How To Fly Fishing: The Ultimate Guide

5 Simple Steps Will Definitely Make You To Be A Pro Fly Fisher

by Ted Thomas | Last Updated: JuLY 23th 2017

How many fish are you planning to catch on the next fly fishing trip?

Well, if you want to double or triple the number, then this article is for you.

We have brought up this list of how to fly fishing for beginner or expert that would render specialized knowledge on this type of fishery.

Are you ready? Here we go.

To make your fly fishing trip successful, you would first have to apprehend some basic knowledge regarding the right technique and other aspects.

Here is a perfect guide for both beginners and experts that will be helpful in the right time and place.


what is fly fishing ?

Step: 1- What is Fly Fishing?

Well, if you are a beginner, or have just started to have an interest in fly fishing or if completely unknown about this technique, then this article will help you.

Our aim is to let you know what exactly fly fishing is and this will even boost your desire for it.

In this section, we are going to talk about three parts:

  • 1. The Difference Between Traditional Casting Methods And The Fly Fishing Method
  • 2. Understanding the Basic Concept of Fly Fishing
  • 3. Types Of Fishes You Can Catch With Fly Fishing

Let's begin!

1. The Difference Between Traditional Casting Methods And The Fly Fishing Method

At first, you should know the difference between traditional casting methods and the fly fishing method which is the root of fly fishing.

 In the traditional fishing method, casting is done employing some types of lure or bait that are attached at the end of monofilament or newer braided lines.

The lure or bait forms the heaviest section upon the lightweight line.

traditional fishing method

While casting, the lure or bait carry the momentum through the air, and the lighter line is trailed at the back of it.

Hence, the bait or lure’s weight is significant in traditional fishing forms.

Fly Fishing Method

 In the case of fly fishing, casting is done using a fly rod and fly line equipped with artificial lures.

The fly line is sufficiently heavy to cast the lure to the target, and in this method, the line's weight carries the fish hook through the air.

Well, artificial lures are of different types; some look like insects or baitfish, while others appear as attractors.

2. Understanding the Basic Concept of Fly Fishing

Fly fishing basically means to imitate the natural food of a fish and provoking it to take the bite. The flies could be the imitated insects like caddis, mayflies, ants, grasshoppers, and others.

However, you could even use flies which don't look like any insects.

Well, these imitated flies are made of various natural and artificial elements like feathers of birds, furs or hairs of animals, artificial synthetic substances, glass, wires and many other things.

3. Types Of Fishes You Can Catch With Fly Fishing

With fly fishing, you will be able to catch salmon, grayling, and trout significantly.

However, you can use this method to catch other variety of species like bass, pike, carp, panfish, snook, redfish, tarpon, striped bass, and bonefish.

Big predatory fishes like tuna, wahoo, sharks, and marlin have even become targets of fly fishing with the development of stronger reels and rods.

places to find fish

Step: 2- Definite Places To Find And Catch Fishes

In this section we are going to talk about various places where fishes hide and once you have read all the steps, you can easily locate and understand the nature of fishes.

The first step to locating the best places of fly fishing is to know where they rest, hide or feed.

Where To Find Trout?

Being a cold water fish species, trout could be found only in coldwater lakes, rivers or ponds.

The fish spend maximum time by resting, eating and hiding from predators.

trout fish
  • While resting, they hide near deep pools' bottom, undercurrents and shoreline structures like logs, undercut banks, boulders, and bushy banks and in culverts or holes.
  • Stream trout move along the weed beds, at pool's exit, back of boulders, as well as in stream shallows during early morning and late evening to feed.

The weed beds that are a key location for insects will be the ideal place to look for pond and lake trout.

Where To Find Bass?

bass fish

The prime prey of bass is panfish, so you can look for the areas where panfish are found.

You can find them lurking or prowling around weed beds, lily pads, logs, overhang trees and boat docks in ponds and lakes.

They can even be found lying near human-made structures where they hide. Large bass lives near or in deep holes and around jetties, ledges, rocks, and shoreline weed beds where they basically hide.

Where To Find Panfish?

Panfish basically reside in warm water ponds and lakes. They could be found in warm water rivers near weedy shorelines as well as shallow bays.

Panfish prefer shallow weedy spaces in lakes and ponds to feed.


They even prefer structures like duck blinds, boat docks, and depressions in shal-low reefs or bottom of the pond.

Where To Find Saltwater Fish?

tarpon fish

Saltwater fishes could be found near structures like beaches, inlets, tidal rip areas, under docks, headlands, in channels and on tidal flats.

You can look for tarpon on saltwater flats where the fish’s heads and backs appear on the water surface.

No matter where you are fishing on the salt water, surface disturbances near shore-lines will be a good indication for the fish.

Well, you can check the given website containing maps that would help you in determining the places of every fish species.

fly fishing equipment

Step: 3- Important Things Needed for Fly Fishing

While stepping out in the way of learning the method of fly fishing, you could be overwhelmed to know about the number of equipments necessary to have a successful start.

We will focus on those specific equipments that are readily available in the market and help you in water in no time.

There are five essential types of equipment required to start a fly fishing trip, and these are as follows:

  • 1. Fly Fishing Rod
  • 2. Fly Fishing Reel
  • 3. Fly Fishing Line
  • 4. Leader and Tippet
  • 5. Fly Fishing Flies

Let's get started with fly fishing rod first!

1. Fly Fishing Rod

Rod Ratings

Ratings of fly rods are done a scale of weight that ranges from 1 to 15. The American Fly Fishing Trade Association assigns the numbers.

