Fly fishing is likely not the greatest thing in the world. Surely, other things rank higher ( birth of children, wedding days, graduation, winning the lotto, etc), but it truly is a very fun and relaxing thing to do. My main point: the evidence actually points to fly fishing having originated with the ancient Romans, who tied bits of feathers to primitive hooks and used them to catch fish.

As an additional aside, the definitive book on fly fishing was written almost 350 years ago. The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation, which Izaak Walton wrote when he was 60, appeared in 1653 (Cite: previous sentence from Of course, techniques and materials have changed in the ensuing almost 350 years, but largely, the "sport" remains very much the same as was described by Walton.

One final note. The book, obviously, is long out of copyright. It can be found at the Guttenburg project at the following link:

Fly fishing

Fly fishing is distinguished from other types of fishing most clearly by the type of line used. Rather than standard, thin, and essentially weightless monofilament line used in bait casting rods and reels, fly fishing uses a thin leader so as not to alarm the fish, but then a several millimeter thick, relatively weighty line (there are three main line weights, air bubble filled to float, plain to suspend at any depth or lead core to sink).

The reason for this is that the lures used in fly fishing, flies (light weight lures hand tied to resemble natural foods of fish, usually made of small bits of feather and fur), have negligible weight, and as a result they do not have enough momentum to pull line out if a traditional cast is used. The fly fisherman uses the weight of the line to cast the bait, rather than the other way around.

A fly fisherman slowly releases line with his free hand while keeping the rest of the line aloft in great loops, before laying it down on the water in a smooth line with a flick of his wrist

Fly fishing can be an entertaining and rewarding (if frustrating at times) activity for anglers of almost all ages (save for the very young), and there is a saying that any amount of time spent fly fishing is not deducted from the angler's total lifespan.

Fly fishing is the art of fishing with out bait and a spin rod. Not only is complete patience required, but also practice is a fundamental part of fly fishing.

The first step is to figure out what kind of fly fishing are you going to do. Are you going to fish in a river? Or are you going lake fishing? At this point you will want to choose the appropriate reel and rod. When purchasing a rod and reel you should consider flexibility and resistance respectively.

The next step is to choose the type of line. I recommend floating line for creeks, rivers, and lakes (or anything shallow). For large bodies of water, use sinking line. Although, many use floating line depending on weather and water current.

You will also want to acquire a selection of flies. Flies are simulated insects, built on a hook. You will attach a fly to your leader. For the purposes of this excersize, let's assume that you are going creek fishing. In which case, I recommend a grasshopper if they are in season, or a mosquito.

You will need a leader. A leader is usually constructed by adding fishing line to the end of your floating or sinking line, attached to an additional peice of fishing line. The first segment of the leader should be approximately two or three feet. The weight of the line should be appropriate to the weight of the fish that you are going to catch, for example, if you are going to catch at maximum a 5lb fish, you will want to use 5-10lb test. The remaing leader should be approximately 5 or less pounds and the length should be about 3 feet (I usually use two arms length and a bit). And of course, at the end of the leader you would attach the fly.

Let's assume you're at a creek, all though, I would not recommend creek fishing for a beginner. If you are a beginner, you will want to practice at a lake with lots of room behind you. Wear sunglasses and a hat for protection and do not cast back at anyone. A hook in the face hurts. Before casting, release about a foot of floating line from the tip of the rod. Swing the rod back at about 1:00, wait until the line is paralell to the ground (not on the ground), and cast forward at 10:00. During this time, release more line from the reel as you cast further. But remember, we're at a creek, so make sure that you're not casting back into some trees. And I hope you remembered to put a fly on your leader. As you cast, and enough line is released, you can pull the line back as you cast.

When creek fishing, you will want to look for small pools. If you see a fish, cast near the fish; if you cast too close, the fish may get scared.

I have also seen a method where one swings the rod back and forth, making sure that the fly does not hit the water until desired, however, this is dangerous.

Finally, if you are entering a small lake or creek, you will want to be quiet. Fish are timid.

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