a fish also comes in very handy. A spare spool for your reel, already loaded with backing and line, is a good idea to have with you. Also a few spools of monofilament leader material, a leader wallet, a sharpening stone, and a Swiss Army knife are important for the fly fisherman to have within easy reach. Insect repellent is essential when fly fishing. The main ingredient in many insect repellents is DEET, which is an industrial solvent and can damage the varnish on your fly rod, eat away the finish on your fly line, weaken your leaders and destroy your rain gear. If you do use an insect repellent with DEET be very careful of what it touches and try to limit its use. There are many products today that do not contain that solvent. Having a good pair of polarized sunglasses will help you to see the fish and protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun. It's also important to have a small pocket flashlight with a flexible neck. This can be very useful for many things including changing flies at dusk or dawn. Other useful items include a thermometer, a small container of split shot, a good knife with several blades, and a small first aid emergency kit. Many fishermen like to take a collapsible wading staff with them while fly fishing. It helps them to keep their footing if they are wading in a heavy current or on a slippery, rocky bottom. A small cotton mesh net with a short handle comes in handy for netting your fish. If you intend to keep your catch a small canvas or woven willow basket for holding your fish will work well. There are many other accessories available for fly fishing today. Many of the choices depend on each fisherman's personal preferences. The Etiquette of Fly Fishing a Stream Fly fishing can be enjoyed by everyone. It transcends all the boundaries associated with age, status, or wealth. Stream fly fishing is known as a gentle sport and that should be reflected in our stream manner and etiquette. For the most part, the rules of stream etiquette are nothing more then good old common sense. However, they might entail things that have been forgotten, or that a beginner might not think of while fly fishing. One of the most important things to remember is not to crowd another fisherman. Sometimes the temptation is very strong to fish the same water where someone is catching a lot of fish, but that is as rude and inconsiderate as someone cutting into a serving line at a restaurant buffet. If you come upon a spot where someone is fly fishing and having a good catch, the proper thing to do is stop far back from the edge so the fish don't stop eating. You may watch for awhile, both because fly fishing is a beautiful sport to watch and perhaps you will learn something. If the person that was fishing moves further along the stream, it is acceptable to slowly and quietly enter the water where he had been fishing. Otherwise, move well beyond the fisherman to another point of the stream Fly fishing casts a common bond amongst all people that love and appreciate the sport. It is important to be friendly to other fishermen that you may come across. If you meet another fly fisherman who is outside the stream, take a moment to be friendly. Sometimes a little chat will give you insight as to what patterns are working best that day, or you could give some tip that will help him to have a better day. If you come upon a fly fisherman that is in the stream a friendly nod or wave is sufficient. Be friendly to all fishermen not just those fly fishing. You never know, sometimes a few minutes spent talking with a non-fly fisherman, could result in his wanted to give the sport a try. Taking care of the environment is essential in stream etiquette. Stream fly fishing is done in some of the most beautiful areas of the country. It is essential that we do everything we can to keep it that way. No one should ever litter. The environment should look exactly like it did when you have finished fishing for the day as it did when you started. It is not uncommon to see someone who is fly fishing picking up any litter that they come across on the stream banks, or in the water, and carrying it out with them. It only takes a moment to clean up after yourself and that will keep the area beautiful. While fly fishing a stream, always remember to respect the trout. Trout have been blessed with the natural instinct and temperament to make them a real challenge to a fly fisherman. Only keep what you intend to eat, release any others. The basics of stream etiquette for fly fishing are very simple. By following them you will ensure that you are doing your best for the environment and you will always be a welcome stream companion. Fly Fishing in Montana Fly fishing for wild trout in a mountain river among beautiful scenery is the dream of many anglers. In Montana, that fly fishing dream can become a reality. Montana offers superb fly fishing for wild trout in dozens of beautiful rivers and countless alpine lakes. The scenery is spectacular, and while some waters are quite popular, fishing pressure on most of the rivers and lakes in Montana can be surprisingly low. Unique among other western trout waters, Montana manages most of its rivers for wild trout; meaning hatchery born fish are not introduced into these rivers. Instead, protection of habitat along with catch and release restrictions are used to enhance fishing. The result is that an angler who seeks to fly fish for wild trout cannot choose a better place to fish than Montana. Excellent fly fishing, beautiful scenery, along with many other outdoor recreational activities, makes a fishing trip to Montana like no other. The Blackfoot River is located in Southwest Montana and was the setting for the award winning film, "A River Runs Through It" that featured fly fishing central to the plot line. Access to fishing spots is relatively easy to come by, and the scenery is absolutely spectacular. Most of the fish you will see on the Blackfoot will be brown trout. South Montana is home to one of fly fishing's most popular destinations: The Yellowstone River. This is the longest river in Montana beginning at Yellowstone National Park. This river is nationally known as one of the premier trout rivers in the entire United States. In the upper half of the river, you will find brown and rainbow trout as well as large whitefish. In the lower half of the river, you can find prize catfish, walleye, and sturgeon. The Bighorn River is also in southern Montana and is also one of the best trout fishing waters in the United States. This is a very popular Montana river for fly fishing, so during the busy months (July through September), expect to see many other anglers out there vying for fish alongside you. Brown trout can measure up to 15 inches on the Bighorn with rainbow trout measuring 16 inches. Fly fishing in Montana is an experience like no other. Not only will you find some of the best fishing waters in the country, you will also see some great wildlife right on the shoreline along with some spectacular scenery. It's an experience like no other! Fly Fishing in Alaska The forty-ninth state in our union is a wonderland of lakes and mountains and rivers and streams. Fly fishing in Alaska is one of the most captivating experiences that fly fishermen can report. In fact, fly fishing in Alaska has become a multi-million dollar industry as anglers flock there to catch prize-winning fish in a beautiful landscape. Fly fishing in Alaska can be an amazing experience for both experienced as well as beginning anglers. This state, while somewhat remote, has so much to offer people who decide that fishing the waters of Alaska would be the way to go. Where are the best spots? It is generally agreed upon that Katmai, Alaska is one of the best fly fishing spots in Alaska. Alaska is a magical place, and Katmai is one of the most wondrous. This area has been designated as the only trophy sport fishing area in the entire state. There are over 1,000 miles of streams and rivers to fish for such prizes as coho salmon, rainbow trout, and award-winning pike. There are many lodges in this part of Alaska that will provide guides for you and give you a real Alaskan fly fishing adventure! Many of the lodges in Alaska are fly-in only meaning they can only be reached by floatplane or train. One of the best places for fly fishing in Alaska can be found on Lake Creek which is northwest of Anchorage. On this creek, you can expect to catch some beautiful king salmon, pink salmon, and rainbow trout. You will be isolated, but the scenery and experience is absolutely second to none! The Alagnak River is another great fly fishing destination in Alaska. This river is just a few miles away from Bristol Bay providing some great tidal waters that breed wonderful fish. Chrome-bright salmon will stay here for a few days after coming in from the ocean and getting used to their new freshwater environment. Each new tide brings in a new crop of fish, so there is always a great chance of landing not just one but several fish on every expedition. You can find some trophy-sized salmon in the Kenai River of Alaska as well as rainbow trout. This is a beautiful river with easy access provided you have a guide to lead you. There are plenty of places where you can find a guide, so when planning a fly fishing trip to Alaska, be sure to book a guide if your lodge doesn't offer one. Alaska is a beautiful, wondrous state full of adventure and peacefulness alike. The fly fishing in Alaska is renowned for its abundance of fish. You will have an experience beyond your wildest dreams when you are fly fishing in Alaska. Plan today and make the trip of your fly fishing dreams a reality -- in Alaska! Colorado Fly Fishing Some of the most spectacular fly fishing in the United States can be found in the state of Colorado. In fact, when many people think of fly fishing, they automatically think of Colorado before anyplace else. It is true that Colorado has some amazing fly fishing places that have some trophy-sized fish in them. The Frying Pan River is well-known as one of the best fly fishing rivers in the entire state. This is a beautiful river with easy access. Located just outside of Aspen, the Frying Pan is host to a variety of trout including rainbow, brown and cutthroat. There are year-round hatches making fly fishing in any season possible for the avid fisherman. Another great river in the Aspen area is the Roaring Fork. This diverse river varies from small and calm to large and mighty in places. The river is classified as wild trout waters and is easily accessible down the Rio Grande Trail. As with the "Pan", year-round fishing is available. You will find mostly wild rainbow trout in the Fork with an occasional wild brook trout. The North Platte River was once used by pioneers to traverse portions of the West. Indians hunted buffalo along its shores, and its fish population has made it a legend among fly fishers. It is located in Northwestern Colorado and has been rated a gold medal river by experts. You will find many trout in the waters of the Platte and be able to enjoy some beautiful scenery at the same time! In the Vail area, you can fish the Colorado River which is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a river that is mostly wide and deep with a gently moving current. Cottonwood trees line the shore providing many hiding spaces for the brown trout that are abundant in this water. The Arkansas River is located in the southwestern portion of the state and provides some great trout fishing for anglers. Mid-winter is a great time to fish the Arkansas for trout as is the spring time. Around Mother's Day every year, many fishermen descend on the Arkansas for the annual caddis hatch which is huge. Brown trout feed on caddis and they come "out of the woodwork" for this hatch. These are only a few of the places where fly fishing in Colorado is plentiful. The countryside is gorgeous and the fish plentiful. There are also lots of great lodges that accommodate fly fishermen on a year-round basis. Fly fishing in Colorado might be the piece de resistance for many fishermen. Check out this great state and enjoy your adventure! Fly Fishing Guides Fly fishing has grown in popularity over the years to the point it is at now -- an almost obsession for many avid outdoorsmen (and women!) When looking for a guide to fly fishing, you need to find one that will cover both the basics along with the advanced techniques. There is no one way to fly fish right or wrong. It takes practice and persistence, but you will find an amazing recreational value when you take up this sport. Fly fishing isn't a complicated sport, but if you can find an expert to guide you along the way, you will become a better angler. Looking for a fly fishing guide can be a huge undertaking as there are all kinds of informational books and websites on the market that can help you along the way. A good guide to fly fishing is one that will tell you about the most basic casting maneuvers, how to pick out a fly rod, and where to look for the best fish. A good guide will teach you rather than lead you. When you learn how to do things, you will become a better sportsman (er, person). In the sport of fly fishing, the word "guide" can have a double meaning. You can look for a printed guide to teach you how to fly fish, or you can hire a guide, who is a person, to show you the best places to fish in. When hiring a competent fly fishing guide, you need to consider his or her qualifications. What type of experience do they have on those particular waters? How familiar are they with the area? Are they able to offer you tips and tricks on how to find the biggest fish? Many lodges will offer up the services of their own fishing guides when you book a cabin or vacation with them. These fly fishing guides are very valuable resources when you are on a fly fishing trip. These guides are included in the price of your stay, and they often know certain nuances of the area that no one else can offer you. You should definitely take advantage of any fly fishing guide that your lodge offers you. A printed guide to fly fishing, as we've said, will offer you information about even the most basic of techniques. They can also guide you towards the best fly fishing destinations to make any trip you take a success. Whether you're looking for a fly fishing guide who is a person or a printed fly fishing guide, you'll need to consider your options before buying or booking. Fly fishing guides can mean the difference between a good trip and a great trip! Saltwater Fly Fishing When you begin to venture into saltwater fly fishing, you are opening yourself up to a whole new fly fishing experience beyond any other. Obviously, saltwater fly fishing is done on the coastlines of the United States and internationally where the oceans are. Great saltwater fly fishing can also be found in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas and Florida. When you are fly fishing in saltwater, you will be doing most of it from the comfort of a boat. The fish you will be catching are going to be larger than freshwater fish, and you will find many different species that can't be found in rivers and streams. When saltwater fly fishing, you will be able to catch record size tuna, tarpon, seatrout, and mackerel, among other species. The best fly rods to use would be those in the 8 ‡ -- 9 foot range meant to cast a 7 -- 10 nwt line. Some fly fishers use shorter rods for tighter work, and longer rods when casting distance is important. When considering reels, the drag system becomes prime in importance because the size of the fish will require you to gain as much control over the reel as you possibly can. When choosing your line, it is certainly a matter of preference. Some people like to have brighter colored lines for easier visibility while others think it's important to go for blending when it comes to the line so the fish won't shy away from it. Choose an appropriate weight for your fly rod and one that can handle the types of fish you are angling for. When you are saltwater fly fishing, the tidal action is the engine that drives the atmosphere of the fish available. The tidal movements carry in different types of marine life that live in the channels as the tides roll in and out. Knowledge of the timing and strength of tides is essential to making a saltwater fly fishing outing both productive and safe. Water temperature is another huge factor in saltwater fly fishing. When it is too cold, the fish are sluggish, when it is too warm, the fish are going to the cool spots. Look for waters that are tepid and you will find some huge fish that are trophy-sized and can provide an amazing experience. Saltwater fly fishing isn't for everyone, but it can be a great way to expose yourself to a new aspect of the sport. If you're looking for a challenge, fly fishing on saltwater could be a great eye-opener for you. You'll find prized game fish and be able to test your fly fishing skills in ways you can't even imagine. Fly Tying for Fly Fishing One of the best parts of fly fishing is learning the art of fly tying. While you can buy pre-made flies, there's nothing more satisfying than tying your own flies and being able to share with your friends the fact that you caught a 20 pound fish using a fly you made yourself. While it's not complicated, fly tying for fly fishing can be a very delicate art. The first piece of equipment you will need when undertaking fly tying is a fly vice. These hold your hook while you are tying it together. You'll want a vice that can hold all sizes and shapes of hooks and that is easily adjustable. Get a bobbin that will hold your thread. A bobbin will keep your thread tight and organized while you are tying your fly. Bobbins come in a variety of sizes, but they all basically do the same thing. Spend just a little bit more money on a bobbin and you won't have to worry about cut threads before you are through. You need to also splurge on a good pair of scissors. To start out with, one pair of scissors is enough, but as you get better at fly tying, you'll want to have a