The ratings of weight depict the weight of line required to flex properly or equip the rod to cast.The lightest rod is of 1-weight while the heaviest one is about 15-weight.

You would have to add some inches to the leader or line using triple surgeon knot.

Matching Weights

  • 1-and 2-weight are suitable for extreme ultralight freshwater where small flies are employed for small trout and panfish.
  • The 3-and 4-weight work for same but is much versatile than them.
  • The 5-weight is for light freshwater and the most re-nowned rod for stream trout and even great for small bass and panfish.
  • The 6-and 7-weight is for medium freshwater while the 8-and 9-weight rod is for heavy freshwater.
  • A 10-weight rod will be suitable for stronger fish like tarpon, roosterfish, salmon, and others in much heavier freshwater.
  • 11-and 12-weight rods are ideal for heavy saltwater
  • The 13-, 14-, and 15-weight rods are for catching sharks, billfish, tuna and other biggest fishes in remarkably heavier salt-water.

Rod Length

Rods that are less than 9ft are suitable for fishing in smaller streams or other com-pact areas. The 9ft rods are the most popular fly rods that can handle several fish-ing conditions without added weight as well as efforts of casting.

However, the rods that are more than 9ft in length make longer casting than the shorter ones.

Rod Action

There are three types of fly rod action:

1. Fast Action or Tip-Flex Fly Rods

As the name implies, fast action or tip-flex fly rods’ tip is little bit bent at the end of the backcast.

However, rest portion of the rod is almost straight as an arrow.

rod action


  • The rod’s stiffness allows more powerful casting
  • The stiffness permits to cast easily on windy days
  • Anglers have to work less for casting same distance for the inherent power in the rod compared to flexible and slower rod.


  • Beginners could face difficulty in learning to cast with this rod
  • Casting precise particularly will be tough for new anglers
  • It is not the ideal rod for short casting.
2. Medium Action or Mid-Flex Fly Rods

Medium Action Fly Rod is the most versatile of the available rods.

rod action


  • This rod works well in wide variety of conditions
  • They are even easier to learn than that of fast-action rod
  • These rods can be used for long distance cast.


  • On the backcast, the rod bends from halfway down
  • It is not as powerful as fast action fly rods
  • One might even lose little bit distance in casting with this fly rod.
3. Slow-Action or Full Flex Fly Rods

Slow Action fly rod is known to be very flexible. The rod will bend starting about 1/4th of the way down the fly rod on the back cast.

rod action

It arches almost into a shallow at 90-angle during full backcast.

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  • Slow action rods are ideal for fishing in small streams
  • The flexibility of rod helps in easier casting and proper presentation
  • They are very forgiving and easier to learn.


  • These rods lack the utility which medium action fly rod has
  • They are not suitable for long distance casting.

​Maybe right now, you adapt the informations that I gave above, so let's jump to choose the right fishing rod for you.

How to Select Which Fly Rod is Right for You

Selecting a fishing rod is important, and it depends on several factors like what kind of species you want to fish, techniques you will use and coverage of the fishing area.

Rods can be considered as a tool that helps you to get the job done.

Things you need to consider are:

  • Length - Shorter rods have less leverage, while longer rods have more leverage and more casting ability. Hence, a rod that is more than 7ft in length is going to offer more leverage and casting ability. As a general rule, a 9ft rod would be a good place to start for every angler.
  • Material 
  • Power
  • Rod Action - The best action is largely a personal choice best left to the individual. It is better to cast a rod before purchasing in order to make an own evaluation. For anglers casting for the first time, a medium action rod would be a better op-tion to try as it is easier to use.
Step 1 - Consider The Size of The Type of Fish Species

The first consideration will be the size of the type of fish species you will be possibly fishing.

  • If you wish to have an all-around fishing rod which could be employed for general trout , brook as well as the 20-inchers. A 5-weight rod will be a good option, to begin with. Moreover, a 3- or 4-weight rod will be a better option to fish for small native trout in high mountain streams.
  • If you want to fish salmon or big rainbow trout in Alaska, a 7-weight rod will be an ideal choice.
  • An 8-weight rod would good for fishing in saltwater.
  • A 10-weight rod will be good for small tarpon, barracuda and permit while a rod of 12-weight for tarpon
  • With larger size of fish comes the question about the rate of effectiveness of the rod as a fighting tool.

 A 9-ft rod is considered as the most versatile all-rounder length of the rod. One can opt for other rod sizes ranging from 7ft to all about 10ft.

But maximum fly anglers are most satisfied with the 9ft until they appear small for fishing in bushy creeks or require longer rod for expert techniques, like various kinds of nymph fishing.

Step 2 - Consider Materials For Fishing Rod

Next, you have to decide whether you will fish with carbon graphite fly rod or the traditional bamboo rod.

  • Bamboo rods are preferred by anglers who favor custom craftsmanship along with slower, lighter and more classic style of casting.
  • In nearly every case, these rods are costlier than their hi-tech counterparts.

But the high price has more to do with skills needed for making them than materials' price or their performance.

Step 3 - Piece Fishing Rods

Now you need to ask yourself whether you require 3-or 4-weight rod for stuffing inside a suitcase, carry on the plane or strap onto the backpack.

Or, you need 2-piece rod that you might leave hang up for the whole season.

Step 4 - Consider Prices

After deciding your preferences for length, size, the number of pieces and construction, you now have to think about the price.

Some manufacturers build affordable fly rods while others specialize in high-end rods. Rods of best performance build with better elements cost more.

But a beginner in fly fishing won’t be able to cast better a $500 rod than a $150 one.

