The Joys And Solitude Of Fly Fishing

One of the first images that fill a person's mind when they think of fly fishing is the tranquil and serene calm of the water and the land which surrounds it. Movies such as "A River Runs Through It" depict fly fishing as much therapy for weary souls as it is recreation and sport. For those who have never experienced it, it offers the opportunity to participate in a sport that others have enjoyed for thousands of years. In a moment, we'll explain the origins of fly fishing, the various methods involved and provide an overview of the equipment used.

Where Did Fly Fishing Originate?

Many people (even enthusiasts) believe fly fishing is a relatively new activity. In reality, the sport can be traced back to the 2nd century when a Roman teacher named Claudius Aelianus described it in his writings. Some experts claim that fly fishing can be traced even further in history. However, most devotees agree that modern practices evolved primarily from later practices n Scotland and the northern regions of England.

Fly fishing became incredibly popular in England during the 19th century as clubs devoted to the sport began to emerge. Books that explained techniques and methods started to find their way into bookstores. Today, as the baby boomer generation retires, fly fishing has enjoyed a renewed popularity as books, DVDs and cable shows cater to a new crop of fans.

Different Methods

Fly fishing involves a variety of casting techniques. To cast the line and fly long distances, experienced anglers use a "forward cast" to build and release the energy in the line. "False casting" is used when the objective isn't to position the fly on the water. Instead, the goal may be to dry the fly or reposition the cast itself. Other casting methods such as the "roll cast," "tuck cast" and "curve cast" are used depending upon the circumstances.

There are many ways in which fly fishermen ply their craft. Some prefer to fly fish in extremely cold water, using waders to protect them from the chill. Others prefer a method called dry trout fishing where the line and flies rest on the water's surface. By contrast, nymphing focuses on positioning the flies beneath the surface where trout tend to gather and feed. Still others enjoy still water trout fishing. Every angler has a preference and some enjoy a variety of techniques.

Fly Rods, Lines And Reels For The Catch

Fly rods are available in a variety of lengths. They can range from 6 feet to 15 feet. The rods are measured depending upon their weight. For example, while the rods can vary greatly in length, most enthusiasts refer to their rods by a number that reflects the weight (i.e. 5wt, 11wt, etc.). Each fly rod is designed to be used with similarly-weighted fly lines. That is, a 5wt rod should use a 5wt line. The corresponding weight of the rod and line is better-suited for different types of fly fishing (small trout vs. steelhead and salmon).

Fly reels are often used merely to store the fly lines. The fly fisherman will pull the line from his reel with his hand. In turn, any slack found in the line after it has been cast is pulled back onto the reel. In certain conditions, anglers will depend upon their reels more often. But, for most fly fishing experiences, the reel's use is limited to line storage.

Appreciating The Sport

Most people who have enjoyed fly fishing are passionate about the sport. As they describe their experiences, you can practically sense their longing to be back in the water with a rod in hand. The sport has been adored by fans for generations. As baby boomers retire and seek a quieter way to enjoy their twilight years, fly fishing is sure to become one of the most popular recreational sports in recent years.