Picture yourself standing directly in a river, in perfect harmony with nature. The only sounds you hear are the birds chirping and the wind rustling… Isn’t it paradise?
Fly fishing is an art and does require a bit of training. But once you master the basic technique, it is just as relaxing to use as it is spectacular to watch.
What is it?
Unlike line fishing, fly fishing is done using artificial flies as bait and a silk fishing line. This technique is often used for fishing on surface or in a river, since artificial flies work well in a moving current.
To use this technique, you have to cast and retrieve your line repeatedly in a supple, whipping-like movement. While this might seem easy at first, the real challenge is to have the fly land delicately and precisely on the water with a minimum of splashing. The point is to trick the fish into thinking that your fly is real.
Concretely, you will have to do many whipping movements to position the line above the exact spot where you want your fly to land. Once it has landed, you can slowly retrieve the line and the fly on the water surface by pulling on the silk using your hand. This way, your fly is slightly jerking towards you, which attracts the fish and leave it some time to come and bite the fly. It is quite the performance!
Fly fishing is advantageous when there are a lot of insects around and those seem to be the fishes’ main food. In this case, you should try and find artificial flies that look very similar to the area’s actual insects. The fish won’t be able to tell the difference! (here are some tips on choosing your flies)
Does fly fishing still seem daunting to you? You can fish with a fly without using the technique by replacing your baited hook with an artificial fly while you are line fishing or trolling. You might be in for a pleasant surprise!
Find out all the details on this technique and tips on how to set up your line in l’ABC de la pêche (PDF in French only).
Fishing enthusiast Cyril Chauquet shows you how to fly fish (video in French only).
Discover the 5 best fly fishing destinations on the SÉPAQ blog.
See also the basic gear for salmon fly fishing (in French only)