Well, professional fly casters prefer to use rods which are in the mid of manufacturer’s price rate.

I will recommend some places that you can buy fishing rod from it. 

Where to Buy Quality Fly Rods

A good shop will have an excellent selection of fly rods, but you have to stay away from big box store because it contains poor quality fishing rods.

You can even purchase a good quality fly rod from various online stores like Orvis, Cabela's, Vail Valley Anglers, The Rivers Edge, Front Range Angler, Amazon and many others.

Some Tips of Fly Rods for Beginner Anglers

  • A medium action fly rod will be better for new anglers. These fly rods are the most versatile and quite forgiving to learn on
  • For trout fishing, the length of the rod must be 8.5 to 9ft. Beginners should go shorter than this length if they want to focus on fishing more for smaller fishes, like panfish
  • New anglers will not require a $700 rod. But cheaper fly rods work poorly and prove frustrating quickly to new anglers. New anglers should go for mid-range priced rod and this way, the rod can be used many years without worrying about fast 'outgrowing.'

One excellent option for beginners is several Orvis Clearwater Fly Rods which are available. These are longer-lasting, and fishers won't outgrow them quickly.

2. Fly Fishing Reel

The purpose of the fly reel is storing line, providing continuous, smooth tension when fishes make a longer run. It even counterbalances the fly rod's weight while casting.

Basically, when the tenacity and size of the caught fish increase, the importance of the reel comes with it.

Fly fishing reels are simple equipment and the most complex ones even have some moving parts than spinning reels.

Different Types of Retrieval Mechanisms

Fly reels have two kinds of systems to retrieve. One is multiplying fly reel, and the other one is automatic fly reel.

1. Multiplying Fly Reel
Multiplying Fly Reel


  • This type of system helps to bring the line back on the reel faster
  • This is possible for the complex channels of gears which permit single turn of the reel to equal two or more than two turns of spool
  • These reels can be painful, at least while fishing in the rivers
  • You shouldn't use multiplying fly reel during normal fly fishing in rivers or lakes for bass, trout and such sized fishes
  • These reels are mostly used for deep lake fishing and saltwater fishing.
2. Automatic Fly Reel
Automatic Fly reel

  • This reel retrieves the entire fly line but doesn’t seek the help of angler to turn the spool
  • It has a trigger in place of a spool that lets the line come back in the reel af-ter it is released
  • These reels are perfect for fly fishing mostly freshwater fishes, especially while you fish in rivers.

How to Select Which Fly Fishing Reels is Right for You

Step 1: Check the Capacity Information

Capacity is the most significant consideration in fly fishing reels. The capacity information is given on the box, or you can find them on websites, catalog copy or in instruction sheets.

Fly reels are found in left, and right-hand retrieves versions.

Step 2: Know the Difference of Drag Tension

The difference lies in the direction of applied drag tension. In single-action reels with ratchet-and-pawl systems, you can accomplish right to left hand retrieve if you remove a pawl from the post and flip it over.

Some reels possess metal line guards at the mid that are generally fastened by one or two screws.

Step 3: Select As Per Your Comfort

Disc usually drags little bit tougher to switch over. Before purchasing a fly reel with more complex drag system, you would first have to determine whether you want to crank left or right handed.

You will choose the more comfortable way and then purchase the fly reel according to it.

According to some fly fishers, the reel must balance the rod’s weight beyond the grip while it is mounted on the fishing rod. The entire arrangement must properly balance while the grip is placed on the index finger.

Other anglers are of the opin-ion that fly reel must be light as much as possible.

Where to Buy Quality Fly Reels

You will get an extensive collection of eminent fly reels from any good fly shop but stay away simply from big box shop to buy it.

There are even various online websites where you can find quality fly fishing reels.

These are namely Orvis Fly reels, Cabela's, Sierra Trading Post,, Front Range Angler and many others.

3. Fly Fishing Line

Fly lines are different from baitcasting or spinning lines. The fly line packs the load and is liable to carry the lure to the target.

Various applications and flies of fishing need distinctive fly lines for best outcomes.

Basic Things You Must Know about Fly Fishing Lines

1. Tapers

Lines are tapered for presenting the fly delicately as much as possible. The casting needed could vary depending upon desired species, fishing conditions and casting experience.

Moreover, the style of taper depends on the design of the fly-line head.

The most standard taper styles are like:

  • Weight Forward (WF) - A line with weight forward has a small tapered front for delivering flies more intri-cately than those of level lines. However, taper in the back permits such lines in casting farther. As per the application and Taper, Weight forward lines are gener-ally 80 to 105-feet in length.
  • Double Taper (DT) - A line with double taper has similar tapers at every end. These lines are not great to cast long distance like the Weight Forward lines but are more economical be-cause both the ends can be used. These lines are generally about 80 to 90-feet in length.
2. Line Weight
  • Fly line of 1-3 weight is basically for smaller fishes like panfish and smaller trout.]
  • The line with weight 4 is just perfect for panfish and largest trout.
  • Fly line weight 5 is the all-rounder line weight of trout fisherman and covers nearly every trout fishing conditions.
  • Line weight 6 is over-all good for trout fishing while fly line weight seven is employed for more powerful, larger like bass and steelhead.
  • Fly lines that weigh more than eight are made for larger, powerful fish and salmon particularly.
3. Line Type

There are three types of fly line designs that include floating, sinking and sink tip.

Floating fly line floats entirely on water, sinking line sinks entirely and in sink tip fly line, the tip sinks while the bottom might or might not sink.

4. Sink Rates

Sink rates rate the sink tip in inches per second.

