So what makes fly fishing so different?
Why is fly casting/fishing so different?...The first thing that comes to my mind is that you can actually fall in love with fly fishing. I have known dozens of avid spin fishermen, bait guys and deep sea fanatics and not a single one can convince me that they truly love their chosen pursuit. On the other hand, I know dozens of fly fishermen and women that honestly love fly fishing...you can see it on their faces and hear it in their voices when they talk about it. On the "love scale" fly fishing is just below their wife, husband or their kids and on par with their favorite dog. And there is even more that separates us from our other fishing brothers and sisters.
In case you do not already know, fly fishing is unlike any other form of fishing...for several more reasons. Initially, it is different because in virtually every other type of fishing there is a weight at the end of your line that enables you to actually cast your bait or lure some distance to a fish. In fly fishing, there is no terminal weight as the "fly" on the end of your fly line has virtually no weight at all. The "weight" in fly fishing is the fly line itself. It works with the fly rod and your casting motion to create movement or momentum in your fly line and that "energy" propels the line and the attached fly through the air and towards your target.
Another big difference is that to be an effective and successful fly fisher (especially for trout) you need to really get "closer" to nature than you do with other methods of fishing. For instance, you need some knowledge about the food sources (there are many) that are available to the fish in the water you are fishing or planning to fish, you need some knowledge about trout behavior and where they can be expected to "hang out" The other major difference is that fly fishing requires you to "present" your fly (most often an imitation of an aquatic insect or a baitfish) to the fish in a manner that is natural or appealing to the fish. The flies are typically made of natural materials like bird feathers, animal fur or hair, a hook and thread to hold it all together. A natural presentation of the fly is most important when fly fishing for trout and other species where aquatic insects are the primary food source and there is a current. Presentation is less important when fishing for other species such as bass that have a strong predatory nature. Finally, you cannot just sit on the bank and fly fish...you are physically active virtually every second and your mind needs to be involved as well.
I have done just about every kind of fishing you can imagine...bait, lures, spinners in both fresh and salt water. I have caught numerous fish well over 200 lbs. As fun as all of that was, I would rather catch a 10" wild rainbow trout on a fly rod than any fish I have caught using another method. Fly fishing is just way more rewarding...and it is good for my soul.
If you are "into" fly fishing, you may well understand. If you are just curious or a beginner and not yet had a good fly fishing experience, I hope this website will help inform, educate and encourage you to give it a try. Many years ago, when fly fishing was still very new to me and everything seemed difficult (fly fishing is not easy), an older guy I met on Hat Creek in California said "Days spent fly fishing do not subtract from the end of your life" It must be true as I am now 108...just kidding but I still believe it to be true.