Fly Fishing: Types of Flies

By: Marilyn Roberts

Types of flies are also known as patterns. What exactly is being fished for and under what conditions determines the type of fly that is used. There are many different patterns that are used in fly fishing. They can be broken down into five main categories: wet, dry, streamer, nymph, and terrestrial.

Wet Fly

As the name inplies, wet flies resemble insects that are under the water. This includes dead insects that are coming up and emerging from the water. This type of fly can also be made to look like bigger water creatures such as leeches or crawfish.

Dry Fly

Just as with the wet fly, the name also gives away what it is imitating. Therefore, a dry fly is meant to look like an insect that stays on top of the water. While fishing with a dry fly it is usually necessary to dry the fly several times.

Streamer

This is a type of wet fly but it is meant to look like an injured bait fish. Streamers are larger than the other types of flies. They are used to catch larger fish that are predatory.

Nymph

A nymph is another type of wet fly. It is supposed to look like an insect that is coming out of its cocoon or its larval state. A majority of fish like to eat insects in this state.

Terrestrial

Terrestrial flies can be used as wet or dry flies. They are made to look like larger insects that mistakenly jump into the water and drown. These can be either made to look like an insect desperate to free itself from the water or as an insect that has already died and is simply sinking into the water without movement.

In fly fishing there are many different types of flies. While each type of fly has its own type of fish it is supposed to catch, many anglers will use any type of fly that they think will work on the fish at a certain time. The wet flies, dry flies, streamers, numphs, and terrestrials are the most used and most popular types of flies and will help bring a fisherman a lot of success.

Decisions can be critical when you are deciding on your fly strategy. Is there a color to prefer for the morning as opposed to the evening? Will those trout really even notice the difference between your flies or will any do when twilight hits? Should you tie your own or have professionally produced flies? Have fun and experiment and eventually you will find what suits your style of fishing and the type of fish you are trying to catch.

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