How to Select Which Fly Fishing Line is Right for You

Selecting the right fly line is absolutely critical to fly fishing success.

With the right Fly Line, you will not only be able to make the perfect cast, but it will also ensure that you are getting success during the cast.

Below there are step by step instructions for choosing the right fly line

Step 1- Choosing The Type Of Fly Line

Selecting a fly line starts with choosing whether it is a floating line, sinking line or combination of both.

The problem with the fly line is the sinking portion which can be about 5ft long, as much as 30ft long, and all things in between. Moreover, sinking lines have different sink rates.

  • A type 1 rating fly line or intermediate has a sink rate of about one and a half to 2 inches per sec
  • Type 7 or 8 sinking fly line can sink up to 8 to 10inches per sec.

Well, if you want to cover a big area including streams, lakes, ponds or rivers, then a floating fly line might be a better option.

Step 2 - Selecting The Right Taper

You have the options to choose between double taper (DT) and weight forward (WF).

The advantages of double taper fly lines are many.

You can make a fine presentation of it and is even ideal for roll cast. (If you want to know more about what is roll cast. In 5th section, I will explain details about it.

Since in double taper lines there are two tapered ends, you can use the one new end after the other end worn out.

Weight forward (WF) lines have four advantages.

  • Firstly, if you want to cast at a distance, weight forward line will make the work easier than double taper.
  • Secondly, if you need to cast in the wind, weight forward line will help to make an excellent cast, pierce the wind to make the cast. In this case, double taper line will be blown around because of its profile.
  • Thirdly, if you are going to cast large, resistant flies like an oversized dry fly or you want to cast heavy weighted flies, weight forward taper is better designed for it.
  • The fourth advantage is important, more for the beginner.

A weight forward taper is easier to cast as more of the weight is forward of the line.

Hence, a small cast will be easier to make, especially for beginners.

Overall, weight forward taper would be a better option than double taper.

Step 3- Matching The Line To The Rod

Line codes are present on the line box like 'WF8F'.


The first two letters refer the taper of the line, and there is a number which indicates the line weight. And you have to match this weight to the wire you cast on.

On the fly line box, you need to look for the number that matches up with your line. The third letter tells you about whether the line is a floating indicated by ‘F,' sinking indicated by ‘S’ or combo by ‘F/S.'

Step 4- Choosing The Right Color

If you use a floating fly line as the line of your choice, you have to consider the color. One of the most frequent questions is whether the color of the line startles the fish. It is not the color of the line that disturbs the fish.

But when you make a faulty cast, and the line splashes on the water, it startles the fish. Or, it is the shadow of the line, especially in shallow water that can alarm the fish.

Basically, the fish when looking up at the line, it sees the sky as the background, so it is hard for them to see the line’s color.

The color of the line is only for anglers to see particularly in dim light conditions or if you are fishing small flies, you will not be able to see the fly visually.

Hence, if you follow the fly line, it will lead you to the fly. A brightly colored fly line is a bet-ter choice for floating fly line.

  • If you want to cover streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds for fishing, the first fly line to be considered would be floating fly line with a Weight Forward taper, brightly colored and ensure that it matches to the wire that will be cast on.
  • If you look for the second fly line for fishing in ponds and lakes, then you need to consider sinking fly line with intermediate or type-1 sink rate. The sink rate would be one and a half to two inches per sec.

Where to Buy Fly Lines

All fly fishing stores will have ample numbers of fly lines. However, a fly fishing shop having specifically salmon gear might have less collection of fly lines for trout.

The online stores which have a good collection of quality lines include Cabela’s, Sierra Trading Post, Orvis Fly Lines at Amazon, All Fly Lines at Ama-zon.con and Front Ranger Angler.

Some Tips of Fly Lines for Beginner Anglers

  • You first have to determine the type of fish you are planning to catch
  • You have to determine the weight of fly rod and reel and then look for the lines that have similar weight
  • You have to decide the kind of taper your fly line will be. Maximum fly fish-ing employs weight-forward taper
  • The color of the fly line is an important consideration as it will determine how much you can see in daytime lighting conditions
  • The vital designations of a line are given on the box including Weight For-ward, weight, the length, and floating.

4. Leader and Tippet

What are Fly Fishing Leader and Tippet?

The fly fishing leader and tippet offer almost invisible conversion from fly line to fly. There are two significant purposes of leader and tippet.

  • Firstly, it will connect the colored, thick fly line employed for casting to flies which is presented to the fish, along with a substance that will not frighten them.
  • Secondly, they are used to finish the transfer of energy formed in the line through casting stroke along the line and down to fly to make the line roll over and straighten itself if almost straight line.

What Is The Difference Between A Fly Fishing Leader And Tippet?

The leader is the clear primary element which is connected to the end of the fly line. This is the material which is basically almost heavy-weight where it gets at-tached to the fly line's butt section and will be tapering down in thickness to a point where tippet connects.

A leader of about 9ft in length will be a good option for fly fishing beginners.

The tippet is, on the other hand, is a lightweight section of material which one at-taches on one end to the leader's end and the other end of the fly.

The key is to use lightest but strongest tippet without making the fish notice. This is the place where the same leader section can be kept attached, but tippet size will vary ac-cording to the type of fishing and condition.

How to Choose Fly Fishing Leader and Tippet

The fly fishing leader and tippet has the ‘X’ rating system which is at first confusing but there is nothing to be confused about it.

The ‘X’ explains the breaking strength and diameter of fly fishing leader and tippet. The standard scale ranges from 03X down to 8X, where 03X is the strongest and thickest and 8X is the lightest and thinnest.

