Fly Fishing Techniques: Hooking

Most of you are likely to have come to fly fishing from the world of spinning rods. And of all the many things you learned, or tried, hooking fish is one you need to keep working at. You should know by now that you don’t cast a fly rod the same as a spinning rod. So let’s take a look at hooking with a fly rod.

Although a fly rod may seem very flexible, you should never lurch backward with it on the strike. Otherwise you could break it. Remember to take things a little easy. A spinning line stretches like a rubber band, but fly line does not. While you can be a bit more aggressive when tossing large flies such as bass-bugs and poppers, these are on larger hooks and take a bit of muscle to set the hook properly. Mainly you will be using much smaller and lighter wire hooks than in spinning and these require almost no “hook setting” at all.

It is often said you should “wait for the turn.“ In other words, wait until you can see the fish turn down after taking a surface fly. This can also be the case when using nymphs and can see the color flash of the fish. And once you do, that’s the moment to tighten up the line. The most common problem for beginners is that they will take the fly away as soon as they see the fish rise to it. The will get over excited and jerk back the rod back to set the hook. Don’t do it!

In the next blog posting we’ll tell you some more about hooking for fly fishing.

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