What Makes Fly Fishing Different From Other Fishing?

Whether you live in the Mammoth Lakes area or are just visiting, if you enjoy fishing at all then you must try fly fishing.

However, to fishing newcomers as well as season fishermen and women fly fishing is a unique and often unknown sport different from anything they’ve ever done. Add in the length of the poles, the lack of bait, and the technique needed to actually fly fish, and you can see why fly fishing is downright difficult to understand for newcomers. If you fall in that category, then the ASO Mammoth team has put together the perfect guide to help you understand what makes fly fishing unique. Check it out below! Once you do, come up to Mammoth Lakes and enjoy some of the best fly fishing waters in the world!

The Gear

Once you begin to get familiar with fly fishing, the first thing you’ll notice is that the gear needed is drastically different than regular fishing gear.

While a regular fishing setup may include weights, bobbers, bait, and other additions, fly fishing gear is unique in that it requires no extra weights or bait.  For starters, fly fishing poles are often much longer than regular fishing poles. While there are shorter fly fishing rods that can be used in tight spaces, it’s not unusual for a fly fishing rod to be nine feet long. The extra length is used to cast the flies without adding extra weight, but it also means that you need extra room to cast. The rod is far from the only thing you need to know about the gear though, as the most complicated part of the rig is on the line. The first part of the line is the backing, which is the thick, often colorful line that fills up the reel. The backing is the longest portion of the line. Next is the fly line, which is a heavy line that provides more weight to cast. Attached to the fly line is the leader which tapers from the thickness of the fly line down to the tippet. The tippet is the nearly invisible part of the line that connects to the fly and is often meant to be invisible in the water to avoid scaring the fish away from the fly.

Although there are many different variations, there are four basic types of flies used in fly fishing instead of traditional bait and lures.

The first is a dry fly, which floats on the surface of the water. A wet fly is simply a fly that doesn’t float. Next are nymphs which are similar to wet flies. Thanks to their early development stage and their availability in the water, the larva that nymphs are modeled after make up the majority of most fish diets. Lastly, streamers are designed to look like aquatic life such as minnows, leaches, and crayfish.

The Technique

A fly fishing cast is one of the most unique aspects overall, and it is difficult to master as a result. Even if you’re a seasoned fisherman or woman you should consider taking casting lessons before getting your feet wet because of the unique rods, lines, and the techniques used to control them. This is a good place to point out that when you’re practicing casting or are fly fishing you should wear eye protection to prevent an accidental eye injury. It is easy to lose control of your cast, especially when you’re starting out. Although the basic technique is single handed casting, there are several variations. Practice to find the right one for you and continue to explore from there!

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