Hence, the ‘X’ size of leader decides how much strong, thick or thin the leader and tippet are.

Below here is a simple chart that shows typical fly fishing leader and tippet sizes on the ‘X’ Rating scale:

Tippet Size

Tippet Diameter

Pound Test

Fish Size



25 lb

Big Game Species



20 lb.

Large Salmon



18.5 lb.

Striped Bass



15.5 lb.

Salmon, Steelhead



13.5 lb.

Bonefish, Redfish, Permit



11.5 lb.

Large & Smallmouth Bass



8.5 lb.

Bass & Large Trout



6 lb.




4.75 lb.

Trout & Panfish



3.5 lb.

Trout – Easily Spooked Fish



2.5 lb.

Trout & Panfish / Delicate Presentations



1.75 lb.

Trout & Panfish / Small Flies

5. Fly Fishing Flies

Flies can mimic nearly everything a fish eat. Like for example, trout flies resemble the insects that trout eat along with leeches, crustaceans, and minnows.

Nowadays, synthetic lightweight materials such as nylon, latex, Antron and other plastics are employed as either replacement or improvement of natural elements.

Major Types of Insects

Most of the fly fishing depends on mimicking the creatures which fish eat. Maximum flies are employed for catching trout, and those which are used for panfish and bass are imitations of adult or immature insects.

The primary source of food for trout is aquatic insects that exist as larvae underwater. This species, at some particular times in a year, hatch into winged adults.

After the hatching, the insects become very vulnerable. If you carry the right fly pattern, it will be easier to catch the fish as they feed with heedless abandon.

1. Mayflies

Mayflies are said to be the genesis of fly fishing. Maximum flies that are used for trout are designed to mimic some stages in the life of a Mayfly. If you apprehend the life cycle of such insects, then you are definitely going to be a lucky angler of trout.

This is the most common insect in maximum trout streams, and it is the most sig-nificant source of food for trout as well as other stream fish. They are intolerant of polluted or warm water. The lifecycle stages of a mayfly are nymph, dun, and spinner.

These are the part of trout’s diet whenever available. They are most vulnerable to trout at the hatching stage as maximum mayflies do not swim on the water surface or current but drift with it.

Trout prefer to have an easy capture of nymph that drifts in current or spinner or fun floating on the water surface.

2. Caddisflies

Caddisflies are an excellent food source for trout. They even possess the larval stage which trout eat and some of the caddis larvae besides mayfly nymphs under rocks.

The difference between mayfly and caddis’ lifecycle is that there is a stage in the lifecycle of caddisflies in between larvae and adult and it is called as the pu-pa.

Caddisflies’ size ranges from size-8 hook down to size-22 but maximum fall in the range of 14 to 18. Both caddisflies and mayflies hatch nearly the same seasonal time, and it often happens at the same time.

The free-living caddisfly larvae varie-ties might be green, orange and tan in color while cased larvae variety are white always with blackheads.

The adult caddisflies are always drab, with browns, grays, and tans. However, some species possess bright green abdomens.

3. Midges

The lifecycle of Midges is same as that of Caddisflies. The stages are larval, pupa and adult. Out of these three stages, the most important stage for trout is pupa as it drifts in the current.

Midge larvae look like tiny brown, pink or red worms and they burrow in lake bottoms’ silt or slow spaces of trout stream.

The pupae possess lean abdomen along with a bulbous thorax. There are two tiny veined wings in adults, and it appears much like mosquitoes. Maximum Midge species have a very tiny size that usually ranges from 18 to 20 and even as larger as 14.

But yet Midges are significant food for trout as this species hatch almost all year long. However, it might be even the only secure food source in a trout stream in the mid of winter.

4. Stoneflies

Stoneflies are another important diet of trout. Stonefly nymphs look quite similar to mayfly nymphs. However, maximum species are bigger than average mayfly nymphs and possess gills beneath the thorax instead of the abdomen.

There is no pupal stage in Stoneflies and nymphs directly hatch into adults.

Stoneflies are known to crawl onto logs or rocks and after that hatch into adults above the surface of the water.

5. Dragonflies and Damselflies

These are bright colored predators of mosquito which are more significant in lakes and ponds than in streams. The larvae stage prefers slow water and so, is found in still-water ponds of trout streams only.

The nymphs are little larger having a size range of 4 to 12 and are most friendly foods of lake dwelling bass, panfish, and trout.

Incidentally, the adults become the food source for fish as the nymphs move out in vegetation for hatching.

6. Terrestrial Insects

After the spring and summer hatches of caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies de-crease, trout targets land bred insects for enough food. These insects are like ant, leafhoppers, beetles, crickets, inchworms and many others.

Terrestrial insects are very much crucial for trout, panfish, and bass in places where vegetation sticks out of the shore.

These insects get blown in the water on windy days, and they eventually make their path towards the fish's stomach.

Primarily Main Types of Flies

Flies that are used in fly fishing mimic both the immature and adult stages of insects, as well as leeches, worms, and baitfish.

Well, maximum flies fit into these categories:

1. The Dry Flies

Dry flies are made to be light or land on the water surface softly.

  • They represent the adult stage of a terrestrial or aquatic insect typically.
  • Dry flies are regarded as freshwater flies and are good for bass, trout, and panfish.
dry flies

2. The Nymph Flies

Nymph flies come in every size and shape and might mimic animals except immature insects.

Artificial nymphs might mimic crustaceans like scuds, crayfish, sow bugs and also leeches.

Nymph Flies

Generally, a nymph is considered as sinking fly which is a nearly precise mimic of an aquatic animal except for a minnow.

