There are essentially two types of fishing flies: saltwater flies and freshwater flies. Within these two categories, there are a number of subtypes, depending largely on the kinds of fish they are supposed to attract. You will find that even among avid fly fishermen, there are arguments as to which kind of fly will best attract a sought-after kind of fish; while these arguments are academic at best, it appears that there are an emerging four types of fishing flies that you can easily differentiate and which almost always have a good rate of return on investment.
Choose streamer flies when fishing for freshwater bottom dwellers, such as bass or trout. They mimic a small bait fish or a stout aquatic insect, and they are one of the most commonly used flies for fishing. The quintessential streamer fly is the Wooly Bugger---as of 2009 it retails for about $2---that comes in a limited number of color and shape variations.
Bring along a couple of nymph flies when freshwater fishing for virtually any kind of fish. These flies mimic the nymph stage of hatching flies, which are a major food source for most types of fish. Since these are all purpose flies, they are relatively inexpensive, retailing at about $4 for a three pack.
Opt for terrestrial flies when you are looking for a fly that will work in both saltwater bodies and also freshwater fishing holes. Terrestrial flies mimic a land based insect that accidentally falls into the water. Use these flies in rivers, lakes and around the ocean shore or close to shallower beach waters.
Keep baitfish flies in your fishing personal flotation device---a useful multitasking item that retails for about $80---when you anticipate saltwater fishing. These saltwater flies mimic small bait fish that would be plentiful in estuaries and along the shorelines of the ocean. One example is the Glass Minnow that retail for about $5.50 for a pack of two.
Article Written By Sylvia Cochran
Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.