variety of shapes and sizes to meet the needs of the flies you are tying. The loops should fit your fingers comfortably, and they should be kept sharp. Hackle pliers are small pliers with enough constant tension designed to wrap hackle feathers around the hook. As with scissors, they come in all shapes and sizes, but they all do basically the same thing. Find a good bodkin too. A bodkin is basically a needle in a handle. You can use a bodkin not only to tie the fly, but also for delicate work that requires a small, sharp point like separating out pieces of feather and fur. Of course, you'll also need a large selection of feathers and fur to match the different types of flies you want to match. Mink fur and pheasant feathers are good materials to work with as are peacock feathers. There are several books and websites available that can teach you fly tying for fly fishing as it can't really be explained in a few short paragraphs. The best way to learn how to tie your fly fishing ties is to experiment and keep doing it. You'll eventually find techniques that work for you and be well on your way to becoming an expert on fly tying for your fly fishing needs! Finding Solitude While Fly Fishing in Montana One of the best parts about the sport of fly fishing is experiencing the scenery and calmness around you as you are trying to land your big fish. Montana is a great place to find some solitude while fly fishing. In fact, the vast expanses that surround the rivers and streams in Montana can provide you with some of the most relaxing solitude anywhere. Montana fly fishing is legendary. Anglers from all over the world travel to Montana to experience fly fishing the blue ribbon trout rivers and pristine mountain lakes. Whether an angler seeks to battle trophy sized wild rainbow trout on the Yellowstone River or to experience the solitude of a high mountain lake, Montana provides fly fishing experiences like no other place can. Montana provides such an abundance of opportunities that visiting anglers frequently have difficulty in deciding where to start their fly fishing adventure. There are so many beautiful places in the hills of Montana that can provide both solitude and great fishing, many people might be overwhelmed. But so many choices provide for some amazing chances at bagging that championship fish! For example, Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park is a beautiful spot for fly fishing. Flanked by mountains, this lake is not only a beautiful place to catch fish; it's also an amazing spot for reflecting and relaxation. Of course, the Yellowstone River is the longest river in Montana. It is free of any major dams, and its flow is not regulated in any way, so you can find an abundance of fish in the solitude of the mountain air. In fact, the Yellowstone River is internationally known as one of the premier trout rivers in the United States. Even though you can expect to catch a variety of trout including rainbow and brown, you will also find whitefish and sturgeon aplenty. Even though the Yellowstone River is quite well known for its fly fishing in Montana, it is not overtaken by so many fly fishers that you can't find a spot. It remains a beautiful secret available to those who are looking for the solitude of the Montana countryside. Finding solitude while fly fishing in Montana is a relatively easy proposition. All you need to do is a little bit of research and ask around. Those who are proud of the fly fishing waters in Montana are always more than happy to share the beauty of their state with people who are wanting to fish the waters. California Fly Fishing There's no doubt about it that some of the best fly fishing in California is located in the northern part of the state. The Sierra Mountains provide some great scenery as well as some great rivers and streams where the fish are plentiful and the weather is great. Because the California weather is quite static, year-round fly fishing is available to the fisherman. Located above Crowley Lake, the Owens River is one of the best places to fish for trout in California. The river is one of a kind with a gentle current that flows through a glacial valley between mountains that are 9,000 feet tall or more. At one time, the Owens River provided water and power to Los Angeles. When they converted the gorge, much of the fish died out. With a restoration of the river back to a fly fishing destination, you can now find some beautiful brown or rainbow trout at any time of the year. The McCloud River is one of California's premier trout fisheries. This River feeds Lake Shasta and was the breeding ground for rainbow trout that was shipped all over the country to stock other rivers and streams. You can find big brown trout as well as rainbow trout in plentiful supply on the McCloud. In Northern California, the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River provides some great fly fishing for some excellent trout. This river is one of the few places designated as wild trout waters by the state. This area receives a lot of fishing, so it's a good idea to get there early in the morning to stake out your spot. Besides the normal species of trout, this river also boasts a hybrid variety of rainbow and golden trout with bright orange sides. Hat Creek is another great place to fly fish in California. These, too, have been designated trophy wild trout waters, and you will find plenty here. This creek is very well-suited to both beginning as well as experienced fly fishers. The banks are laden with heavy brush that provides some great hiding places for brown and rainbow trout. Much of the creek is heavily stocked, but there is some natural reproduction that takes place making Hat Creek a very easy place to fish. If you are looking to go fly fishing in California, you have a lot of options available to you. Much of the best fly fishing would be in the northern part of the state, but you can also find many other places where fish are plentiful and challenges about. You can't go wrong with a fly fishing vacation in California. Alaska Fly Fishing Lodges Alaska is well known for its incredible fly fishing, but it's also a great place to go for a fly fishing vacation in a rustic lodge setting. You can find all kinds of lodges in the rustic country of Alaska that can make your fly fishing vacation a real adventure. This article will outline a few of these great destinations. The Alaska Rainbow Lodge claims to have the finest, most centrally located accommodations in Alaska. A short flight from Anchorage will put you in the middle of prime fly fishing territory. You can fish for rainbow trout and salmon and stay in a gorgeous lodge with all the amenities. They offer float planes to their guests that will take you to some of the most remote fishing areas where you will find quality fishing in any season. They can be found online at www.alaskarainbowlodge.com. Wilderness Place Lodge offers some excellent fly fishing accommodations along with some terrific amenities. They have guides that will lead you to the best place to fly fish for salmon or trout and boast riverside cabins and a 1:1 customer/guest ratio to insure excellent service during your stay there. They also offer classes to their guests on topics like fly tying and effective casting. They can be found online at www.wildernessplacelodge.com. The Lake Marie Lodge is another option for your fly fishing vacation. They specialize in rainbow trout and salmon fly fishing as well as sight fishing and surface fishing. Their experts offer fly fishers the opportunity to catch huge salmon and they fish all sorts of rivers and streams that are accessible to them only. They average about 14 guests at a time which allows them to provide the utmost in service. Their web address is www.lakemarie.com. The Alagnak River is known for its excellent fly fishing, and if you're looking for a quality lodge located on the river, you may want to look at the Katmai Lodge. They have single, double, or private cabins that adjoin a common area where you can gather to share "fish stories" after a day of angling. They also offer Orvis sanctioned fishing expeditions that are led by some of the most experienced guides in the area. Research them online at www.katmai.com. When you are considering an Alaskan fly fishing vacation, you will want to find a lodge that can comfortably accommodate those in your party. The choices are many, and you will want to do your research before you book your trip. But most of these Alaskan lodges are committed to making your fly fishing trip the best you've ever had. Fly Fishing For Men And Women Fly fishing was once viewed as a sport for men. This may be due in part to the early elitist status of the sport. Even nostalgia tends to favor the masculine involvement in fly fishing. However, fly fishing is now appropriately recognized as a great sport fishing option for men and women alike. In fact, estimates are that there are well over one million women who now participate in fly fishing. Some estimates are that women now account for 15-20% of modern fly fishers. Interestingly, the first book on fly fishing ever published was written by a woman. Dame Juliana Berners published A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle in 1496. Berners is reported to have been a nun and noblewoman. Berners certainly must have tied and fished her own artificial flies. There are equally influential women involved in fly fishing today. There is a growing market catering to fly fishing for women. Some outfitters are dedicated to teaching women to fly fish while other outfitters report that the number of women participating in fly fishing classes routinely outnumbers men. Fishing clubs for women are also becoming quite popular, particularly around popular fly fishing areas. Fly fishing does not normally require a lot of physical strength. Fly fishing is far more about speed, finesse and style. Women actually do quite well at fly fishing. The catch-and-release ethos so prevalent in fly fishing may be appealing to many women as well. While traditional fishing often closely resembled hunting trips with the objective being to bring home food, sport fishing activities like fly fishing often are more about the thrill of the catch. Photos and great memories are frequently the only thing brought home from fly fishing trips. The fish often stay right where they are. Many fly fishers even use barbless hooks now to make catch-and-release fishing even easier. Fly fishing provides a great opportunity to get out in nature without having to kill anything. There are certainly women who fish to catch supper but many people, both men and women, enjoy fly fishing because of the opportunity it provides to get in touch with nature. Fly fishing is a very relaxing sport but also provides good exercise at the same time. The rhythm of the cast is soothing for many people. Fly fishing also provides opportunities to see a variety of wildlife and birdlife in their natural environment. The scenic backdrops around many fly fishing destinations are also simply incredible. Fly fishing clubs and groups provide social networking opportunities and camaraderie. Men and women both enjoy these benefits. With the advent of specialty, women-only fishing clubs and groups many women are finding a home with fly fishing. Manufacturers are also recognizing the significant increase in participation by women. Women can now buy waders that are actually designed for women -- rather than relying on the closest mens size they can find. Fly fishing rods are also now being designed with women in mind. Womens fly rods are designed to be somewhat lighter and to have smaller handles. These improvements are good news for all women who enjoy the fly fishing sport. Fly fishing is a great sport for everyone -- men and women, adults and children. Everyone can enjoy a day out fly fishing. Fly Fishing Clubs Fly fishing clubs are a great place to learn, apply, and share knowledge of a great outdoor sport. Fly fishing clubs are the best "hands on" resource if you are thinking of entering the fly fishing experience. If you want to learn more about casting a fly rod, how to tie fly's, how to make fly rods from blanks, or just have a great outdoor experience, check out a club in your area. If you don't have a fly fishing club in your area, you might want to access some of the resources available to you on the Internet. There are many places you can go to online where you will find camaraderie, advice, and tips about fly fishing. Fly fishing clubs are often regional in nature. You can usually find a club that caters exclusively to residents of the state of Michigan or Washington. You can also find a fly fishing club that is geared toward beginning fly fishers or one that gives tips and advice about how to tie flies or the best casting techniques to use. One of the greatest advantages of a supportive fly fishing club is the opportunity to go on fishing vacations with people you meet. When you get to know people who share your love of fly fishing, they are eager to co-mingle with other people who share their passion. If you are a member of an Internet club for fly fishers, it can be fun to make plans to meet at a designated spot to get together for some well deserved R & R while fly fishing. You can find camaraderie and friendship by joining a fly fishing club plus, you can learn a lot about the sport from fellow club members. When joining a fly fishing club, you can further your fly fishing education, practice conservation, and enjoy the company of some interesting people who share your interest in the sport. You can draw on each other's knowledge and learn new things just by talking and participating in club activities. Not only are there local clubs, but there are also national fly fishing clubs that you can become a part of. The Federation of Fly Fishers is dedicated to enhancing the sport of fly fishing for all species of fish. International Women Fly Fishers aims to educate women in the sport of fly fishing. Trout Unlimited is committed to the preservation of all cold water species and habitats. Many people join more than one fly fishing club as the choices can be endless. If you are truly dedicated to the sport of fly fishing, joining a fly fishing club can truly enhance your enjoyment of this exciting and diverse sport! Fly Fishing Tackle When we refer to fly fishing tackle, we are really talking about the tools and supplies you need to become an effective fly fisherman. Tackle is basically the equipment you use to catch fish. The basic tackle includes a rod, reel, line, and hooks and lures. You will want to pay special attention to the type of tackle that you carry with you when you are on a fly fishing trip. Your rod is your most important part of fly fishing tackle. It will make or break your fishing trip. Having the right rod for the right conditions is very important. You need to take into consideration what you will be fishing for and where you will be fishing at. The higher weight rod, the bigger the fish you can catch. But you won't want to overdo it either. Choose your rod carefully and practice using it. Your line is also an important part of your fishing tackle. Again, it will depend on what you are fishing for as to what strength of line you will be using. You may have to switch in the middle of your fishing trip when you begin to find different types of fish. Having a variety of lines available at your disposal will make your experience satisfying. Fishing lines serve as the link between the angler's reel and the lure or bait. The most popular line used for sport fishing is monofilament nylon line, which is strong and durable and has a certain amount of stretch, which helps when an angler sets the hook. The line comes in a variety of strengths, from 2-pound test to more than 100-pound test. Pound test is the amount of pressure that can be put on a line before it breaks. Most monofilament is clear, making it difficult for fish to see. There are many different types of fishing line available to you. Choose the one that fits both your budget and your needs. Of course, you will want to have many different types of flies and lures to bring the fish to your line. What you are trying to do when fly fishing is to mimic the look and actions of the fish's natural food source. If the fish in the area you are fishing are used to dining on may flies or caddis flies, you will want to have these types of lures to increase your chance of bagging the big one. A fly is a special type of lure used in fly-fishing. Flies are made of feathers, hair, and plastics, which are wrapped around a hook and designed to imitate water insects such as mayflies and stoneflies, or land insects such as beetles or grasshoppers. They come in a variety of types: dry flies, which float and imitate adult aquatic insects; wet flies, which lie below the surface and imitate immature aquatic insects; nymphs, which resemble the larval stage of aquatic insects; and streamers and buck tails, which imitate small fish. Having the right amount of tackle along on your fly fishing trip is important. However, don't overdo it. You may find yourself bogged down with way too much equipment which will make you uncomfortable. A little research before your trip can go a long way and tell you about the type of fly fishing tackle you will need. Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fly fishing for steelhead fish can be a challenging and rewarding experience. These amazing fish share their heritage with the Atlantic and Pacific salmon. Although they are native to the West Coast of the United States as well as in Russia, they can also be found in the tributaries of the Great Lakes. This is because they were planted in the lakes many times in the 1800's. There are numerous places you can go when fly fishing for steelhead. As we've already said, they are most plentiful in the Western United States. You can find plenty of steelhead in the rivers of Northern California, Oregon, and Washington state. Steelhead are cousins of the rainbow trout and have a decidedly chrome-like coloring. They are amazingly acrobatic and can provide any fly fisherman with a fulfilling challenge when trying to catch them. Most of the fly fishing techniques used to catch steelhead are based on those historically developed to catch Atlantic salmon. Flies are cast downstream from the angler on a floating or sinking line. The take, which can sometimes be quite violent, usually occurs towards the end of the swing. You can also use nymphing methods usually used by trout anglers. Winter steelheads are often considered the "hard core" of fly fishers, sometimes enduring hours of repeated casting in cold water and freezing conditions for that one tug that can occur when you least expect it. Many fly fishers will spend a lot of time trying to land that prized steelhead only to be frustrated near the end. The main thing to keep in mind when fishing for steelhead is to practice a lot of patience. For people who fly fish for steelhead regularly, the success of a day consists of one good hook. You will not see big numbers of catches like you will on trout rivers. Keep a positive attitude and watch what the fish are doing. Most steelhead pockets are found downstream, but other anglers know this as well. Steelhead are most plentiful in the cold, winter months, but you can often find several other fly fishers trying to fish the same spot in hopes of landing their fish. As you can imagine, this is not especially good for the fish or the fisherman. Practice appropriate etiquette when on the river fly fishing for steelhead. You will probably need a 9 foot single hand rod or a 12-15 foot double handed rod for best results. Line weights should range from 7 to 9. The best flies to use when trying to land a steelhead include the Wooly Bugger, the Conehead Zuddler, and the Black Bear Green Butt. Fly fishing for steelhead can be an amazingly gratifying experience when you are patient and wise when it comes to the natural patterns of these fish. When you are able to land one, you will be surprised at how much fun it is to reel it in!