Hence, you will get a nymph pattern of all those insects, as well as crustacean which fly anglers, consider to be an important fish food.

3. The Wet Flies

Wet flies are made to sink under the water surface.

They are tied to various patterns for representing larvae, pupa, nymphs, drowned insects, baitfish and many other underwater preys.

Wet flies are mainly regarded as freshwater flies.

wet flies

4. The Streamer Flies

Streamer flies are made to look like an immature form of small crustaceans and small insects.

These are even considered to be freshwater flies.

Streamer Flies

How to Choose Fly Fishing Flies

the great patterns

During Fly Fishing having a personal kayak really helps a lot. So, if you have a Kayak then make sure that you use it for Fly fishing.

assemble fishing rod

Step-4: Knowing How To Assemble Fly Tackle

After reading and selecting the right equipment, you would have to know how to assemble them together. You need to know the proper way to assemble your fly tackle to survive for long in your fishing trip.

Well, here is a step-by-step guide for you to learn the way to assemble fly tackle.

Section 1: Set-Up a Fishing Line

This formula will let you know how to set up a completed fly line:

'Fly Line' =>'Fly Line' = Backing + Line + Leader + Tippet + Flies

Step 1: Attaching the Backing to your Reel

For attaching the backing to the reel, you will be tying an arbor knot. This is the simplest fly fishing knot, and you can do it easily and quickly. It is basically two overhand knots.

  • You will be wrapping your backing around your reel's arbor and then tie an overhand knot around the backing.
  • You will put a small knot in your backing line's end so that the knot doesn't slip off.

The standard amounts are basically 50 or 100 yards. The exact number is given in the documentation which came up with the reel, but if there is no such infor-mation, then you can get by with 50 yards.

Fly lines are found in all distinct diameters, so this is nearly a guessing game

However, putting too much backing on the reel will make it overload, and it will become difficult to reel. In the case of smaller reels and trout fishing conditions, 50 yards will be a good option.​

The fly line and backing should together fill the reel spool to within 3/8” from the reel spool’s top

You will not be cutting the fly line for adjusting the total line amount

If it requires any adjustments, you have to cut the backing only.

Step 2: Attaching The Backing To Your Fly Line

​The next step is to tie the front of the backing at the back end of the fly line using a nailless knot. Normally with a new fly line, the forward weight types have a positive front, the back end where there will be taper sticker on one end.

In the absence of the tag, you should take the outermost end of the fly line, and it comes off from the original cloth.

Assume that it is the back end and it goes turn the reel first. If you are rigging up a double taper fly line where the both ends in the line are same, it matters which end goes to the reel first. After you made six wraps and as you began to tie in, twist the tag end of this backing with the right


Now you can begin to move it together and slide it down to the end of the fly line as close as you can, minimizing the waste by cutting off.

The final stage will be to trim off the tag end of the backing and trim off the leftover of the fly line as well. Now, this completes the nailless knot that affects the backing to the fly line.​

Step 3: Wind The Line Onto The Reel

Fix the reel at the butt section of your rod and make sure that the backing is coming forward above the line guard.

fix the reel

You can sellotape this process and avoid potential problems of the fly line. Well, fly lines don't have 'level winds.'

wind the line

You can ask your partner to assist you and gamble the right tip fly line spool as you want the line on the reel.

You have to use your 'line hand' for manipulating the line evenly on the spool.

Step 4: Identify the Type of Line on the Reel Spool

To determine the type of line on the reel spool, you need to remove the identifying sticker from the case and fix it upon the original spool.

identify type of fly line

Step 5: Attaching The Leader To The Line

Now you have to connect the leader to the line using a nail knot. In this case, you will be tying red monofilament in front of the fly line for creating a permanent leader butt.

nail knot

This permanent piece will have a loop tied near the other end that will allow you to add a change layer to the fly line quickly.

It’s bright visible color serve as a part of the strike indicator. Another route to permanent butt is to start with a regular falling leader attached to your line and when you need it to change for the first time, simply cut it back to about 12 inches and tie a loop.

A nail knot is another difficult knot to tie. It is recommended to use larger and pliable material other than monofilament such as para-shoot cord or of nylon.

There are tools available to tie this knot, but it is better to learn to tie the knot without any tool.

To tight this knot, you have to slide it down towards the front tip of the fly line to avoiding cutting the fly line ta-per and prevent waste.

The final step will be to trim off the monofilament tag end and the front end of the fly line. This is how the nail knot completes, fixing the leader butt end and front of the fly line.

Step 6: Creating an End Loop of Leader Butt and Tippet

This step involves the use of Perfection Loop Knot to create a loop at the end of monofilament line.

You will first have to wrap the first turn behind the line to create a loop. The first loop should be roughly the size of the final loop that you will end up with.

As for most of these knots, you will learn to tie quickly by using some materials other than monofilament for practice.

Insert the jaws of your forceps through the loop of the falling, running portion of the monofilament.

The last step is to trim the tag end, and this will give a permanent loop using the perfection loop knot.

Step 7: Interconnecting Loops

You need to connect a leader to the created loop using handshake loop connection. This is also known as Loop to loop connection which means to interconnect two materials together, each of which has a loop in the end.

loop to loop knot

Loop on the leader is the inserted through the loop of permanent leader butt, doubling the running portion of the leader all the way through the loop.

You don't have to chase down the real end of the leader. Then, you will simply have to form the two loops together and form handshake loop connection as well. This type of connection is prevalent for quickly changing the leader fly lines.

