Fly Fishing FAQ

Consult the fly fishing FAQ below to find fly fishing information and answers to some of the most common questions anglers have about this fulfilling, fascinating sport.

Where Can I Fly Fish?

You can fly fish just about anywhere fish live - in streams, lakes - even in the ocean. Finding the right spot will depend on what type of fish you would like to catch. There's probably a suitable fishing spot close to where you live. For more fly fishing information about different locales, check out our “where to fly fish” page.

Do I Need A Special Rod?

Yes. Fly rods are different from the rods used in other types of fishing. And, just like other types of fishing rods, fly rods can vary greatly. To find the right rod, you will need to know where you plan to fish, the types of fish you would like to catch, plus a few other details. For more fly fishing tips about choosing the right rod, visit the fly rod page.

What Kind Of Fly Reel Should I Get To Go With My Fly Rod?

The fly reel is a very important piece of fly fishing gear, you'll need it to reel in the big one! Finding the right reel and learning how to set it up is covered in the fly reel page.

How Can I Know What Kind Of Line To Use With My Fly Rod And Reel?

The right line will depend on the type of fly being used, where you are fishing and the type of fish you are trying to catch. There are several factors that go into determining the right fly line. Our fly line page provides you with a fly fishing guide to help you make the best choice.

What Is A Leader?

A leader is used to connect the fly line to the fly, ensuring the fly is presented to fish in a way that resembles the movements of the actual insect the fly is imitating. Find more information on the fly leader and how it is used on the fly leader and tippet page.

What Is A Tippet?

A tippet is a piece of specialized line connected to the leader that helps in the fly presentation to fish, making sure the fly turns over during the cast to simulate the real insect it is imitating. More information on the tippet and how it connects the fly to the leader can be found on our fly leader and tippet page.

Do I Need Waders?

You do not need waders, but if you plan on fishing from the water, they certainly help keep you dry. When using waders, be aware of the type of soles used, a rubber sole is more environmentally friendly than a traditional felt sole. Find out more about when to use waders on the fly fishing wader page.

I Have All My Equipment. How Do I Put Everything Together?

For the most comprehensive fly fishing information about how to connect rod to reel, reel to line, line to leader and fly to tippet, check out the tackle assembly page. This page also includes fly fishing basics about disassembling your equipment and storing it safely.

How Do I Know Which Fly To Use?

Although this always changes, there is one simple rule to help you pick the perfect fly: match the hatch. This means you should use a fly that imitates whatever insects are abundant at your fishing spot. The makeup of hatches changes and is different across the country, so your best bet is to tap into the expertise of the local bait shop. However, helpful fly fishing information can also be found on the best fishing flies page.

If I Am Just Starting To Fly Fish, What Flies Should I Get Right Away?

There are three basic groups of fly patterns: dry flies, nymphs and streamers. For more information on each of these types of fishing flies, check out the starter flies page.

What Are Streamers?

Streamers are a type of fishing fly that imitates a small baitfish or leech, usually used to catch larger fish. The fishing with streamers page provides more helpful tips on which streamers to use and how to use them.

How Do I Learn To Fly Cast?

Although it is very challenging, fly casting can be broken down into five steps, which are detailed on the fly casting basics page. Learning to fly cast will take some practice but is a very rewarding and fun skill to learn and perfect.

What Is The Roll Cast And When Would I Use It?

The roll cast is a great cast to use when you do not have a lot of room to make your cast. Just follow the four steps outlined on the roll cast page, and you'll be casting from tight spots in no time.

What Is The Two-Stroke Cast?

Unlike the roll cast, the two-stroke cast is best used when you have a lot of open space around you. The two-stroke cast page details how the back and forward casts combine to create the handy two-stroke.

I Want To Go Fly Fishing, But Will I Be Able To Cast In The Wind?

Casting in the wind can be challenging, but if you know how to deal with windy conditions, the fly fishing can be great! Check out the tips for casting when the breeze blows fierce on the wind casting page.

How Do I Catch Fish On The Water's Surface?

You would use the most popular method of this sport: fishing with dry flies. In this type of angling, the dry fly (one that doesn't sink) is cast and presented to the fish on the surface. The surface techniques page has some great tips to help you watch a fish strike the fly at the top of the water.

I Know I Can Purchase Flies, But How Can I Learn To Tie My Own Flies?

Fly tying can take some time to master but catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself is extremely rewarding. Instructions on tying some of the classic patterns can be found on the fly tying page.

What Is Mending?

Mending is repositioning the fly line on the water and is used to improve the presentation of the fly to the fish. The mending page contains advice on how to master this skill.

What Is The Haul Cast And When Is It Used?

The haul cast is a special way to cast a fly during very windy days. The idea is to use the tension of the water on your fly line to launch your line and fly with more velocity to cut through the wind than can be achieved with other types of fly casting. The haul casting page has details on the steps to haul cast and covers both double and triple haul casts.

Content courtesy of Superfly. Get more fly fishing information in our general Fishing Glossary.