North Carolina Fly Fishing Guide Fly fishing for trout is plentiful in the beautiful state of North Carolina. This is a brief guide to get you started with your fly fishing expedition "down south"! The mountains of North Carolina have many streams running through them and provide some great trout fly fishing in a beautiful setting. In most of these trout streams and rivers you can catch all three types of trout; brook, rainbow and brown. The wild fish tend to be smaller in North Carolina, more so than the stocked ones, but it takes more stealth to catch the wild trout when fly fishing. The stocked trout are easy to catch at first, but harder as the season progresses. Overall fly fishing in the North Carolina mountains is an exceptional trout fishing haven with over 3,000 miles of trout streams open to fishing through out the western part of the state. All these streams are enjoyed by many beginners and old timers alike. You can hire a tour guide to help you find the best spots, or you can go it alone. Either way, you'll enjoy your trip! A great place to go fly fishing in North Carolina is the Shenandoah National Park. Here you will find some of the finest brook trout streams in the eastern United States. The park is over 200,000 acres and is one of the largest wilderness preserves in the area. It has been called a paradise for back country anglers who enjoy solitude and don't mind stretching their legs as they search for some great waters to fish in. Spring is usually the best time to fish the streams in Shenandoah Park. It's during this time that the water turns warmer and "wakes the fish up" from their winter dormancy feeding on some of the heaviest mayfly hatches of the year. According to the North Carolina fly fishing guide, this is one of the best streams in the state for catching trout. There are other popular spots for fly fishermen in North Carolina. Big Helton Creek is located just outside of Boone, North Carolina, and is a great river for beginners. The Watagua River is also around Boone. It can bring some pretty big fish to the experienced fly fisherman and has many popular sites along the river to fish. Stone Mountain State Park is located near Elkin, North Carolina, and hosts some of the area's finest fishing streams. This park has a "Fish for Fun" section that allows fly fishers to pay a set amount for one of eight sections of the river allowing them to fish the same spot for the entire day. North Carolina has some of the best fly fishing streams in the eastern part of the United States. You can use this guide as a start toward your fly fishing adventures in this great southern state! History Of Fly Fishing Fly fishing has been around in various forms for many years. Early historical records indicate that Macedonian fishermen were using artificial flies to catch fish as early as the second century. The Roman Claudius Aelianus described the Macedonian anglers as using six-foot rods with six-foot line. Aelianus detailed how the Macedonian fishermen would craft artificial flies from a hook with red wool and insect wings tied on. These Macedonian fishermen were apparently quite successful with their technique. There is also some evidence that fishing with artificial flies may even predate the second-century Macedonian techniques. Unfortunately, little else was written about ancient fly fishing methods. It was 1496 before any major work was published describing fly fishing. It is thought that modern fly fishing probably developed in England and Scotland. Fly fishing techniques similar to modern techniques began to be developed in England in the 19th century. Around this time fly fishing clubs were also formed in England to accommodate a growing interest in the sport. Part of the interest in fly fishing in southern England was because of the prevalence of shallow, weedy rivers. Fly fishing proved to be well-adapted to this type of water course. Fly fishing quickly became something of an elitist sport in England. Fly fishing purists insisted on fishing with dry flies only and looked down on wet fly fishing as being inferior. Wet fly fishing continued to be developed around the same time, however. The US and Scandinavia also saw fly fishing popularity increase during the 19th century. However, anglers in the US and Scandinavia did not share the English view concerning the superiority of dry fly fishing. US and Scandinavian anglers fished both dry and wet flies. Fly fishing materials have continued to develop over the years. Significant advances have been made in fly fishing equipment, including rods, line and flies. Early fly fishing rods were made from a tropical wood known as greenheart. Bamboo replaced greenheart as fly fishing popularity spread. Bamboo rods were further refined as American rod builders developed advanced rod building techniques that involved cutting the bamboo into strips before gluing the bamboo back together around a solid core. Following World War II fiberglass became a popular material for fly rod construction. The fiberglass rods were more affordable than their bamboo predecessors since bamboo rods may take as much as 100 hours to build. Modern fly fishing rods are usually made from a graphite compound. Modern rods are less expensive than earlier rods and perform exceptionally well. Artificial flies were originally made from natural materials like feathers and fur. Most modern flies are made from synthetic materials. Fly line has also been improved quite a bit. Fly fishing line used to be made of horse hair. Horse hair line was replaced by silk line. The silk line was an improvement over horse hair but the line still had to be removed from the reel periodically to allow it to dry. US interest in fly fishing peaked in the 1920s with Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin being the most popular areas for fly fishing. Interest increased again in the 1950s with the development of affordable, fiberglass fly fishing rods, synthetic fly line and monofilament leaders. These developments served to make fly fishing a more affordable sport for many people. The Five Main Types of Fly Fishing Flies Although there are hundreds of types of flies used for fly fishing, most of them fall into five specific categories, or types. These types are dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers and buck tails, and terrestrials. The main purpose of the fly is to imitate an insect that the fish wants to eat. A dry fly imitates a natural insect that is floating on the top of the water. Fish are very sensitive to any motion of their water and how currents move the insects they want for food. In fly fishing, if a dry fly is moving even slightly against the current, the fish will have nothing to do with it. The fly may look like something the fish recognizes but it is not acting the same an insect would. The fish recognizes it as something foreign in the water and leaves it alone. In fly fishing, a wet fly is imitating a drowned, or drowning, natural insect and is fished below the water surface. No one is sure if the wet fly is seen as a drowning adult insect or a nymph from the perspective of the fish. Most fly fishermen today seem to believe that it is seen as a nymph. Because of this less and less wet flies are being sold. Wet fly fishing is the oldest form of fly fishing. It dates back to descriptions of the early Macedonian people. A nymph is the stage between an egg and the adult in the life cycle of an insect. In fly fishing, flies that resemble nymphs are growing popularity. The nymph fly is just below the surface of the water. When a fish bulges the water without breaking the surface, he is nymphing. This means that the fish is eating the natural nymphs just as they are emerging from their shell. This is what a nymph fly imitates. Streamers and buck tail flies do not imitate any part of the insect's life cycle. These types of fly fishing flies are much larger and represent small bait fish such as sculpin minnows. The main difference between theses two types of flies is that streamers are tied with feathers, and bucktails are tied completely with hair. Fly fishing that uses these two types of flies generally requires more rod and line manipulation. The movements are supposed to duplicate the motions of the little fish. Although most flies represent water insects, a terrestrial fly is made to imitate a land insect that has fallen into the water. The two most common terrestrials that are imitated for fly fishing are the ant and the grasshopper. Besides these basic five categories of flies, there are many other kinds of flies that are used for fly fishing. Some of them are a combination of one or more of the basic categories and some do not fit into any group. The most important thing to remember is that it doesn't matter how the fly looks to you, the fisherman. It matters how the fly looks to the fish. Fly Tying Tips and Tools Tying your own flies can be very rewarding and relaxing. It also has another benefit in giving you something to do if you are unfortunate to live where the rivers are frozen in winter, or fly fishing is closed for some months each year. The tools are simple. You could make most of them yourself, however it would be best for beginners to buy at least a fly tying vice. There have been over the years quite a number of different vice types manufacturered. In my opinion, the cam type of vice is the easiest to use. This is a vice that has a cam lever to open and close the jaws. It's adjustable to various angles and hook sizes. Quick and easy to open and close. The next thing to get your hands on are some hackle pliers. These are also a cheap spend, but really worthwhile. They are a little difficult to make a pair yourself. Apart from these items, you'll need a pair of curved scissors with sharp points and another set with small straight blades. You probably could also do with a needle that is pushed into a stick. This is for fixing hakkles that have been inadvertantly wound under. You can also use it for putting laquer onto the finished head. What sort of hooks should you use? My advice is to not fall for the trap of using any old hook. Buy proper fly hooks. These have a tapered shank and are usually hollow ground. These are lighter than normal hooks, a real advantage in dry flies. The tapered shank lets the head, especially the eye of the fly be tied tighter and smaller. When you consider the work involved in tying a fly, why waste effort on the wrong hook. If you make a mistake, all you need to do is cut the fly off the hook and start again. Something you could consider these days is the opportunity of actually buying a complete fly tying set. These sets cost only around $50 or so. They have vices, scissors, pliers, hooks and all the feathers and fur you need to get started. Some even come with videos or DVD's. Whichever way you go, it is a cheap way to spend many an hour, in preparation of catching your next bag of fish. The satisfaction of catching your next trout on a fly you tied yourself is imeasureable. Fly Fishing in Ontario Canada certainly has some excellent places to fly fish, but none offer as many opportunities as Ontario. You can catch a variety of fish in Ontario's rivers and streams. Species like walleye, pike, muskie, and trout abound in trophy size. Just as the fish are abundant, so are the fishing lodges. Many of the places you can fly fish in Ontario are accessible only by float plane, but once you get to a fishing spot, you will be met with some spectacular scenery as well as many opportunities to catch some amazing fish! Canadians are very conscious of conservation, and thanks to those efforts, the supply of fish is abundant. When it comes to an Ontario fly fishing getaway, there are many different options for lodging and tours. Canada Outfitters is one place you may want to consider when planning a fly fishing trip to Ontario. They offer a secluded area with lovely cabins and all modern amenities to make your fly fishing vacation in Ontario memorable. Peace Island Lodge is a four-star rated full service fly fishing lodge. They have incredible fishing for monster trophy Northern Pike, Big Lake trout that weigh an average of more than ten pounds, and more walleye than you can possibly imagine. They report that it's not uncommon for guests to catch 100 walleye in a day. They have genuine Cree Indian guides that will lead you to the best fishing spots in the area. Another option is the Fox's Den Lodge. This lodge offers excellent getaways for the avid sportsman. This is a secluded lodge twelve miles from the nearest road. They are only accessible by boat, train, or float plane. Located on Dog Lake, Fox's Den provides fly fishers an excellent experience as they fish for Northern Pike, walleye, trout, and more. Sonny-Bob Lodge is located in northern Ontario on the remote Oba Lake. Like many of the lodges in the Ontario area, it is only accessible by railway or float plane. Oba Lake is known as one of the finest places to fly fish in Ontario. You can catch large Northern Pike, whitefish, and jumbo perch. The scenery is spectacular, and the fishing is extraordinary. These are only a few of the places you can go for fly fishing in Ontario. Do your research before you plan your trip and find a place where you can feel comfortable while getting a vacation experience like you've never had before! Fly Fishing In Canada Canada is a beautiful country with so many places where you can practice the "art" of fly fishing with some very satisfying results. Fly fishing in Canada can not only give you the experience of catching a diverse variety of fish, but it also gives you the beauty and scenery that can ease your stresses and make for a very satisfying fishing experience. The northern reaches of Canada have exceptional fishing for pike, salmon, and legendary brook trout. With the exception of Lake Michigan, all the Great Lakes have a Canadian shore. Southwestern Ontario is surrounded by Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, and Georgian Bay. Rivers like the Saugeen, Maitland, Grand, Credit, and Nottawasaga would be famous if they flowed through U.S. soil, but they are relatively obscure because they are in an area not noted for its fly-fishing heritage. Local anglers are more apt to go north to chase walleye, pike, and bass in lakes despite the quality river fishing on their doorsteps. There are intimate trout streams in this area of Canada with wild fish and top-notch tail waters with big, educated brown trout. Ontario's smallmouth rivers equal any river bass fishery in the world, and there are dozens of rivers with steelhead and salmon runs that rival those in the United States. An added incentive to fish this area is that you don't have to travel far into the wilderness. Accommodations, restaurants, guides, tackle shops, and other entertainment options are abundant. Canadian currency is also weaker than the U.S., so your dollars stretch farther north of the border. The Grand and the Conestogo rivers are two tail water fisheries in southern Ontario that offer excellent access to good populations of feisty brown trout. The Grand is designated a Canadian Heritage River and has seen an unbelievable transformation over the last 20 years. Water quality improvements, top-notch management, beautiful scenery, and a solid stocking program have made it one of the top destinations for brown trout in the East. But be advised, its one thing to find a big fish feeding but quite another to consistently fool these old browns. The management philosophy of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is to work toward strong wild fisheries. Therefore, a majority of the steelhead in Ontario is wild fish, and you will have your hands full trying to subdue them. Depending on water conditions, strong runs of fish are common throughout the fall in just about any Great Lakes tributary in southern Ontario. You can find some amazing fly fishing in Canada when you take the time to look for it. Not only will you be met with some beautiful scenery, but you will be landing some great fish. Fly fishing