DOUBLE TROUBLE... What is Fly Fishing?

DOUBLE TROUBLE... What is Fly Fishing?

Paul Arden | Sunday, 27 December 2015

Mike is on the back of a busy festive period right now and I bet he's a hell of a lot busier than the resort bar that I'm managing (for free bananas) and so inspired by yesterday's great "Wiggle Tail" FP from Viking Lars, I thought I'd take the opportunity today to talk about what I think and know to be fly fishing. Many people might disagree with what I'm about to say, and that's fine because actually it truly doesn't matter that they're wrong when it comes down to it, because all that really matters is that we have fun and enjoy fishing. However, before we get all warm and cosy, allow me to enlighten you...

I'm not one of these people who think fly fishing is about "line loops". I've dangled enough flies out of trees, have "dapped", have mackerel fished, have catapult cast, have flies that are WAY too heavy to be carried by any flyline that has been invented so far (and can be cast) and have French Nymphed which, let's face it, is how the Romans most probably fly fished when there were 12 Gods around and not only none.

So quite frankly I don't care how the fly gets out there... lob it out on a piece of string, carry it out by balloon, electric boat or drone, swim away from it, float it downstream on a leaf FFS... fly fishing for me is all about what's at the end of the line. So let me tell you first what isn't a fly...

Waggle Tails, Traun River wings, Magic Heads, pre-manufactured latex look-a-like maggot bodies, fly-spoon heads - as effective as they all are - are not flies. That would be a wiggly tail, waggly head, pre-manufactured winged, maggot-spoon lure.

A fly has to be dressed and manufactured by hand. In other words, the fly itself has to be ART.

Now if you were to carve out of rubber inner tube your own wiggle tail, crinkle up a plastic sweetie wrapper to make your own wings, invent a Magic Head out of an old used condom or even manufacture a body out of window sealant leftovers - then yes!, this would be ART, hence a fly and consequently flyfishing - even were you to send it out there attached to a 6lb ball of lead! However... adding a spoon head, even of your own creation, will never make a fly - this will aways be a spoon!

Now I'm a fly caster. I absolutely love fly-line casting, I teach fly casting, I compete in fly casting, I often cast simply for the sake of casting pleasure, especially at night over cliff tops. But first and foremost I'm a fisherman, and out of that I'm a fly fisherman first and almost only. So you can believe me when I say I'm right Innocent

I hope you had an absolutely fantastic Christmas. Next year is going to be a hell of a year around here! Back tomorrow with another insightful and educational page!