Learning to Cast
The Flies of Fly Fishing
There are literally thousands of different flies and fly patterns, ranging in size from a tiny 1/8" trout midge up to a foot long barracuda fly. Flies don't just imitate insects either. Some, in fact, imitate frogs, mice, shrimp, leeches and even small fish such as minnows. There are several different categories of flies which are listed below.
Designed to float on the surface. Imitates the winged stage of an aquatic insect. Common examples: Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Light Cahill.
Imitates and simulates an insect emerging from the water. Generally fished just beneath the surface. Common examples: Carey Special, Soft Hackle, Chironomid.
Imitates the underwater phase of an insect's life. Generally fished below the surface. Common examples: Hair's Ear, Pheasant tail, Giant Stonefly
Imitates a small aquatic species, such as a minnow, sculpin or leech. Generally fished underwater with a swimming action. Common examples: Muddler Minnow, Wooly Bugger, Bucktail Coachman, Zonker
Imitates large insects fallen on the surface, also frogs and mice. Used when fly fishing for bass. Common examples: Cork Poppers, Dahlberg Diver, Deer Hair Poppers.
Brightly Colored, tied like a streamer or egg cluster, meant to entice the steelhead to strike. Common examples: Kiospoix Special, Skunk, Skykomish Sunrise.
Generally tied and fished like a streamer and meant to imitate the bait fish or crustaceans found in different saltwater locations. Common examples: Lefty's Deceiver, Saltwater Skipping Bug, Crazy Charlie (bonefish).