in Canada is well worth the travel. Fish Canada and keep coming back for the best fly fishing experience of your life! Fly Fishing Gifts Are you looking for the perfect gift for the fly fisher in your life? There are many options you have when giving a gift to the person who loves fly fishing. Some of them can be expensive, but they don't have to be. You can choose a gift that your fly fisher will love no matter what your budget is. One option is to get them a new rod and reel. This is going to be one of the more expensive options as reels can run anywhere from $200 to $1,000. Buying a rod can be a very personal decision for people who love fly fishing, so if you're going to go this route with your gift, you'll need to do your research. You could purchase a gift certificate to your local sporting goods or fishing store. This is a great choice for the fly fisherman as then they can pick out what they want or need. While some people feel gift certificates are impersonal, they can be a very welcome gift to the fly fisher. Consider getting a nice basket and filling it up with various fly fishing supplies. You can stock it with various flies, lines, and tools that your fly fisher can use during their fishing trips. If you're not sure what types of flies and such to stock the basket with, just ask the clerk at the store, or simply go hog wild and pick out a nice variety. There are other beautiful gifts you can get as well. People who love fly fishing have a natural love of the outdoors and everything "fishy". The organization Trout Unlimited has a great selection of fly fishing gifts including mugs, glasses, shirts, and hats with fish pictures on them. This can be another great gift idea. Fly fishing apparel is just as important to the fly fisherman as the equipment they need. Fly fishing requires waders, vests, and boots. A good fly fishing vest can make a very thoughtful gift. Most fly fishermen claim you can never have too much equipment. Even if your fly fisherman has a vest, a new one might be just the ticket for a good gift. When giving a fly fishing gift, use your imagination. There are all sorts of great gift ideas that can please even the most experienced fly fisherman. Ask him or her what they are wishing for and then fill that wish. You have lots of options. When giving a gift, it's the thought that counts, of course, but when you consider all that's involved in the sport of fly fishing, you're sure to find a gift that's more than appreciated! Which Fly Fishing Rod Should You Buy Fly fishing is different from traditional fishing methods in several important ways. These important distinctions serve to make the fly fishing rod the most important piece of fly fishing equipment you buy. Traditional fishing uses a rod equipped with nearly weightless, transparent, monofilament line to cast a weighted hook into the water. Fly fishing essentially reverses this process by using a weighted, translucent line to cast a nearly weightless hook into the water. The action of the fly fishing rod is essential to being able to cast the fly. Fly fishing is also different from traditional fishing in that the fly fisher never puts their rod down. Fly fishers cast the entire time they are fishing. This makes the decision of which rod to buy very important. Anglers who are fly fishing will spend the entire fishing day with the rod in their hand making casts. The method of bringing in a fish is also different when fly fishing. While the fishing reel is very important in traditional fishing it is not nearly so important in fly fishing. Fly fishing uses a technique of stripping line by hand. The fly fishing reel is largely used as a storage compartment for spare line. The choice of which fly fishing rod to buy is indeed a very important decision that will impact your enjoyment of the sport a great deal. Nearly all modern fly fishing rods are made from some type of graphite compound. There are a few bamboo rods still made but they are quite expensive compared to a graphite rod. There are many choices of graphite fly fishing rods available though. Fly fishing rods are categorized by weight (for instance, a 6-weight rod -- also written as 6wt). The weight of the fly rod you buy will be determined by where you intend to fish. It is important to use line that matches the weight of the rod when fly fishing. Some rods are designed to be multi-weight rods and may safely be used with several different weights of line. One general rule when shopping for a fly rod is to purchase the most expensive rod you can afford. This advice is based on the understanding that the rod is the most important piece of fly fishing equipment in your fly fishing outfit. You can always upgrade your reel later if you decide you want a better reel. It is always a good idea to visit shops that sell fly fishing gear before making a final decision. Even if you plan to purchase your fly fishing rod through a shop on the Internet it will be helpful to actually handle several different rods before making a final decision. Remember too that while fly fishers tend to be an opinionated bunch, fly fishing rods are largely a personal preference. If a rod just does not feel comfortable in your hand it does not matter how many experts recommend that rod. Your choice will also be influenced largely by where you intend to fish. For instance, small mountain streams in New England will require a lighter rod than large rivers in the Rocky Mountains or Utah. What Makes Fly Fishing Special Fly fishing is a special approach to fishing. Fly fishing is different from bait-casting or spin-casting because fly fishing uses a weighted line to carry the nearly weightless bait forward when casting. Traditional fishing tackle is designed to have a nearly weightless line carried by weighted bait on the end. Because of this important difference fly fishing has its own gear, equipment and terminology. Fly fishing also requires some different techniques than traditional fishing. Traditional fishing may involve casting a baited hook and waiting for a fish to bite or casting and retrieving a baited hook. However, fly fishing involves casting repeatedly with brief pauses to allow the fly to float in the current. Fly fishing rods are different than traditional fishing rods in several ways. Fly fishing rods are longer than most fishing rods with their length frequently between six and nine feet. Some fly fishing rods are even longer than nine feet, particularly those rods designed for salmon or steelhead fishing. Fly fishing reels vary from traditional fishing reels as well. Fly fishing actually does not require much use of the reel. Early fly fishing reels were little more than storage space for the line. Fish are not reeled in when caught; rather, the angler strips line with his or her free hand. Many fly reels still are very primitive with designs very similar to those used in the 19th century. Fly fishing line is quite different from traditional fishing line. While traditional fishing line is made of a clear, monofilament material, fly fishing line is comparatively heavy and translucent. Fly fishing line may be designed to float or to sink depending on the style of fishing it is intended for; the line also may be tapered or level, again depending on the type of fishing that is planned and the preference of the angler. Fly fishing line is available in different weights. Heavier line can be cast further and has greater wind-resistance than lighter line. However, a lighter line may provide for more precise casting by an experienced angler. Fly fishing line is normally around 90 feet long but may be attached to a backer to lengthen the overall line available for fish that like to fight. A leader is attached to the end of the fly fishing line. The fly is tied to the end of the leader. The leader is a clear, monofilament line normally between six and fifteen feet in length. The leader is tapered to a narrower diameter an the end of the line. Fly fishing is also special because of the variety of fishing opportunities it provides. Fly fishing techniques can be used on streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. Fly fishing works in salt water and fresh water, cold water and warm water. Fly fishing can open up many opportunities to fish new waters because the techniques and equipment are so adaptable. Fly fishing includes an interesting history that extends back at least to the second century. Macedonian fishermen successfully used artificial flies on six-foot poles to catch fish with. Fly fishing popularity increased in 19th century England and Scotland before catching on in the United States. Fly fishing is a historically interesting, challenging approach to fishing. Fly fishing offers many opportunities and variations to anglers. Fly fishing also includes a nostalgic element that may not be found with other fishing styles. Washington Fly Fishing It's well known among many experienced fishermen that fly fishing in the great state of Washington can be a wonderful experience. The opportunities to catch a beautiful salmon or steelhead abound when you are casting your fly on the beautiful rivers, streams, and bays that dot Washington's coastline. Probably one of the most popular fly fishing destinations is the Yakima River. Nestled just outside the Cascade Mountains, the Yakima is well known for giving up some incredible fish. Because the weather in Washington can get quite cold in the winter months, the best fishing can usually be found in the spring and early fall. You'll have an experience beyond your wildest dreams when you fish the Yakima. Another great place for fly fishing in Washington is the Jurassic River located in the Northwest Corner of Washington. This river has incredible insect hatches that attract world class trout. The temperature on the river year round averages 48 -- 65 degrees which makes for great fishing in any season. The best fishing, however is during low light in the summer months of June through August. Described as a magical place for fly fishing, the Olympic Peninsula is a perennial favorite for a Washington fly fishing getaway. The forests and rivers in this place provide great scenery, and a wonderful adventure. Deep dense forests, trees bearded with long strands of moss and ground covered with ferns add to the mysteriousness of this place.Ý Strands of clouds hang in the creases of the forested mountains.Ý Much of the time, it is so misty you can't even see the mountains.Ý You will catch world class steelhead when fishing the Olympic Peninsula, so get ready for an amazing adventure! There are many rivers on the Olympic Peninsula -- many of which provide great fly fishing and record catches. The rivers are known for the trophy salmon and winter steelhead that they produce. The Quinault and Queets Rivers are home to some of the largest native Salmon and Steelhead ever landed. Prepare yourself for an angling experience to remember. In addition to the native runs of trophy Salmon and Steelhead, the Quinault Indian Tribe operates three fish hatcheries producing thousands of returning hatchery fish each season. Opportunities abound for anglers in search of hatchery steelhead and salmon! There's no doubt that when you are planning to go fly fishing in Washington, you will have many great experiences ahead of you. Many of the rivers are catch and release waters, so you probably won't be able to bring your prized fish home, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you were lucky enough to fly fish in some of the most beautiful waters in the Northwest United States. Fly Fishing Calendar What are the best times to try and schedule a fly fishing expedition? When we talk about a fly fishing calendar, we aren't referring to a printed date book that you can hang on your wall. We are talking about targeting and specifying the right times to fish and the right places to fish at. The things you need to look at most when considering a fly fishing calendar is when the water will be at the right temperature that is prime for catching fish. Depending on the area you are looking at for your fly fishing trip will depend on the right time to go. In some places like California, the fishing is pretty good year-round. While in other places such as Washington, you'll want to avoid the water in the winter as the cold temperatures will stress the fish and they won't be as plentiful. Generally, the fly fishing calendar shows the best fishing in the spring and summer months. Early fall will also find some places showing good fishing as well. Almanacs can be helpful guides to guide you towards the best fishing times as can constant updating through Internet web sites. Most places will give weekly, and sometimes daily, fishing reports on their websites. They can tell you where the fish are biting and where the best places are to cast your line. They generally keep these areas of their sites updated pretty regularly, so you can get quality reports just by looking at what others have to say. Fish like warmer waters, although, there are other species that thrive in cold water such as salmon or steelhead. In general, warm water will attract more fish. However, if the water is too warm, the fish will be sluggish and will navigate to places where the water is cooler. The fly fishing calendar used most often by experienced fishermen has been compiled over a period of time. They spend a considerable amount of effort to estimate where and when the best fishing will occur. Then they share it with others. That's one of the best parts of fly fishing -- the camaraderie and sharing that can come about with a love of the sport. You can compile your own fly fishing calendar with a little time and effort. Just do your homework and keep copious notes. When you see a trend, you'll know it's time to fish! Then be sure to help your fellow fishermen as they try to figure out what you already know. They'd do it for you! Fly Fishing Books Although experience is a great teacher when you are learning about fly fishing, you may also want to look into the myriad of books that are available on the topic. Fly fishing involves a lot of things, and you'll need to know about these things if you're going to be effective in the sport. Fly fishing books are a great way to start learning! A quick search on Amazon.com shows over 8,000 titles on fly fishing available! Prices range between $10 and $50. Some of these books are purely instructional while others contain anecdotes and fish stories designed to entertain. You can get books that tell you the best places to fish at and the most satisfying fly fishing destinations. Fly fishing books are great resources as well if you want to learn how to tie your own flies. One of the first things you need to know in fly tying is what the flies look like that you're trying to mimic. When the book comes with illustrations, you can easily match your fly to the picture. Online books are another great way to get information about fly fishing. There are many e-books available for download. Look for the ones that will fit your needs. If you're a beginner, you may want a comprehensive guide to all aspects of fly fishing. If you're more experienced, an update book may be the way to go. When choosing a fly fishing book, look at the author first. Are they qualified to write this book? What experience do they have in the sport? Can they provide you with compelling reasons to take his or her advice? You will get more accurate information from a person who has personal experience to offer. Is the book easy to read? When you are reading a book filled with technical language, it can be overwhelming and it isn't likely to help you much. The author should define unfamiliar language early on in the book and keep reminding you throughout the text what they are referring to. Don't opt for long winded tomes of pages akin to War and Peace. They aren't likely to give you much good advice plus the boredom factor has to come into play. A lot of great information can be packed into a few pages. Opt for the shorter book rather than the longer one so you get what you pay for! Fly fishing books are wonderful sources of information when you are learning about this sport. Find a book that you are comfortable reading that also gives you what you are looking for. The choices are vast, so go online or get to the bookstore today and learn what you need to about the sport of fly fishing! Fly Fishing Vests One of the most important pieces of apparel you can have when you take up fly fishing is a quality vest. You have a lot of choices when looking at fly fishing vests, so you will want to choose carefully. It's important that your vest meets your needs, so consider your options before settling on one. All fly fishing vests come with a variety of pockets in different shapes and sizes. You will want a vest that comes with enough pockets to hold your fishing gear, but not too many lest you are tempted to overload the vest. You will not want to carry too many things or you will be uncomfortable and it will hinder your movement. The vest should fit comfortably and you should have plenty of room to move around. The pockets should close with Velcro so you can have easy access to your supplies. When you choose your vest, make sure that you are able to wear layers underneath it and can still move around easily. Vests come in a variety of colors. Many fly fishers choose a neutral brown, but you can also pick vests in colors like blue and orange. Because you will be out in the wilderness, blending in is important as is safety. You will want to be visible to other fishers and hunters without scaring away the fish in the process. The vest should have a short waist mainly because you will be wading in water. Ideally, you won't want it to get wet, so if it falls just above your waist, you will stay dry and comfortable. Consider what weather conditions will be like when you are fly fishing. If you will be fishing mostly in the summertime, you may want to consider a mesh vest that will be well ventilated and keep you cool in the summer heat. Cold water fishing will require you to wear layers