Fly fishing flies primer: 1

These days the range and variety of fly fishing flies available to the angler is huge. Whether they are lifelike or completely artificial they can be works of art in themselves, quite apart from their use in fishing. The works of some of the most skilled creators are available through our website. Many of you will doubtless be fly tyers yourselves, and others will know a great deal about the science and history of fishing flies. But for those to whom all this is quite new, we’re running two short primers on the subject.

In the broadest terms, fly fishing flies are classed as either imitative or attractive. Imitative flies mimic their natural counterparts. Attractive flies trigger instinctive strikes in fish. They do so by employing a range of characteristics that do not necessarily mimic prey items. You can fish flies that either float on surface (dry flies), partially submerge (emergers), or go below the surface (nymphs, streamers, and wet flies).

As to the differences between the dry, surface and sub-surface flies, we’ll say a bit more about these in our next fly fishing flies primer.


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