Fly fishing is all about imitating the natural food on which trout feed. The food may be a beetle which falls from a limb into the water or a small insect larvae. Trout find food on the surface as well as under the water. The challenge for trout fishermen is essentially two-fold. One, determine whether fish are feeding at or near the surface or at what level under the water and second, "Match the hatch." In other words, find out or speculate as to what trout want and match that to something tied artificially. Hopefully that something will be found in the fly box.
Dry flies are tied to imitate insects which may land or fly just above the surface of the water. These flies are tied with the purpose of floating. Typically, dry flies will feature a design incorporating animal hairs, fly tying thread and yarns. The hairs will be stacked and tied in such a manner to allow them to stand out from the hook in many directions. The flies will actually ride on these hairs on top of the water. There are fly floating treatments which may be applied and help the buoyancy of the dry fly. Dry flies often imitate Mayflies, bees, beetles, ants and mosquitoes.
Wet flies are designed for presentation under the surface of the water. Many times wet flies are variations on a dry fly pattern in regard to color and are used when trout are attracted but may not come to the surface to take a dry fly. Wet flies are tied with the animal hairs and feathers swept back from the eye of the hook. This allows the fly to slip under the water more easily. Wet flies typically imitate insects which may normally live on the surface but for various reasons are swept under water. Wet flies may also imitate minnows and small crustaceans found under the water.
Nymphs are imitations of insect larvae and crustaceans which lay eggs under water. The stage after which they hatch is an extremely tantalizing meal for a trout. Nymphs are designed to typically go deep and may be weighted with beads near the eye of the hook. Many times it is also beneficial to attach additional weight at or near the nymph to achieve the desired depth. Nymphs are used when trout are lying on the bottom waiting for food to wash by. Nymph fly fishing is challenging and rewarding.
Article Written By Tara Dooley
Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.