underneath, so pick one with enough room to allow you to move about easily. Some vests come with a built-in life preserver. This can be a great help if you will be fishing rough waters with strong currents. You never know when an accident will happen, and with these built-in floatation devices, you will have easy rescue right at hand. Fly fishing vests come in various price ranges. You can buy a very basic vest for as little as $30. The pricier vests can run as high as $200. In general, expect to pay around $70 for a good quality fly fishing vest. Fly fishing vests can be an important part of your fly fishing equipment. When you do a little research and keep in mind the conditions you will be fishing in, choosing a vest can be quite easy. Just explore your options and pick one that works for your particular situation. Fly Fishing Vacations When you think of a vacation, what do you see in your mind? If you love fly fishing, the perfect vacation would include some prime fishing in some beautiful spots all over the world. A fly fishing vacation doesn't have to be just for the fisherman. The entire family can have a great time on a fly fishing vacation. What should you look for when planning a vacation that involves fly fishing? Of course, it depends a lot on who is coming with you. If you are just going with "the guys", and they are all interested in little else on this vacation but fly fishing, you just need a place to stay. But if you are bringing along the family, you will want to find a place that has things for everyone to do. A fly fishing vacations can be both exciting and productive. Choose a spot where you can easily get to within your budget. Some fly fishing spots are located in remote wilderness country and you can only get there by plane or train. This can be an added expense. When you are planning a fly fishing vacation, you can often come across packages that will cover all necessary expenses -- sort of like an all-inclusive resort. However, many lodges don't have restaurants so you'll want to bring your own food. Be sure that your package covers transportation to the fishing spots you'll want to go to. Some lodges even provide you with guides to show you where the best fishing is. If the family is coming along, you may want to consider a location that is family friendly. Northern California has some beautiful spots for fly fishing plus there are ample entertainment options nearby for your non-fishing family. Many lodges have activities for children plus places for mom to relax as well. Some lodges even have spas so she can get pampered while you are out catching the big one! If you're going on a fly fishing vacation, why not try and get the family interested in this great sport? Children are always eager to learn about new things, and there are plenty of women who think the sport of fly fishing is a terrific challenge to master. Share with them your own love of the sport and get them excited. Then you can truly have a family vacation! Whether you want to take a fly fishing vacation with your friends or with your family, careful planning can make all the difference in an enjoyable trip. You can have a great time while you do what you love -- fishing! Fly Fishing Trips So you've decided that it's time for you to take your very first fly fishing trip. You've been practicing your casting and you've got all your flies ready to land a big fish. What do you need to think about when planning this fly fishing trip? The first thing to decide is where to go. There are many, many excellent places to hone your fly fishing skills at. Some great locations to consider are Washington state, Oregon, Northern California, Texas, and the Great Lakes region. Pick a place that is readily accessible for you and that won't break the bank when it comes time to pay for it. If adventure is your game, look into taking a Canadian fly fishing trip. Most of the best fishing in Canada can be found in remote mountain lakes and streams with lodges only accessible by air or train. Most of the lodges will offer you trained guides to lead you to the fishing spots and transportation is included in the price of your stay. We've even seen one lodge that will give you use of its cabin and you are left on your own in the wilderness. This can be an amazingly liberating adventure! Be sure and find a lodge where everything is included in the cost of your stay. This means transportation to and from the fishing spots, guided tours, along with your rooms. Many places have restaurants in their establishments, but you might want to find a cabin with full kitchen facilities where you can cook your own food when you come back from the river or lake. Fly fishing trips are much more fun when you have a group of people who share your same interests. It's a good idea to join a group who share the interest and try to plan a trip with them. Many organizations plan and launch trips on a regular basis. The friendship and camaraderie you will find can be a wonderful experience. You can also combine your fly fishing with other things while on a trip. Think about where friends and family live. Can you spend a little time fishing and then, in your downtime, do a little visiting? Is there someplace you've always wanted to visit but never really had a reason why? Try taking a fly fishing trip there. There are so many beautiful destinations you can go to when you want to take a trip to do some fly fishing. Pick one, plan well, and then just enjoy. You'll be opening up a whole new world to yourself on a trip like this. And, you might just bring home some prized fish as proof of your prowess. Then you can start planning another trip! Utah Fly Fishing There's no doubt about it that the Western part of the United States has some of the best fly fishing in the country. Fly fishing in Utah can be an angler's paradise. There are many choices you have if you are planning a trip to beautiful Utah. The wild trout of Utah are both spectacular and challenging. They are hard fighting fish that swim in beautiful rivers, crystal clear streams, and blue mountain lakes surrounded by the natural beauty of the Utah countryside. There are some truly unique settings in the beautiful state of Utah, and you're almost guaranteed a fly fishing experience beyond your wildest dreams. The Provo River is one of the most popular fly fishing destinations in Utah. This river has some blue ribbon trout and is located near many major cities. Brown and rainbow trout reach record lengths with a typical fish measuring 17 inches or bigger. One of the largest fish ever caught on this river weighed over 30 pounds. In some areas of the river, 7,500 trout can be found in a square mile! A lot of the best fly fishing on the Provo River is on private property, but there are plenty of lodges and tour companies that offer access to these exclusive areas. There's no doubt with many experienced fishermen that the pristine waters of the Provo River provide exceptional fishing and outdoor adventure that is unmatched. The Beaver River is another great fly fishing destination in Utah. These waters contain large numbers of both rainbow and brown trout along with steelhead and cutthroat trout. It is located just outside the town of Beaver and there is much easy access to these waters. Much of the lower river is private property, but you can gain permission to fish through many private companies. You could also choose to fish the beautiful Blacksmith Fork River. These waters are located in the Uintas Mountains and are not only great for fishing, but also for its rolling whitewater. You can catch various varieties of trout as well as whitefish in this river. There is some beautiful scenery on this river as well as diverse amount of wildlife. Fly fishing in Utah is not only fun and satisfying, it will provide you with some amazing experiences as you take in the beauty of this wonderful state. The options are nearly endless, so when choosing your Utah fly fishing destination, pick a place you will be able to fully enjoy both while on the water and off. Tying Flies for Fly Fishing One of the most enjoyable parts of fly fishing could be tying your own flies. While they are readily available for sale pre-made in many stores, when you take the time to tie your own, you can make the flies look even more realistic than those you can buy in a store. Fly tying isn't as difficult as it might first seem. You need to have some basic tools such as a fly vice, scissors, pliers, and thread. The equipment you use can make all the difference in quality work and shoddy work. The goal is to make your flies look as identical to a fish's food source as is humanly possible. You can find supplies for tying in various places. Besides the vice, scissors, and pliers, you will want to have on hand the following items: * Hooks of various shapes and sizes * Different colors and gauges of thread * Fur from animals such as mink or fox * Feathers from pheasants and peacocks * Craft cement Precision is the key to accurate fly tying. You should start out with a picture of the fly you are trying to replicate. You can find pictures of may flies, caddis flies, and other natural food sources in many places on the Internet. Once you have a picture, just get materials that will mimic the look and try to duplicate it. Start out by wrapping thread around your hook and then add fur and feathers as you go securely tying them to the hook. As you go, you will continue to add materials until you achieve the look you are going for. Of course, there's a little more to it than that, but that is the general idea. You can take classes on how to tie your own flies and you can even find instructional videos online. When you start taking an interest in fly fishing, it's best to stick with the pre-made flies, but as you gain more experience, you will want to start experimenting around with different lures to bring the fish to your line. Tying your own flies can be a great way to bring you more and more into the fly fishing experience. It certainly isn't for everyone as you need to have a lot of patience when you are tying flies. It doesn't always come easy, but once you learn the basic techniques, you will probably find a new hobby that gives you some great joy! Top Fly Fishing Spots In The World Fly fishing is a popular sport around the world with millions of men and women enjoying fly fishing each year. Where are the world's best fly fishing destinations for that dream vacation? A lot will depend on how much you want to spend and the type of fly fishing you enjoy but these are some of the world's best fly fishing locations. No consideration of the world's best fly fishing locations would be complete without the chalk streams of Hampshire, England. This is where modern fly fishing really all began. Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler published in 1653, fished these very waters. These waters are carefully managed with private, scheduled access only. But if you want a taste of authentic, English fly fishing, Hampshire might just be your destination. The rivers of Labrador in eastern Canada are still home to native brook trout. Labrador's brook trout approach sizes seldom, if ever, seen in the United States. Brook trout of three to eight pounds are reportedly quite common with some being even larger. New Zealand's North and South islands are well known for their fly fishing. Crystal clear waters are home to both brown trout and rainbow trout. New Zealand has opposite seasons to the United States so fishing New Zealand allows you to literally have the best of both worlds. New Zealand has been called a trout fishing mecca for the incredible fly fishing opportunities it provides anglers. Patagonia, Argentina provides yet another reverse-season fly fishing paradise. Argentina's rivers are home to brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout. The Rio Grande River in Tierra del Fuego is also home to sea-run brown trout reputed to be the largest anywhere in the world. Belize is well known for its saltwater fly fishing. Fly fishing in Belize provides the opportunity to catch bonefish, permit and tarpon all in the same day. Once you have had your fill of fly fishing there is always scuba diving or just relaxing on an incredible beach. The variety of activities available during a Belize vacation can make this location the perfect destination if your spouse is less thrilled than you are with fly fishing. Christmas Island in Kiribati is a world-renowned bonefish fly fishing location. Christmas Island's shallow flats provide some of the world's best bonefish and trevally fishing anywhere. Christmas Island has long been a popular, saltwater fly fishing destination. Alaska offers some of the best fly fishing in the United States. The diversity of choices makes this an obvious consideration in the Americas. From streams to lakes and from rainbows to salmon Alaska is a dream fly fishing destination. Where in the world should you pick for your next fly fishing vacation? Much will depend on your location, your budget and the style of fly fishing you want to experience. Fly fishing is a popular sport around the world with options for just about everyone. Whether you like saltwater or freshwater fly fishing, islands of mainland, there is a dream fly fishing destination for you. Stream Fly Fishing for Trout -- Know Their Holding Lies When fly fishing for trout it is especially important to understand the various types of trout lies. Trout take up their positions, or lies, based on a set of three of their basic needs when they are in moving water. These needs are shelter from a constant current, protection from predators, and the need for adequate food. Swimming against a strong current can be very tiring for a trout. Therefore, they look for shelter from the current which is their first need. Sometimes the trout rest behind objects in the water, such as a large rock, which breaks the current. But most of the time trout stay in holding lies that are close to the current. They want to be able to dash out and grab any food that the current brings their way. The second need that the trout have is protection from predators. They generally prefer water that is deep enough, or rough enough, that they cannot be seen on the bottom by predatory birds such as kingfishers or osprey. The trout usually hold where there is some type of cover to protect them. They look for cover, such as a log, a deep pool, or an undercut bank to keep safe. At times while fly fishing, you might see small or medium sized trout feeding in the shallows far from any type of shelter. However, it is very unusual to see large trout feeding in the shallows, unless there is some type of cover nearby. The third need, which often overrides the other two, is the need for adequate food. It seems trout live by a basic formula -- the food it eats must give it more energy then they expend getting it. A trout will fight against a strong current if hatching, migrating, or drifting insects appear. To the trout the amount of food that the insects offer justifies the extra energy needed to fight the current. Often, during a heavy hatch, trout may hold near the surface of a pool, or flat, putting themselves in danger from predators while they greedily feed. For fly fishing, knowing the three basic needs of trout which cause them to hold in certain types of water, while avoiding others, is an invaluable piece of knowledge. Knowing the spots of the water that meets one, two, or three of the trout's basic needs, is knowing where the fish are holding. Trout have three types of holding lies. Deep holes which look like dark areas in the streambed are often used to escape from the current. The best deep holes have boulders or logs for cover. Eddies below points, such as the edge of a boulder, create a slack water pool, and sometimes a reverse current pool, that often hold many trout. Upwelling springs appear as light spots of bubbling sand where the silt has been washed away. Many trout are drawn to these springs in the summer and the winter because they have a stable temperature. Successful fly fishing depends on knowing as much as possible about the habits and habitats of the fish you are hoping to hook. Sage Fly Fishing Gear The Sage company has been producing quality fly fishing gear for many years. They offer quality, top of the line fly fishing rods, reels, and lines to the beginning and experienced fly fisher. They take pride in the quality of their equipment producing rods and reels that many fly fishermen use exclusively. They design and test their hand built gear with one thought in mind: maximum fishability. That term was coined by the company to represent the type of performance that will help you cast better, fish more effectively, and have more fun while fly fishing. Their company offers the fly fisherman all sorts of advice and tips on how to select the right rod for you and what is important to look for in your fly fishing equipment. Sage rods and reels have long been the choice of many fly fishermen all over the world. When you are just beginning to get interested in fly fishing, it's easy to get frustrated at the amount of information you need to know. However, those same frustrations are also felt by experienced fly fishers that provides them with the challenge and excitement that makes the sport so compelling. As we've said, Sage rods are hand built which makes them quality products. They manufacture nine different series of rods in a variety of models and sizes for every fishing situation. They have medium to ultra fast action rods to suit many types of fly fishers. Their website, which can be found at www.sageflyfish.com also boasts many new product lines and accessories that all fly fishermen can use. They carry hats, t-shirts, rod and reel cases, fly lines, and much, much more. Their new Z-Axis series of rods has breakthrough technology that is significantly stronger, lighter, and easier to cast. That makes this new line of rods great for beginners, and also experienced fly fishermen. They implement their exclusive Generation 5 technology that makes their