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Why flyfish?

Everyone has his or her own reasons of course, but a very impelling one is that there are times when flyfishing is the most effective method.
This comes as a complete surprise to many people. I hear it said quite often that we flyfish because it's harder, implying, if not actually stating, that this makes flyfishing a noble thing to do.
This is of course complete crap.

One reason that flyfishing can be the most effective is that it allows the bait to be presented extremely delicately. Since the casting weight is the flyline itself and not some additional weight, it is possible to cast the lure with very little water disturbance. This enables us to catch 'spooky' (technical term for wary) fish in very shallow water. The fly itself is virtually weightless; indeed the use of weight within the fly actually makes flycasting harder.

Of course this is a good reason to use flycasting tackle, but why flies? One answer is that many fish eat natural insects, including small ones from the water surface. You cannot bait a hook with a small natural insect (the wings fall off and the hook sinks it), but by the clever twisting of feathers and fur around a hook you can create something which resembles this natural beastie.

So it's a great method for catching trout, since trout feed and live in shallow waters and eat small insects, many of which are too small and delicate to bait. Best of all, and just to add some zing, is that there are times when trout will feed on one insect to the exclusivity of all others.

Of course it's not just about catching fish. Although flyfishing is often more successful than drowning worms, it is considerably less successful than throwing dynamite. What dynamite and flyfishing have in common, however, is that they are both very exciting procedures.
In other words they are fun things to do.

The actual process of flycasting is an enjoyable experience in it's own right. Just to prove this we have salmon fishing.

Also of entertainment, is the actual fighting of the fish. Because flyrods are both light and sensitive, and we often 'play' the fish (tire him out) with direct contact to the line, and because, for a little while at least, the fish can have upper hand, there is much more in the way of thrills and spills than with other methods.

Other attractions are: that we don't need bait, it's a minimalist branch of the sport (unless you are a boat fisher in the UK, in which case you'll need a small trailer just to get your stuff to the water), it's fantastic for travelling and many fisheries are fly only (especially when trout are involved).

It's also less harmful to the fish than many other techniques. Most anglers return their catch (I know it makes us really odd - but there are several million Coarse anglers in the UK and they return everything). In flyfishing many anglers do eat their catch of course, and for them this is yet another attraction.

Flyfishing is so enjoyable, at times, so utterly complicated, has such highs and can be so mysterious that many people, myself included, would rather die than catch fish any other way :-)


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