Step 8: Attaching the Tippet to Fly

Clinch Knot is the basic knot in all types of fly fishing. You have to take the butt of the line and pass it through the hook of the fly.

tie flies

You then need to hold back the fly and then spin it, keeping the butt tight and holding the pitch point.

hold back fly line

You need to rotate the fly for five times. Grabbing the tag end of the line with your fingers again, you carefully have to untwist.

spin the flies

spin the flies five times

You will then take the tag end and just place it through the little loop which is right up in the eye of the fly.

Run the line through the loop and catch it on the back side with your free hand and then you will get a knot. Pour it down tight and cut off the tag end.

Section 2: Set Up Fly Rod and Fly Rod to Fly Reel

In this section, I will guide you how to setup a completed fishing rod. And then put it and fishing reel that guide above together.

Step 1: Fly Rod Assembly

First, you will have to remove the rod out of the tube and start with the top end section known as a tip.

remore fishing rod out of tube

Remove fishing rod out of tube

The heavier portion with grip is known as the butt section, and the ferrule is the connecting section between each piece.

Now you have to place the multiple pieces, starting at the tip end. If you begin with the portions offset at a 45-degree angle, you will line up while twisting it into place.​

  • If you are using the three-piece rod, then you will be putting together the top two pieces and after that, assembling the same like a two-piece rod.
  • For rods with four-piece, you will be assembling the top two along with bottom two portions and then put all of them together.

You need to ensure that connection between every section is tight but shouldn't be too tight for you to pull it apart after using.

Step 2: Fly Reel Attachment to Fly Rod

Now, you will be attaching the fly reel to the fly rod. The portion where the reel gets appended to the rod is known as reel seat, and foot is the bar across the reel

fly reel attachment

You will be sliding the foot section of the reel into the rod's slot and screw locking ring above the end to make it tight but not over-snug

Next, the reel has to be gliding in the reel seat and move the reel lock over the reel's top, screwing it down.

lock the reel

Lock the reel

fly fishing castings

Step 5: The Fly Tackles are Ready, Let’s Learn the Fly Casting Basics

You are ready with the right fly tackle, and all you have to learn now is the basic of fly casting. The below-mentioned guidelines will provide you a comprehensive idea about it.

Fundamentals You Must Know about Fly Casting

1. The Loop

While every casting stroke, the fly line sweeps at the back of rod tip.

The energy gets transferred into the line after the casting stroke stops.

And this proceeds to unroll in the traveling direction of the rod tip and eventually forms a loop.

fly casting the loop


There are few things that you need to consider to ensure that the casting is done rightly:

  • Firstly, the loop’s top must unfold parallel to the bottom, and the whole cast should unfold parallel to the ground.
  • Secondly, the loop must be narrow with about 2 or 3 ft between the bottom and top.
  • Thirdly, the unrolling of the loop should be smooth as well as straight from the start till end. The whole line and leader stretch out prior falling in the water.

2. Loading The Rod

For making a cast, the fly rod has to be loaded with energy and then released into the line.

It works in the same way as shooting a bow and arrow. The bow needs to be bent that stores the energy and it is released while it suddenly unbends.

The same thing occurs when you cast with a fly rod.

However, the energy load is achieved by employing a natural accelerating motion in casting stroke.

3. Energy Transfer

The loaded fly road consists of energy that has to be transferred in the line smoothly for creating an excellent cast.

All casting stroke possess a smooth, build-ing acceleration that is followed by deliberate, rapid stop.

Now this permits the rod to come back to straight position by transmitting the stored energy in the line and directing it out in the direction of the target.

fly casting


Types of Basic Cast

In this section we are going to learn more about types of basic casting and what are the most important steps that you must learn.

Follow the step by step process to get perfect knowledge regarding basic cast

 Step By Step Instruction Overhead Casting

The basic fly cast is the overhead cast. The fly line is lifted from the water in front of you, brought over the head and behind you and cast again forward in front of you. The process is as simple as that.

However, the trick is to cast effortlessly and efficiently as possible and yet be able to land your fly in the required location. You will be using overhead cast 90% of the time while fishing.

This technique of casting is the base on which all other casting variations are created.

A complete fly fishing outfit along with big open space like a field or parking lot will be required for practicing this cast.

Well, the cast could be divided into two dis-tinct parts, one is back cast, and other is forward cast.

The Back Cast
Step 1 

You will be standing with your shoulders square, gripping the rod with your four fingers wrapped around its handle, reel facing down with thumb on the top.

Now, you will be pulling approximately 25ft of line off the reel, feeding it out the rod’s tip.

Place the line entirely straight, standing square to the target with keeping feet in about shoulder-width apart.

Step 2 

You have to start with rod tip low, accelerating the rod up and back in one smooth motion.

Step 3 

As soon as the rod crosses a vertical position, you will be stopping your acceleration, and it should be deliberate as well as abrupt. Now, you need to pause for a moment while the line unrolls as well as a rise in the air at the back of yours. The back cast completes while the line is completely extended.

The Forward Cast
Step 1 

The rod has to be brought forward in an accelerating, smooth stroke with extend-ed line at the back

Step 2 

You will stop keeping the tip of the rod high for letting the energy to transfer to the line and convey it forward

Step 3

When the line unrolls, the rod tip has to be lowered. The line should be rolling out all way straight to the line.

  • You need to study the diagrams and focus on where the tip of the rod is pointing at the time of casting. Both 'stops' must be made keeping high the rod tip, just after a vertical position
  • You need to keep the knees straight and elbows close to the body, utilizing your shoulders and biceps for forming the cast. If you use wrist, it can be tiring and can even add needless motion to the cast
  • You have to stop long enough at the time of back cast to let the line unroll entirely behind you
  • You have to start and finish the cast keeping the tip of the rod low and line straight. While practicing, it is better to complete one cast before trying an-other
  • The overhead cast works great in various situations, but it might not func-tion similar while making a cast with little or no space behind you. In such a condition, a specialized method is been used the anglers known as the roll cast.