rods unique and high end. When you buy a Sage fly fishing rod, you are getting a quality piece of fishing gear. But that quality doesn't come cheap. Rods range in price from $400 to $700, but they do come with a guarantee. Plus, if anything happens to your rod, they offer a rod repair service. Many sporting goods stores and specialty fishing shops carry Sage fly fishing rods as do many online retailers. You can go to their website and click on the "Buy" link to find a retailer near you that carries their equipment. Sage fly fishing equipment is well known in the fly fishing world as a trusted manufacturer of valuable fly fishing gear. Check them out for the best in the sport! Northern California Fly Fishing One of the best things about California is the nice weather. For people who love to fly fish, Northern California is a paradise on the West Coast. Many streams in Northern California stay open year-round offering great options for fishing trips. There are some great options for the avid fly fisher when in Northern California. The lower part of the Sacramento River is a prime place to catch California's largest rainbow trout. The river provides amazing year-round fishing opportunities. You can catch some amazing fish in both winter and spring, but spring brings a huge caddis fly hatch that brings the fish out in droves. You can also find some great salmon catches on the river -- especially in the fall and winter. Feather River is a great place to catch steelheads. Fishing on this river is exciting, productive, and challenging all at the same time. The best fishing is in the fall where adult steelheads weighing over four pounds can be found quite easily. In the spring, you will also find some great opportunities to fly fish for some record catches. If you're looking for a challenging fly fishing experience in Northern California, you may want to look at the East Fork of the Carson River. This stream provides trout anglers with many different experiences -- access being one. The narrow, fast-flowing upper reaches, above Wolf Creek, are accessible only by a rough four wheel drive trail, on horseback, or by foot. This is a classic freestone stream with lots of riffles, rapids, deep runs, and pools. These conditions create excellent habitat for stoneflies, caddis flies, and some species of mayflies throughout the Carson drainage. Large fish are consistent on the Carson, especially around the Nevada border where the river branches off providing a great place to find the fish. The Truckee River is the largest of three major river systems in the Northern California/Reno area. The good weather provides year-round fly fishing with easy access, beautiful canyon scenery, and feisty wild trout. Experts rate the Truckee as one of the best fly fishing rivers in Northern California. It is, however, a tough river to fish because of the current where it flows into the Nevada area. These are only a few of the myriad of choices you have available to you for fly fishing in Northern California. You have a lot of options to catch some amazing fish plus, you can enjoy fly fishing year-round in the balmy Northern California weather. It can be a great opportunity for you to hone your fly fishing skills and plan a wonderful fly fishing getaway. Fly Fishing With Orvis Orvis is one of the most well-known names in the sport of fly fishing. They are the oldest mail order company in the United States and have been catering to their customers since 1856! Orvis does have other products beside fly fishing equipment, but all of their products do cater to people who have a love of the outdoors. The biggest product line at Orvis is fly fishing gear and clothing. Their extensive collection of fly rods puts any other company to shame. They carry virtually everything a fly fisher needs from fly tying supplies to pre-made flies to vests and lines. When you visit their website at www.orvis.com, you will find almost everything you could ever imagine for fly fishing supplies. If you're interested in accessories, they've got it all. They even carry specialty sunglasses designed especially for fly fishers. Orvis has a popular and well-known fishing school. Classes are conducted all over the United States in some of the most popular fly fishing spots. You learn all types of fishing techniques as well as casting and how to find the most fish in the waters you are fishing. Orvis also offers some great fly fishing trips all over the world for people who visit their website. They are such a big name in the fly fishing industry, they take the time to research various destinations and lodges to give them their endorsement as worthy of their quality. You can trust Orvis when they suggest you stay in a specific lodge. But Orvis also offers you much more. Their website has instructional articles that can help any fly fisher -- both the novice and the experienced. They give a glossary of terms for beginners; tell you how to choose a fly line, and other helpful information like how to sharpen a hook. You can even watch instructional videos on their website. These videos highlight everything from their product lines to endorsed guides and outfitters. You can learn about various fly rods, different types of waders, and tips on the best lines to choose. Want to learn how to tie different knots? Orvis offers animated instruction in their fly fishing store that will guide you step by step. You can even post a question for their fly fishing experts. Orvis is truly a full-service fly fishing company with a lot to offer. You'll find so many products and so much information when you both go to their website and order their catalog. They are very trusted in the fly fishing industry. When you get fly fishing supplies from Orvis, you can be assured you are getting quality equipment from a company you can rely on. Wisconsin Fly Fishing Wisconsin is a great place for fly fishing, as many experienced anglers can tell you. Much of the state of Wisconsin was formed by glaciers passing through the area hundreds and hundreds of years ago. The best result from this glacial activity was the formation of many rivers and tributaries from the nearby Great Lakes. That's what makes fly fishing in Wisconsin so wonderful! Wisconsin fly fishing provides the most diverse trout fishing in the Midwest. The northeastern Wisconsin streams provide challenges in fly fishing that require the angler to wade for fish hidden behind big boulders. Southwestern Wisconsin streams provide a challenge for fly fishermen who have a lot of patience. Streams in southwestern Wisconsin include Castle Rock Creek and Timber Coulee that support excellent fly fishing, natural reproduction, and mayfly and caddis hatches galore. The streams in this part of the state are spring creeks which support large numbers of fish, mostly Brown Trout, but they don't come easily. Dry fly fishing can be excellent but on heavily fished streams, emergers and lesser used flies can be more productive than standard dry flies. For most streams in this area, anglers need to use light tackle, long leaders, and stealthy approaches. The streams tend to be narrow which makes casting accuracy much more important than casting distance. Central Wisconsin is home to gin clear streams where you can see fish from where you stand. This area is known as "Sand Counties" because the landscape is extremely flat to gently rolling with very sandy soil. The streams run deep with little fish holding structures. To the untrained fly fisher, this might seem like a place where you wouldn't want to fish. Nothing could be more wrong! Stream structures are heavily used and deep holes are common particularly along the outside of a bend, and deadfalls and root wads can hold a lot of fish. This area is where stream structures were first devised. The water quality of these streams is excellent and helps support incredible natural reproduction. Wild Brook Trout are the most common fish but natural reproducing browns and even some rainbows can be found. The freestone streams of Northern Wisconsin tumble violently over bedrock. The freestone rivers are home to the best pocket water fly fishing in Wisconsin. Casting a nymph or a dry fly attractor around the boulders is often a way to catch large numbers of fish. The meadow streams are favored by fishermen who enjoy fishing light leaders and small flies. There are some amazing places you can fly fish in the great state of Wisconsin. You'll be surrounded by rolling hills and grazing cattle as you try to land your next big fish. When you are an avid fly fisherman, you'll find a wealth of fun and enjoyment in the streams of Wisconsin! Fly Fishing Waders When you are taking up fly fishing, you will want to get a good pair of waders as part of your gear. Waders allow you to traverse waters and reach places you can't from the shore. Fly fishers spend a lot of time on the water, but most of the time it is IN the water. You'll want to keep warm and dry while you are fishing. You do have some choices when considering what type of waders you will want to buy. There are two different types of waders: those that come with built-in boots and those without. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages, and the choice is purely a personal one as to which way you will want to go. Waders with built-in boots are great for ease and convenience. You don't have to worry about buying a pair of fishing boots and staying dry is just about guaranteed unless you get a leak. The boot portion of the waders should fit you comfortably and you should be able to move about easily while wearing them. They tend to be heavier than stocking foot waders and there's not as much ankle support, but they are easy on and easy off which is quite convenient. Stocking foot waders end in a rubber sock. You'll need to buy a pair of wading boots to go over the top of the sock. They are a little more difficult to put on, but you'll get lots of foot support as you walk over slippery river rocks. The boots that you choose to go with these waders should not fit as closely as a hiking boot, but they should give you good ankle support and have stiff soles. You have a couple of options when deciding how high you want the waders to go. You can choose the ones that come to your waist or ones that come up to your chest. Chest waders are much more versatile because you can wear them in any depth of water. Waist waders are for more shallow water. There are also hip boots that are separate and come to your hips. These are the less practical choice of waders for fly fishing because you can't go in deep water. You may want to add a wading belt to keep your waders from filling with water should you slip and go into the water. Elastic straps used to hold the waders up are a more practical choice than the webbed straps. They are more comfortable and allow you more room for movement. The waders should not be skintight. You will want some room to move around inside them, but not too much! If you will be fishing in cold weather, you'll want to wear some layers underneath, so try them on with clothes and be sure you have enough room to move about comfortably. Fly fishing waders are an important part of your fishing gear. Prices will range anywhere from $100 up to $600. Use caution, too, if you are thinking of buying used fly fishing waders. Be sure they don't leak and are exactly what you are looking for. Fly Fishing Videos When you start getting into the sport of fly fishing, there are lots of nuances that you will need to learn. Aside from taking a class, there are many fly fishing videos available to you that will help you learn. These videos are often made by experts in the field, so you know you'll be learning from someone who's qualified and able. As a novice fly fisher, you may be a little confused about casting and which casting technique is the best to use. While it might seem simple, casting really isn't. There are various ways you can cast your rod to catch the most fish. Unless you have someone who can physically show you how to cast, a fly fishing video can be the next best thing. You can also find fly fishing videos that showcase different species of fish and how to recognize their natural food sources. Being able to tell the difference between a steelhead and a rainbow trout can be difficult for new fly fishermen. Fish videos can show you how to tell what is what as well as identify what they like to eat. This can help you so that you know what flies to use when you are fishing for specific fish. Fly fishing videos are also great when you are considering a trip to a fishing destination. Many lodges and fly fishing resorts will be happy to provide you with a promotional video showcasing their location and what they have to offer. When you are looking at a specific fly fishing spot, having a video on hand to know what to expect can be a great help! There are many companies that will offer you a complete series of videos showing you everything you've wanted to know about fly fishing. From how to tie flies to how to cast to where to find the fish, they will take you through the whole process step by step making you almost a pro before you even get on the water. Another very interesting advantage to a fly fishing video is being able to watch the fish as they take the bait. It can be very beautiful when you watch a fish jump out of the water to grab a fly. When you can see a fish in action, it can make you a much better fly fisherman. Fly fishing videos are not only great ways to learn, but they are excellent sources of enjoyment when you love the sport of fly fishing. You can find them in a variety of places, and you will not be sorry when you do. If you love the sport of fly fishing, videos are definitely the way to go to learn and to grow in the sport. Fly Fishing Retailer As one of the most important events in the sport of fly fishing, the annual Fly Fishing Retailer show has become a tourist attraction in and of itself. The 2007 show will take place September 16 through 18 in Denver, Colorado, at the Colorado Convention Center. What can you expect if you plan to attend this show? At Fly Fishing Retailer, you will get meaningful interaction with other avid fly fishers as well as experts. If you have questions about fly fishing, just ask. There are many, many people on hand who are more than happy to answer any queries you have about this wonderful sport. They offer tons of seminars on a variety of subjects. You can learn about fly tying, teaching others how to fly fish, what type of tackle to bring with you, and so much more. There is a casting pond where the experts can give you advice about your casting techniques and help you improve your casts for maximum efficiency. Orvis sponsors a saltwater fly fishing cup where competitors vie for the $7,500 grand prize. All equipment is supplied by Orvis, and it is held on one of the casting ponds that are set up in the convention center. You cast for distance as well as accuracy. Besides the seminars and activities, you will also find numerous companies exhibiting their fly fishing equipment. You will see some of the newest products from these companies and will also have the opportunity to purchase any of the equipment you are interested in. There are over two hundred exhibitors set to be at the 2007 show including Sage, Orvis, Federation of Fly Fishers, Trout Unlimited, and many more. You'll be able to see their products, ask questions, and even try out the gear before you buy it. You will also get a lot of information about conservation efforts in various areas. It's important to many fly fishermen to preserve the waters that they fish. Without conservation and respect for the land, the fish wouldn't be plentiful and the sport would die. Experts will tell you the best preservation efforts to take about yourself as well as part of a group. You will also find some famous authors who have written very popular books on the sport of fly fishing. You can mingle with them, ask them questions, and gain knowledge through their expertise on this great sport. When you attend Fly Fishing Retailer, you will find more information than you ever thought possible. You will be introduced to many fly fishing products and gain insight into the sport that you love. Fly Fishing Magazines One of the best ways to learn about fly fishing is by reading about it. You don't have to buy hundreds of books, though. There are many magazines dedicated to fly fishing, and most of them can give you a lot of great information. The leading magazine, and probably the most popular, is Fly Fisherman. This magazine gives lots of great tips and tricks you can try, and it brings you some of the most up-to-date news about streams and rivers that are popular with fly fishermen. You can get reviews of lodges and destinations as well as reports as to where the fish are biting the best. Subscription rates are $24 per year, and you can also check them online at www.flyfisherman.com. Fly Rod and Reel is another popular magazine among experienced fly fishers. They touch on fishing etiquette, fly tying, and human interest stories from other fishermen. Recent issues have focused on conservation efforts along with ways to preserve the areas you will be fishing so others can enjoy the same waters. It is published six times per year and subscription rates are $19.97 for one full year. Online, they are located at www.flyrodreel.com. Fly Fish America is an excellent magazine that brings you very comprehensive information on fly fishing. They do reviews of various fly fishing gear, give instructions on how to tie different flies as well as provide fishing reports. This magazine is also online at www.flyfishamerica.com. A yearly subscription for the paper form of the magazine for 7 issues is just $15.95. When you subscribe to American Angler magazine, you will find practical information on the tactics, techniques, tackle, and flies that will bring you more success in your fly fishing endeavors. Recent issues have focused on the advantages to using wet flies as well as a south Alaska fly fishing expedition. It is also published six times