fly fishing

The art of Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing can bring you many years of joy

Dogsbody fly

Fly fishing was always thought of as the reserve of the upper classes due to the high cost of the tackle needed to do it. Almost all the gear – the rod and reel, were hand made and this made them expensive.
In more recent times, through the use of modern production methods the cost of this equipment has dropped, putting the sport within the reach of the masses.


Fly Fishing, The Corrib, Galway, Ireland

Fly Fishing Tackle

To get started the equipment will still cost a lot of money – over 100 Euros to get a reasonable set up, but if you want to just give it a try you can pick up a Fly Fishing Kit
for as little as 35 Euros on Amazon, that will get you a Rod 2.40m (class 5/6), a reel, a spool of main line, a spool of branch line, 5 different flies and a bag to carry it all in.
As I said if you want to just give it a go, then the Starter Kit will get you going, but if you are serious about trying fly fishing you will have to spend some time to work out the equipment you will get and a lot more money. Click here to go to the fly fishing tackle page for help on selecting your tackle.

Methods and Skills

The methods and skills involved with fly fishing are difficult to learn, the casting is totally different from any other method of fishing. Having learned how to cast you will need to learn how to tie the knots on the line Рwith fly fishing you have firstly to attach the main line to the reel, then the main line is attached to the leader line and the flies are tied to the leader.
When you get to the stage of tying the fly to the line you have to ask yourself if it is the right fly you are using. There are thousands of flies and you could have a fly on that will not work for any number of reasons, the weather, the water conditions, the fish you are trying to catch. Click here to go to the page for information on these methods

The Fish

A Perch caught on a fly

At sometime or other all fish will take flies on the surface, or below it, as the picture on the left shows, this Perch was caught on the fly, but this is not a regular occurance. There are a few fish which will take it the fly regularly.Most of the fish which are drawn to the fly, like a moth to a light, are the game fish – Salmon, Trout and Greyling. In recent times fishermen have started fishing for fish like Pike and Bass.

When deciding which fly fishing tackle to purchase you should have an idea of what you want to catch. Look here for a more in-depth look at the fish you will be looking for.

The Fly

A winged flyFlies are designed to mimic the life cycle of the fly, with a design for each stage of the cycle.

You can learn how to cast, where the fish might be and how to tie your knots so they don’t slip. But if you have the wrong fly on you will be trying for a long time.

There are thousands of different flies and loads of variations of a lot of them. So it is very easy to have the wrong one on.
A lot of the selection process is controlled by things like the weather, what you are fishing for and what is hatching on the water, if you are fly fishing for Pike what is hatching will not play a big roll, you need something big and bright. This is the same for Bass.

There are four main types of fly –

Lures –

These flies are designed to induce a reaction for the fish based on the its natural predatory instincts.

Nymphs & Buzzers –A Nymph flyThese fly types are designed to mimic insects in the pre-emergent stage of their life cycle, Nymph is the name that a lot of fishermen give to any aquatic invertebrate be it –

  • A Nymph
  • A larva
  • A pupa
  • A crustacean

The more accurate a Nymph relates to insects like –

  • Mayflies
  • Damselflies
  • Stoneflies
the better your results are going to be.

Dry Flies & Emergers

Typical artificial fly used for fly fishingThese flies are designed to imitate flies on the surface of the water, these could be Nymphs breaking out of the pupal into a fully developed fly or a terrestrial which has landed or fallen on to the water surface

Boobies & Muddlers

Typical artificial fly used for fly fishingThis type of fly is designed to be very buoyant lures. laying on the surface and popping up if used with a sinking leader that causes the eye of the hook to pull down forcing the tail up.


Fly Tying

The art of fly tying can be engrossing, you can forget about time and just get carried away thinking about what you saw from the river bank and how you can replicate it. This pass time can take up as much time as fishing, if not more, so you better have an understanding wife!

The equipment is straight forward and you don’t need a lot to get started. As for materials, there are many different types you can use to make up the flies. These do not cost a lot to get you up and running. The hook is important to ensure you end up with a fly that works. Click here to get more information on fly tying.

Some helpful Links

If you find yourself driving around Co. Kerry asking yourself where do people go to fish around here? then have a look at the site Tom and Maurice have put up to help you – the site has some of the best information on where to fish in Kerry and what to fish for.