 Step By Step Instruction Roll Casting

The roll cast is a simple but very effective casting technique. It is mainly employed when obstructions such as bushes or trees prevent one from employing back cast. It is even used in high winds.

Keeping the line tight in water, you need to lift up vertically your rod to a point which is just below your ear (it is even known as o'clock position) and then make a solid forward cast.

The line would form a loop and land in the direction the rod was pointed.

Step 1 

For practicing this cast, it is crucial to have water as the line will be anchored in water for forming a D-loop and then unroll properly.

You have to start with 25ft of a line approximately laid out in front of you and tip of the rod pointed at the sur-face of the water.

Step 2

Now slowly and smoothly you have to lift the rod up and down with sufficient force for dragging the line's end and leader across the water surface.

You need to stop your stroke keeping high the rod's tip, just past vertical.

Right at this point, the line would have to be loose and droop behind the tip of the rod, forming a D-loop.

Step 2

After the formation of D-loop, the rod has to be accelerated forward.

You have to complete the acceleration with a rapid stop, and the cast must smoothly unroll on the water surface.

Top Pro Tips from Other Bloggers

You can become good in anything if you learn it from the best. Hence, it will be a good thing if you check out some tips from experienced and expert anglers.

Tip 1- Self Starting -


Fly Fisherman is the website that offers lots of information regarding fishing gear, fly typing, best fishing destinations, and many other valuable details that can help you to have a successful fishing experience.

  • For going on a successful fishing trip, you need to learn to cast first
  • It is better to avoid parking lot to practice because abrasive pavement wears out rapidly fly lines
  • Markings in fly line at about 30 ft will indicate when you can begin to load the rod.

Tip 2- Know How To Fight The Fish -

outside online

The Outline is the website that carries information not only about the fixed gears of fishing but even other things related to travel, fitness, adventure, culture, and others.

The website is a package of information about different interesting aspects of life.

  • You must use barbless hook for reducing the damage and keep constant tension in the line to land your catch
  • If you allow the pressure to go, then the fish will slip away quickly.

Tip 3- Using Eyes to See the Insect Types -

hardy fishing

Hardy is the firm that has its reputation in building active rods, reels and other tackle of fly fishing.

Here are some valuable tips from them:

  • Finding out the most plenty bug in the lake or river will give an idea about the food of your target
  • However, it might not always be the case, but if you can find out what your target is eating, then you can do certainly better.

Tip 4- Watch Your Fly -


Fishing Tips Depot is the website that aims to assist anglers in catching bigger catch by offering its widest collection of the fishery tips.

  • You will have to examine the fly after each fish caught along with failed hook you have set
  • The wings should not rotate out of place, and the tackle is not damaged
  • You will need something on hand for cleaning or drying off the artificial fly after catching the fish.

Tip 5- Presentation and Matching the Hatch -


Orvis offers the best fishing rods and reels along with other required accessories in the best rates.

  • Presentation and matching the Hatch have to work together instead of dif-ferent strategies to approach trout
  • You should stay out of water on small streams wherever possible
  • There is no perfect technique, way or fly for approaching any fish or water.

Tip 6- Fish with Experienced Anglers -


Duranglers is the source of custom guided fly fishing equipment, flies, trips and information that can fulfill all your needs in fly fishing.

  • Always try to fish with a better angler who will not only let you know how much you don’t know but even teach and encourage you to be a better an-gler
  • The presentation should be considered above of everything else as it is more crucial than the fly tied on as well as the employed gear. It is the ac-tion that is imparted on the fly which allures the fish to consume.

Tip 7- Important Aspects of Fly Fishing -


Murray’s Fly Shop offers a full line of quality fly fishing gear, supplies and equip-ment from leading manufacturers like Winston, Scott, Orvis, Abel and many oth-ers.

Having the passion for fly fishing, here are some tips are given by Harry Mur-ray:

  • You should learn to read the water perfectly to find out the feeding spaces for trout and smallmouth bass
  • The leader is the most misunderstood part of fly fishing, and it even trou-bles both beginners and professionals.

Tip 8- Practice Casting and Hunt More -


Grand Teton Fly Fishing is continuing to proud the tradition of Fly fishing by guiding you to some of the best waters and assuring the ultimate fishing experience.

  • Practice casting on water and learn 20’ to 25’ cast with a single stroke. You have to reduce false cast, simplify it and slow down
  • Try to fish less and hunt more. If the clarity of water allows, then sight fish more. A well-polarized eyewear will elevate the activity to capture more.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Any Need Of Waders For Fly Fishing?

What Do You Know About Mending?

Is There Fly Fishing In Winter?

What Is The Best Way To Learn Flyfish?

Are Streamers A Kind Of Fly Fishing?

What Is The Best Book For Beginners?

Isn’t Fly Fishing A Method That Is Only Used For Trout?


Well, this was our guide to fly fishing for beginners as well as experts. We have gathered information regarding each aspect of fly fishing after good research and analysis.

We hope that this article of 5 Simple Steps Will Definitely Make You To Be A Pro Fly Fisher will help you a lot in turning out into a successful fly fisher.


Ted Thomas

Hi there, I'm Ted Thomas, an ardent adventure writer. I write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the great outdoors. By sharing my experiences camping, hunting and fishing, I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.

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