a year with a subscription rate of $19.95 per year. A specialty magazine called Fly Tyer is the only magazine dedicated exclusively to the art of tying your own flies. Publishing quarterly, Fly Tyer has all sorts of articles on the history, tradition, and innovations in the art of fly tying. For four issues, which is a year's subscription, it will cost you $19.95. There are many, many more fly fishing magazines that are published. Most will offer you some excellent information along with tips and techniques that you can put to use on your next fly fishing trip. Find one that you like and take in all that it has to offer. That's how great fishermen are made! Fly Fishing in Canada Canada is a beautiful place to visit. When you are planning a fly fishing trip, you'll find an amazing adventure in Canada! Many of the rivers and lakes where fly fishing is the best are in remote areas, so when you choose fly fishing in Canada, you'll have privacy with the added perk of some great fishing! Some of the best fly fishing in Canada is found in the province of Ontario. There are many lodges you can choose from to stay at when you are there, but be warned that most of them are in very remote places where you are likely to be left alone with your party and can only get in and out by plane or train. The Brown Bear lake system in Ontario is considered one of the best fly-in trophy smallmouth bass lakes in the area. The fish here average between two and three pounds, but four pound fish are common every season with some trophy wall hangers of 5-6 pounds being caught each year. Norse Lake is a prime example of a remote Canadian fly-in wilderness lake. The lake is protected by a high, picturesque landscape that stays relatively calm even in windy weather. Here, you can catch beautiful walleye, Northern Pike, and smallmouth bass. Trophy sized fish are found every year, so fish this lake for some great opportunities. Populus Lake offers twelve miles of beautiful water and land for you to explore when fly fishing in Canada. There are numerous channels and bays dotting this lake with all sort of landscape features like rock outcrops and weed beds which are prime breeding ground and hiding places for fish. This lake is situated in a very remote area with walleyes, trout, and Northern Pike in abundance. Picture a cool, clear Canadian lake with lots of trophy sized smallmouth bass and Northern Pike and you'll have Treelined Lake. This lake is so clear, you will be able to see the fish clearly near the shoreline. Wildlife is abundant here and it's not uncommon to see a moose feeding on the shoreline in the twilight. You'll find some real trophy sized fish on Treelined Lake with Northern Pike averaging over 5 pounds and smallmouth bass at 4-5 pounds. Because so many fly fishing spots in Canada are located in remote locations, you'll find peace and serenity during your fly fishing trip there. Enjoy the beauty of the Canadian wilderness while you catch the fish of your dreams. There are so many choices available to you that when you choose Canada for your next fly fishing trip, you're sure to come away a winner either way! Top US Fly Fishing Spots Fly fishing is a sport that is enjoyed around the world. Millions of people have discovered the joy and excitement of fly fishing. While fly fishing is practiced in every state in the US some areas naturally rise to the top as offering the best fly fishing around. The Catskill Mountains of New York are renowned for fly fishing. The late 19th century saw anglers in the Catskills developing artificial flies designed to imitate natural insects. The Beaverkill is perhaps the most popular of the Catskill rivers. The Willowemoc and the West Branch of the Delaware River are also very popular with fly fishers. Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the surrounding area offers near-unlimited fly fishing options. The Snake River and Jackson Lake are popular fishing choices outside of Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole is accessible by ground or by air to the Jackson Hole airport. Jackson Hole provides more fly fishing options within a few miles than any angler could explore in one visit. Henry's Fork of the Snake River offers legendary rainbow trout fishing. This area, particularly around Harriman State Park (Harriman Ranch) is legendary for its fly fishing. The area is open and offers unobstructed fishing. Downstream from Harriman Ranch the fishing is reputed to be faster paced. The San Juan River in New Mexico affords excellent year-round fishing. The 10-mile stretch of river below the Navajo Dam boasts 10,000 fish per mile of river. The section below the dam is populated mostly by rainbow trout with brown trout and cutthroat trout found further along the San Juan. Gallatin River around Bozeman, Montana is renowned for rainbow trout. Nearby, just south of Livingston, creeks have up to five insect hatches each day. DePuy's, Nelson's and Armstrong's all have fantastic rainbow trout fishing. Armstrong's Spring Creek is a meadow stream from 50 -- 100 feet wide and known for its rainbow trout. Spectacular mountain scenery rounds out the fly fishing experience here. The Wind River Range in Wyoming has an estimated 700 trout lakes. These lakes include cutthroat, brook, rainbow, grayling, brown and golden trout. This range is primarily high country and offers great hiking as well as fly fishing. Michigan's Au Sable River offers 180 miles of trout fishing. Located in northeast Michigan, the Au Sable River is home to rainbow, brook and brown trout, as well as steelhead from Lake Huron. The Au Sable offers a variety of fishing conditions along its distance. The Jacks River in Georgia is a Conasuaga River tributary. The Jacks River is largely in the Chattahoochee National Forest and therefore is accessible to the public. The Jacks River provides fly fishing opportunities for rainbow, brown and brook trout. The area is popular with hikers but sees fairly light fishing activity. Northeastern Utah's Green River offers extraordinary trout fly fishing. The tailwaters below the Flaming Gorge Dam offer outstanding trout habitat. It was this 30-mile section of river that produced a 30 pound brown trout only 10 years ago. Unfortunately, this secret is out and summer finds the river quite busy. Early spring and fall offer less competition and a very large number of trout. The United States boasts some great fly fishing waters. There area even more opportunities if you venture north into Alaska or Canada. As this list shows though, there are many great fly fishing opportunities right here in the United States. Top 10 Pieces Of Fly Fishing Gear Fly fishing is an interesting and varied sport with a seemingly endless array of gadgets and gear. The number of options can be confusing to someone new to the sport. What are the most important pieces of gear for fly fishing? The top 10 pieces of fly fishing gear include a fly fishing rod, reel, line, leader, flies, waders, net, vest, clippers and sunglasses. The fly fishing rod is the first piece of must-have gear for fly fishing. Fly fishing rods are different from traditional fishing rods and are uniquely designed to allow casting of the fly line and fly. Most rods today are constructed from some type of graphite compound; however, some rods are still made from fiberglass or bamboo. Fly rods are categorized based on the weight of the line they are designed to be used with. Fly fishing reels are actually less important than rods. Unlike traditional fishing, with fly fishing you do not reel the fish in. Fly fishing techniques involve stripping line with the free hand. Many fly fishing reels are actually quite primitive designs and therefore not all that expensive. Anglers frequently "palm" the reel to create drag rather than relying on internal drag mechanisms in the reel. Fly fishing line is specially designed for this style of fishing. The line is considerably heavier than traditional fishing line and is frequently tapered and designed to float. Some line is designed to sink, however. Many anglers attach a backer line between the fly fishing line and the reel to increase the available line. The leader is a clear, monofilament line that attaches to the end of the fly fishing line. The fly is tied onto the end of the leader. The leader is tapered down to a very narrow diameter at the forward end. The leader looks a lot like traditional fishing line. Flies are available in a wide assortment of styles and designs. Dry flies are designed to float on top of the water, wet flies and nymphs are designed to be submerged, and other flies are designed to be partially submerged. Flies may also be categorized as imitative or attractive. Imitative flies are designed to imitate or look like a particular insect. Attractive flies are designed to attract the fist without looking like any particular natural food source. Waders may be optional if you are fishing in warm water. However, many anglers fly fish in cold water streams and find waders absolutely essential. Popular wader styles today include neoprene waders and waders with a waterproof lining. Neoprene waders work well in cold water and serve to keep the angler warm. Waders with a waterproof lining are breathable and convenient when hiking alongside a stream. A net is another essential piece of fly fishing equipment. Since fly fishing is usually done while standing in the water it can be very difficult to land a fish without a good net. Nets frequently have a hook attached so that the net can be hooked onto the anglers waders or vest. A net is also particularly important if the angler is practicing catch and release fishing. Since fly fishing is usually done in the water a fishing vest is a near-essential piece of equipment. Vests allow you to keep essential tools and gear neat and handy for when you need it. Clippers are very useful for clipping line when changing flies. You will rarely see a fly fisherman without clippers in their vest or pocket. Sunglasses are one piece of personal gear you will not want to forget. Sunglasses keep the sun out of your eyes as well as protecting your eyes from stray fishing hooks. Good quality, polarized sunglasses will also help you see much better while out on the stream. Many anglers would also add a hat and sunscreen to the list of essential personal gear. There are many more pieces of gear and gadgets that are available for the fly fisherman. These ten items are perhaps the most essential for a fun and successful outing though. The Mysterious Allure of Fly Fishing There is something about fly fishing that captures the hearts of many fishermen. To many people, the point of fishing is simply to catch a fish. However, this is not the case when it comes to fly fishing. Of course the fly fisherman wants to catch a fish. He actually devotes an extraordinary amount of energy, time and ingenuity to doing just that. But there is more to fly fishing than just catching a fish. He is interested in the activity itself. It is the act of fishing from which the fly fisherman derives so much pleasure, not just from the end result. What is it about fly fishing that makes it so enticing? There is one main physical difference between other types of fishing and fly fishing. That difference may be the key to the enjoyment so many find in the sport of fly fishing. In all other forms of casting, the fisherman is throwing a weight on the end of his line, whether it is a lure or a sinker. Certainly, this does require a great amount of precision, but it is essentially like throwing a rock in the water. The fly fisherman, on the other hand, is casting only the weight of the line itself, which is spread out over 30 or 40 feet of line. The tiny fly at the end of the line is virtually weightless, and it provides no momentum at all. Fly fishing requires precision, delicacy, a gentle fine touch. Many fly fishermen want to learn as much as they can about their sport, not just about fishing techniques. That includes the study of the insects that the fish feed on, studying the freshwater habitats, leaning about the history and lore of their sport, as well as the techniques of fly casting and fly tying. The fly fisherman has to be aware of everything from the cycles of the seasons to the life cycles of the insects. Fly fishing is not just another method of catching fish. Fly fishing embraces the rhythm of nature as well as the rhythm of the rod. The rhythm of the rod carries your mind, body and spirit to the water. Whether you catch a fish are not, the water will always give you a little bit of its own, strength, some of its energy, and the wonderful feeling of peace. The sport of fly fishing takes place in some of the most beautiful settings of the world including mountain streams, scenic lakes, the ocean's shorelines, and out on the high seas. Fly fishermen see and appreciate the wonders of nature. They care about the fish as well as the environment. Many of them take a proactive stance on environmental issues. An anonymous fisherman once said fly fishing has a special hold on the spirit of man. This is because of all forms of fishing, it requires a perfect balance between discipline and freedom. Perhaps part if the mysterious allure of fly fishing is the feeling of harmony with nature and the gentle balance between man and fish. Fly Fishing Supplies Besides the obvious supplies of rods and reels, there are really a lot of other supplies you should have in your fly fishing arsenal. It can make the difference between a great fishing trip and a so-so fishing trip when you have a variety of products at your disposal. So what types of supplies will you need to have on hand? To begin with, you should have an ample supply of flies. When you are out on a river or stream, you will want to match the food source that is readily available to the fish. They are much more likely to bite when they recognize their normal food as opposed to anything else. When you have several flies available, you can adapt depending on what types of insects you see on your particular stretch of water. You will also want to have a supply of different lines that you can use. Different lines are adaptable to different types of weather as well as different types of casting. If you have some particularly windy weather, you will want to change your line to adapt to the conditions and make your casting more productive. Apparel is part of the fly fishing experience, and you'll want to get the right supplies that will best match your situation. Vests, for example, are almost necessary for the avid fly fisherman. Fly fishing vests come with lots of pockets for you to hold your supplies in and have easy access to them at the same time. Where can you get your fly fishing supplies? The outlets are everywhere. You can start with your local sporting goods store to find different brands and suggestions for various supplies. If you have a local specialty fishing store, these can be excellent places to get your fly fishing supplies. The people in these stores are also very knowledgeable in the sport and they can make suggestions as to what you should be carrying with you. The Internet is probably the widest and most diverse place to shop for your fly fishing supplies. You have literally thousands of places that sell equipment for fly fishermen including fly tying supplies, various pre-made flies, lines, and apparel. Just do a quick search on your favorite search engine for fly fishing supplies and be amazed at the amount of resources that are at your fingertips! Be creative when looking for fly fishing supplies. Ask other fly fishermen, talk online, and utilize the resources of fly fishing organizations. Once you begin amassing your supplies, you'll be surprised at how addictive it can be! Fly Fishing Store When you begin to get into the sport of fly fishing, you will want to find a store that carries a diverse amount of supplies. Look for a local sporting goods store or even a specialty fishing store to find what you need to get started. Most fly fishing stores will carry many different brands of flies, rods, reels, and hooks that can meet all of your fishing needs. Many specialty stores will also offer classes on various subjects such as fly tying, casting techniques, how to find the best fish, and more. They will also often organize fishing expeditions for people to participate in. You can find a variety of items in a quality fly fishing store. Many places strive to become a "one-stop shop" for its customers. They don't want fly fishers to have to go to several different places to get their equipment, so they will carry a diverse amount of supplies such as waders, nets, and flies. The great part about going to a local fly fishing store is that you will get good customer service from the employees there. Chances are very good that the reason they are working there is they also have a love of fly fishing, and some of them have a wealth of information to share. If you have any questions about the sport, just ask. Most of the employees will be happy to share their knowledge with you. If they don't have an answer to your question, they can find out what you need to know. You can also find fly fishing equipment in stores like Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Keep in mind, however, that these stores probably will not give you as much assistance as you may get in a specialty store. They will, however, have cheaper prices, so if you're on a budget but still want to buy your gear, they are good options. If you don't have a local fly fishing store, you may want to look online as there are many, many places for you to get your supplies from as well. Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, and Orvis all have online stores for fly fishing supplies. The sites are well organized and easy to navigate. You can get all of your fly fishing supplies in a specialty store or on a specialty website. Always be on the lookout for specials and clearance items as you'll be able to amass your gear quickly with a minimum of expense. Fly fishing stores are more than just retail outfits, they can offer you information, too, about this wonderful sport! Fly Fishing Show When you are an avid fly fisherman, attending a fly fishing show can be an integral part of your mastery in the sport. Fly fishing shows offer so much valuable information, attending one is virtually required if you want to improve your skills and stay up to date on the latest equipment and techniques. One of the biggest traveling shows is "The Fly Fishing Show". This show annually travels to some of the most popular fly fishing destinations like Bellevue, Washington, Denver, Colorado, and Charlotte, North Carolina, among others. This show boasts several exhibitors offering new equipment for sale as well as seminars and symposiums about how to improve your fly fishing skills. The Fly Fishing Show offers classes on fly tying and much, much more. They have casting demonstrations along with the opportunity to win some amazing door prizes including fly fishing trips, equipment, and gear. You will also be able to talk with other people who share your love of fly fishing. Another huge show is "Fly Fishing Retailer" which is held annually in Denver, Colorado. Again, this show will provide exhibitors with their wares for sale, but Fly Fishing Retailer also offers you the chance to hob-nob with fly fishing experts, ask them questions, and partake of their expertise. With the growing popularity of fly fishing as a sport, there are shows held all over the country for the avid fisherman. Admittance is usually free, and attendance is almost always heavy. Keep an eye out in your favorite fly fishing magazine or local newspaper for fly fishing shows that are coming near where you live. Often, people will travel long distances to these shows because they certainly do have so much to offer. You can find a quality fly fishing show nearly anyplace in the United States. Do a quick Internet search for "fly fishing shows" and pick from the various locations that you will find are hosting fly fishing shows. The best part about attending a fly fishing show is the vast amount of information you will learn. Because almost all these shows offer various classes that pertain to fly fishing, when you sit in on the seminars, you will gain knowledge you didn't know before. Even if you have been fly fishing for years, a little refresher course never hurts! There's no doubt that a quality fly fishing show can not only help you with your fly fishing skills, but you can also be introduced to new technology in fly rods and reels as well as helpful items that can make your fly fishing more productive than it has ever been. Find a show near you and share your love of fly fishing from those in the know! Fly Fishing Shop There are many shops that cater exclusively to the sport of fly fishing. Whether you are looking for them in your hometown or online, you can find plenty of places to shop for your fly fishing supplies. Amassing your fly fishing gear doesn't have to be a headache. There are many places that sell supplies and apparel for fly fishing -- all you have to do is look for them. Shopping for fly fishing gear can be a very enjoyable expedition albeit an expensive one. But when you love a sport, you will want to have the best equipment you can find. Online fly fishing shops offer you the convenience of shopping from your home and they will deliver your product right to your door. You will have many more choices when you shop online, and the selection will be everything you could ever think of. Following are a few of the websites we've found that offer a wide variety of fly fishing supplies. The Fly Fishing Shop (www.flyfishusa.com) has both an online store as well as a brick and mortar shop in Welches, Oregon. They offer everything from rods and reels to pontoon boats. They have been in business for over twenty-two years and even offer free shipping for orders over $50. The Orvis Company (www.orvis.com) has long been a well-known manufacturer of quality fly fishing equipment, and their online shop offers all kinds of supplies for the fly fisher. They have clothing, gifts, and collectibles as well as home furnishings and hunting supplies. The Hook and Hackle Company (www.hookhackle.com) has just about everything in their shop that a fly fisher would need. They have an extensive amount of fly tying supplies plus separate parts of fly fishing rods so you can build your own rod. They also offer waders, footwear, and much more. Like many other online fishing shops, Angler's Lane (www.anglerslane.com) also has a storefront in Virginia where they sell their fishing supplies. You can order rods, reels, flies, and clothing from their online shop, too. They have a special section with products on sale and boast discounted items daily. There are a lot of fly fishing shops out there. While it can be much more satisfying to be able to pick up a rod and know how it feels in your hand, you can often find some great deals through an online shop plus you're likely to find less expensive merchandise. Fly Fishing School When you are learning how to do something new, it is always helpful to get some instruction. There are schools all over the country that teach people how to fly fish, and they can be a wonderful way to learn fly fishing from people who are experts in the field. One of the most popular fly fishing schools is provided by the Orvis company who manufactures various fly fishing gear. They offer these schools in various locations throughout the country, usually in the springtime. The Orvis school will teach you proper casting techniques, tying the best knots, how to choose your gear and tackle, and much more! Outdoor classes are held by The Fly Fishing School in various locations throughout the United States and Canada. This school goes to some of the most popular fly fishing spots and shows anglers the proper ways to enjoy the sport. This school is a very effective way for beginners to learn the fundamentals of fly fishing and is a great refresher course for more experienced anglers. The Fly Fishing School also offers a self study course available for purchase. These courses come in book form as well as compact disc. You can even take the course online is that is more convenient for you. When you choose a fly fishing school, you will get the benefit of experienced instructors who are eager to share their knowledge with you. They will guide you step by step through the process of tying your line, how to hold the rod, and being able to make the most effective casts. Many schools will also teach you where to look for the best fish as well as what bait to use for certain species. Other fly fishing schools will teach you how to become a fly fishing guide for other people. If you have a love of the outdoors and a love of fly fishing as a sport, becoming a guide could be a great career move for you. You can learn along with your students and teach them what you know helping them become better anglers themselves. Schools vary in price with the Orvis school running around $400 for two days of classes. Of course, you'll have to worry about your own transportation and lodging when you get to the location of your class. Many people think this is a small investment when considering the amount of information and expertise you will be getting. Fly fishing schools are great places to learn about this sport you are coming to love. When you employ the advice of experts, you will be well on your way to learning more about the sport of fly fishing. Of course, practice is the best teacher, but you sure have to start somewhere. Fly Fishing Lures In the general sport of fishing, you use lures to catch your fish; however, when you are fly fishing, the word lure only marginally applies. Sure, you are trying to lure the fish to your bait, but when you are fly fishing, you use flies to entice the fish. So when we talk about lures in the sport of fly fishing, we are really speaking about flies. You see, fish eat bugs. They rely on flies, grasshoppers, and other insects for their food source. When you are fly fishing, you attempt to mimic the look and movement of their food. Therefore, the lure that you are providing them with are called flies. There are all sorts of fly fishing lures, or flies, that you can use depending on the area you are fishing and the type of fish you want to catch. Most of these lures are available at commercial retail outlets, but you can also make them yourself. The key is to have several different lures available to you so you can adapt to the situation you are fishing in. Take a few moments when getting on the river or stream to observe the types of insects that are around you. Take a small net like they use for goldfish and skim the top of the water. See what you collect inside and then use a lure that looks like the bugs in the net. Whatever type of fly or insect that is predominantly in the area is what the fish are feeding on. You'll catch more fish when you lure them with what they already know are food sources. While most fish will eat whatever they can find, if they are used to seeing may flies on top of the water, they will be more apt to bite than if you dangle a caddis fly over their heads. Your fly fishing lures should be simple. Regular fishing lures are often huge with all sorts of shiny danglers and bright colors. They, too, are meant to mimic food sources, but the idea of fly fishing is to catch fish using the natural food that is always available. That's why flies are kept simple looking and small. You can lure fish to your line using a variety of tools. But when you are fly fishing, lures become one of the most important tools you can have in your arsenal. Using the right lure, or fly, is so important. It can make a big difference between catching a ton of fish or just a few. Choose your lures carefully when fly fishing and reap the benefits! Fly Fishing Lodges When you are going on a fly fishing trip away from your home, one of the best parts can be staying in a lodge in a rustic setting that only adds to the adventure. Many fly fishing lodges are found in remote areas, but many have the amenities that can make your stay more than enjoyable. Some people like to camp when they are on a fly fishing destination trip, but with the advent of new resort-like lodges that are springing up in popular fly fishing spots, there's no reason why you should have to sleep on the cold ground and cook your food over an open fire -- well, unless you really want to! After a day on the water, it can be nice to take a hot shower and sit down to a hot meal that you don't have to cook! Fly fishing lodges also offer other great perks to its guests. They often provide trained guides who can lead you to the best fishing waters as well as tips and tricks on how to maximize your fishing time. Many have been in business for a very long time and know all of the ins and outs of the area. It can save you a lot of time and money when you book a stay at a quality fly fishing lodge. Many places we've researched pride themselves on their service mentality. By that we mean they often don't have more than a few guests staying in their lodge at any one time so their staff can give you personalized attention. This can be a special treat when you are on vacation! When choosing a lodge for your fly fishing vacation, be sure to check them out before booking. Most places have a website where you can see pictures of the cabins and read about what they have to offer. Are they rated by any travel companies? The higher the rating, the better quality you will get when checking in. Many fly fishing lodges are located in remote areas that can only be reached by planes or trains -- especially if you are looking into Alaska. The good part about booking a trip with a lodge is that they will provide transportation to and from the lodge as well transportation to the best spots on the nearby waters for you to fish. Fly fishing lodges are great places to enjoy both the place you are visiting as well as getting the best locations to fish in. They know what they are talking about at these lodges and will go out of their way to make you happy. If you are planning a fly fishing vacation, definitely try to book a lodge -- your trip will be amazing! Fly Fishing In Popular Culture Fly fishing is an ancient style of fishing that has become an important part of popular culture. Images of fly fishing gear often evoke powerful emotions in the viewer. Fly fishing was practiced at least as early as the 2nd century by Macedonian anglers; however, some argue that fly fishing may have originated even earlier with the Chinese. Little is known of the development of fly fishing from the 2nd century through the end of the 15th century. The English publication of a book in 1496 detailing dozens of artificial fly designs suggests that the sport was kept active during this period though. Fly fishing continued to grow in popularity for some time in England, Scotland, Scandinavia and the United States. However, the sport eventually came to be viewed as an elitist sport, in part due to the high cost of fly fishing gear. Early fly rods were crafted from a tropical wood and later from bamboo. Both types of rods were expensive. By the 1920s interest in fly fishing in the United States had peaked. Following World War II, fly fishing interest increased in the United States again. The introduction of fiberglass fly fishing rods, monofilament leaders, and synthetic line all served to lower the cost of fly fishing gear. Fly fishing interest in the United States was once again on the rise. Many of our fathers and grandfathers were fly fishermen of this era, and the overall respect that is given that generation in American culture may be reason enough to explain the enduring strength of fly fishing in popular culture. Over the years Western fly fishing has emerged with its own cultural image. This may be due to several factors, including the American romanticizing of Western culture in general along with some brilliant marketing by early Western fly fishing entrepreneurs. The Western American cultural image of fly fishing is inextricably linked with horses, wide-brimmed hats, and leather apparatus. Western-clad fly fishers wading a rocky river while horses graze nearby on the aspen-lined shore is a powerful picture that transports most of us to a place we want to be. Whether the image is completely rooted in reality is not important. Consider how many images designed to communicate masculinity feature fly fishing gear. Artists and graphic designers know that fly fishing images are a powerful way to communicate masculinity -- whether attempting to speak to men or to speak about men. Even those who have not held a fly rod in years are powerfully impacted by the image of a fly rod or a fly fishing scene. The picture instantly transports people back in time. Fly fishing is so deeply embedded in the American culture that a single picture can take us back to childhood or transport us to a far away place. In this place the world seems right again; everything is once again as it should be. Fly fishing is an important part of popular American culture. Images of fly fishing abound in movies, magazines, books and homes. Even an image of fly fishing apparatus communicates powerfully to many Americans. Fly fishing is an important part of American popular culture and history. Texas Fly Fishing Fly fishing in the state of Texas doesn't have the common popularity as a location of choice when it comes to experienced fly fishers. Many people think the rivers and streams of classic mountain country are the better choices. The truth is that you can find some amazing fly fishing in Texas -- when you know where to go. Texas contains approximately 80,000 miles of rivers and streams, comprising forty-one major waterways. These waters range from clear, fast-flowing hill country streams to turbid, slow-moving bayous. Fishing success often slows on Texas reservoirs during the summer, but may remain excellent on Texas rivers. Rockport, Texas, is a great place to fly fish in salt water. There are seven major bay systems that dot the Texas coastline which makes it a great fly fishing destination. Sea grass carpets much of the shallows in the bay system providing an ideal hiding place for fish as well as acting as an incubator for new fish. It also acts as a filter draining out impurities and making the living environment perfect for fish like speckled trout, red fish, black drum, and flounder. You will find some amazing trout fishing along the Guadalupe River. This river is located between Austin and San Antonio and is the southernmost fresh water trout fishery in the United States. The river is stocked with many varieties of trout. They have a catch and release regulation on the river to help keep the trout plentiful from year to year. When fishing the Guadalupe, keep in mind that many of the best spots are accessible only by crossing private lands. You can often find people who are more than willing to allow you access, but be prepared to pay a small fee to do so. There are some public access points you can take advantage of, however, so look for these first. The Blanco River is a classic hill country river varying from a deep, wide river to merely a trickle in places. The banks are lined with cypress trees which makes the scenery along this river absolutely beautiful. Species you can fish for here include a variety of bass and perch. Access is easy and the fishing is good year-round. The major drainage flowing through Texas hill country is the Colorado River located about 60 miles north of Austin. During the winter and the spring, the bass are plentiful as they migrate out of Lake Buchanan and up the river. You will have to pay a small daily fee to fish the Colorado, but it's well worth your time and money! While many people don't think of Texas as prime fly fishing country, it actually is a great place to fish for bass and trout. Once the word gets out about the great fly fishing in Texas, it's only a matter of time before it ranks right up there with Colorado and Washington in popularity.
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