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An Inroduction To Fly Fishing

Mar 26, 2008
The sport of fly fishing has long been enjoyed by men. From the middle ages fly fishing publications started to appear and a book by Juliana Berners, who was a nun, covered the topic well and included some of the fly patterns which must have been in use at the time (15th century).

It is reasonable to assume that fish have been a useful source of food for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, from around 2,000BC, show men fishing from boats. Unfortunately we can not determine if this was for food or just sport. However we do know that the Ancient Romans used fly fishing techniques as it is documented that they used artificial flies.

Various pieces of equipment are used in fly fishing. The most important items are the artificial fly, rod, reel and line. The fly is fixed to one end of the line with the rest wound onto the reel which is attached to the rod. There is a large element of skill in fly fishing as various fly patterns and fly casts are used to entice the fish to bite. Even landing the fish involves great skill and many fish manage to escape the inexperienced angler.

In the United Kingdom fly fishing was mainly enjoyed in Northern England and Scotland. Queen Victoria visited Scotland frequently and, almost single handedly, helped create that nation's tourist industry. Many of the members of 'polite society' partook in many of the sports available in Scotland which included hunting and fishing. Fly fishing was the main method used to catch fine specimens of salmon and trout which was often preserved and displayed proudly in upper class homes across Great Britain.

The 19th century saw something of a boom in fly fishing. Cottage industries worked to supply all of the anglers requirements including hand made rods and reels. Such items were very expensive as it required a certain level of skill and a deep understanding of fly fishing to be able to produce a finely balance rod and reel. So fine was the craftmanship of the period that when such items come up at auction they are enthusiastically fought over by keen anglers of today.

Another item used during the 19th century which is still used today is the fly fishing fly, or, more specifically, the fly pattern. Flies are made from many different materials, during that time they were natural materials such as fur, feathers and horse hair, but today we also use artificial materials. However some of the very earliest fly patterns prove so effective in catching fish that those patterns still remain popular today.

As well as the massive choice of fly patterns used in fly fishing flies there are also different types. The main two types of fly are wet flies and dry flies. Dry flies are used on the surface of the water so that they resemble such things as landing insects or an insect in the process of submerging or emerging from the water. Alternatively a wet fly can be used which is allowed to sink down in to the water to resemble water creatures and small fish in an attempt to attract the fishes attention.

Over the years the fly fishing industry has gone from strength to strength. The sport is now very popular around the world and there are a number of excellent destinations in Europe and America that are simply amazing places to fish. The famous salmon rivers of Scotland attract anglers in large numbers and Scotland is one of the places which most anglers long to visit for a fly fishing vacation.
About the Author
Angus MacLeod, copywriter for various websites with his main interests being golf and fly fishing, especially when in fishing in Scotland.
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