Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #2 – Fish all fly types

by | Aug 6, 2017 | 0 comments

The ultimate convenience and utility of fly fishing is in the way you can meet fish on any terms they dictate. With a fly rod in hand, you may deliver flies that are light or heavy, flies as large as your palm or smaller than the freckles on your hand. You can fish flies on the surface, the rocky bottom, or the middle of the water column, and you can fish them dead drift, swung or stripped. Yeah, the fly rod is a Swiss Army knife.

With all that versatility, an ambitious angler can find a fly and a matching technique to fool trout on any given day.

So, why not learn to use each tool available?

Success in my early years of trout fishing was dependent on the fish themselves. If they weren’t interested in my live minnows or red worms, then action was slow. And there were noticeable times (even to a ten year old boy) when live minnows seemed a futile approach. Indeed, my interest in fly fishing was spawned the day I waded past hundreds of rising trout, desperately slinging strung minnows through a mayfly a hatch, my hope vanishing with every step. I knew I needed a fly rod and dry flies to match those surface insects and fool the trout.

Like many anglers new to fly fishing, I assumed that dry flies were the best way to make use of a fly rod. To be honest, I didn’t even know that nymphs were a thing for a couple years. So imagine my surprise one day, when I walked into a fly shop and came out ten minutes later with a box of nymphs in one hand, scratching my head with the other.

“How do I catch the fish I can see on the bottom,” I’d asked. “They won’t take my flies.”

“Fish nymphs,” the shop owner told me. And he graciously passed the keys to my next steps as angler.

Read: Learn the Nymph

I like to focus on one thing at a time, so I spent many trout-obsessed years, streamside, learning each type of fly, fishing one way and rarely deviating, no matter the conditions. Dries, nymphs, streamers, then wets — eventually, I gained confidence with every fly in my box, learning that each has a time and place for success.

I won’t speculate in what order you should learn things, or how you should learn them. That’s your own process to discover. I just encourage every angler to make full use of the fly rod. It’s a big, deep bag of tools.

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Acquire Your Target Before the Pickup

Acquire Your Target Before the Pickup

Accuracy. It’s an elementary casting principle, but it’s the hardest thing to deliver. Wild trout are unforgiving. So the errant cast that lands ten inches to the right of a shade line passes without interest. As river anglers, our task is a complicated one, because we must be accurate not only with the fly to the target, but also with the tippet. Wherever the leader lands, the fly follows. Accuracy holds a complexity that is not for the faint of heart. But here’s one tip that guarantees immediate improvement right away.

Be the Heron

Be the Heron

We can learn much about wading a river for trout by observing the heron. Take time to watch these compelling predators — these master hunters of the river. Because the lessons of incomparable stealth are unforgettable once you’ve seen them . . .

The Spooky Trout: Find Their Blind Spot

The Spooky Trout: Find Their Blind Spot

Understand that trout can’t turn their heads, and they don’t look behind themselves casually.

And from a fisherman’s perspective, as one who has spent decades accidentally scaring the fish I intended to catch, I assure you that the best way to approach a trout is from behind . . .

Part Two: What you’re missing by following FIPS competition rules — Leader Restrictions

Part Two: What you’re missing by following FIPS competition rules — Leader Restrictions

Leader length restrictions unnecessarily limit the common angler from taking full advantage of tight line systems. Such rules force the angler to compensate with different lines, rods and tactics. And none of it is as efficient as a long, pure Mono Rig that’s attached to a standard fly line on the reel. Here’s a deep dive on the limitations of using shorter leaders and comp or euro lines.

Are You Spooking Trout?

Are You Spooking Trout?

All trout continuously adapt to their surroundings — they learn what to expect, and they spook from the unexpected.

So, stealth on the water and understanding what spooks a trout is foundational knowledge in fly fishing. Trout are easily scared. Are you spooking fish?

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Pin It on Pinterest