Expert advice

 

 

What is fly fishing?

Fly fishing is a specialized form of angling using artificial imitations of insect life and other natural foods to attract the fish. Flies are not heavy enough to cast so special fly lines are used which give the weight for casting.  The current or the anglers movements of the fly line are used to attract fish, and the fly may be cast and recast frequently so that fly fishing is a very active sport and great fun.

 

What is a fly?

Flies are the names of the lures used for fly fishing. However no real flies or live baits are used – flies are imitations tied on the hook using synthetic materials, threads, feathers etc. and they can be very lifelike imitations of the natural insects or minnows etc. Special techniques are used to tie the flies and fly tying can be seen as a very skilful and artistic separate hobby in itself.

 

These are the basic flies:

 

Trockenfliege

Dry Fly:

Dry flies float on the water surface and imitates a living or dead insect.

 

Nymphe

Nymph:

Nymphs are fished under water at various depths depending on the weight of the fly and imitate insect larvae in different stages.

 

Nassfliege

Wet fly:

Wet flies are fished below  the water surface and imitate  live or drowned insects.

 

Streamer

Streamer:

Streamers are pulled actively through the water or the surface and imitate baitfish or other prey.

 

 

 

What are the main fish species for fly fishers?

The classic species for fly fishing are trout, greyling and salmon. But there are countless more fish to target with a fly rod both in freshwater and saltwater. We have listed the main ones to give you a quick overview:

 

Saltwater:Freshwater:
Barracuda
Bonefish
Bonito / Tuna
Dorado
Garfish
Jackfish
Mackerel
Milkfish
Mullet
Permit
Redfish
Rooster Fish
Tarpon
Trevally (Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally)
Triggerfish
Sailfish
Sea trout
Snook
Arctic char
Barbel
Brook trout
Brown trout
Bull Trout
Carp
Catfish
Chub
Golden Dorado
Greyling
Huchen (Danube Salomon)
Lake trout
Musky
Perch
Pike
Pike perch
Rainbow trout
Salmon (Atlantic and pacific salmon)
Steelhead
Taimen

 

What is a fly line?

The fly is too light to cast using its own weight therefore we use a special fly line which is weighted to propel the fly. The line is thicker than monofilament line and is usually tapered. It is classified according to the AFFTA scale and in theory the fly line number should match the rod classification.  The fly line is too thick to tie on to the fly so a small tapered leader is used to attach to the fly and give a good presentation

 

What is a fly rod?

A fly rod is designed to cast fly lines effectively. The reel seat is placed close to or at the very end of the rod to optimize balance while casting. The line is fed through special small guide rings on the rod.
Fly rods are available in various lengths and classes (#). The so called AFFTA (former AFTMA) Class specifies how much line weight is recommended. so each rod will be marked with the AFFTA number which should match the line number..
The main material for building fly rods is carbon fibre. But there are also rods made natural materials (e.g. bamboo rods) or glass fibre.

Fly rods are divided in three main categories:

Single handed rods:

Single handed rods are held with one hand while casting. The second hand sometimes holds and guides the fly line.
The most common lenght of these rods is 9 ft (2,7 m). Generally they are available between 6 ft and 11 ft in lenght and up to class 16. Therefore they are used for all kind of waters and species of fish.

Double handed rods:

Double handed rods are held with two hands while casting. The are longer than single handed rods and are mainly used for larger rivers, e.g. for salmon or steelhead in class 8-10 and lengths up to 16 ft.
Now ultra light double-handed rods are available  from 4 weight, 10 ft, which can be used to target trout etc. in smaller streams

 

Switch rods:

Switch rods can be casted like single handed or double handed rods. They are in-between rods: smaller and thinner grip than two handed rods and a bit longer than regular single handed rods.
Available in class 5-9 and lengths between 10 ft and 11 ft.

 

What is a fly reel?

The fly reel stores the fly line and for the most part got a break to drill fish. Compared to spin fishing the lines is unreeled before or while casting and released by hand. The hand holds the line and let it go meter by meter until the desired length is reached or the rest is released at once. Drilling a small fish is mainly operated by hand as well. Bigger fishes are usually drilled via reel. If the fish pulls out line, the crank of the reel spins with the spool and can't be held. There are just a few reels with anti-reverse-mechanism that work like spinning reels.
Besides the fly line the fly reels stores backing. That's a thin braided line after the main fly line for drilling.

 

How do I wash my waders?

Your waders and wading boots are the most rough-handled garment when you are out fly fishing. You are fighting brushwood, climbing fences, rocks covered in algae or pausing on mossy tree stamps. After fishing they are coiled up and thrown in the back of the car over night – will be fishing again the next day anyway?!
In the long run you will notice that the waders get stiffer and perhaps more sweat is concentrating on the inside combined with unpleasant smell. Are the waders worn out? - Not necessarily. But it is about time to clean your waders again!

The following information and care tips will help you to increase the live span and the wearing comfort of your breathable waders:

 

Why should I wash my waders?

  • Breathability: mud, sand, fungals spores and other particles block the breatchable membrane
  • Wearing comfort: the more soiled your waders the more stiffer they become
  • Hygiene: despite the breathable membrane there are residues of sweat in your waders that grow gems and begin to smell unpleasant
  • DWR - Finish: to get the best result when renewing your impregnation you should wash your waders before

 

When and how should i wash my waders?

After each fishing day or in between:

  • Wash off mud, sand and other dirt before leaving the water
  • Saltwater or dirty water: rinse the outside of your waders with fresh water directly after fishing or at home with your shower. This helps to prevent salt and sediments to dry into the membrane.


On demand or before renewing your DWR - Finish:

  • Use the delicate cycle of your wahing machine 30°C or 40 °C ( please check the manufacturers' data)
  • Only use powder detergent or special detergent, e.g. Revivex Cleaner
  • No fabric softener (some detergents contain it)
  • Use a low level in your dryer or hang it up for drying

 

Simms released a video on how to wash your waders:

 

How do I dry and store my waders between fishing?

After fishing you should always allow your waders to dry completely before you store them. This prevents the growth of mold, which blocks the breathability and smells unpleasant. Even if you’re out fishing the next day you shouldn't store your waders coiled up damp in your car! You will usually find a place to hand up your waders overnight. At the very least leave them unfolded.

It is important to dry your waders both inside and outside. Therefore it is best to let them dry Hanging up from the straps. If that's not possible you can turn them over once while drying. The feet especially will take  longer to dry out properly.
 
For long term storage don’t leave your waders hanging from the shoulder straps as they may loosen. Simply store them protected from light e.g. in a cupboard or in a bag together with your other wading gear to be ready for the next fishing trip.

 

Do I need a net?

You may have been in the common situation where you are ready to land a big fish after a long, dramatic fight and at the very last moment, when you are ready to grab it with your hand, it knocks the line with its tail and comes off!  “If only I had brought a net with me!!”

That's not the only reason why we recommend a net at the waterside. If you use it properly it is both more gentle to the fish and less stressful for yourself. Especially if you are a beginner it is much more relaxed. It is so important when handling a fish not to damage the slime layer on its skin and there are good rubber catch and release nets specially designed to handle the fish with as little damage as possible.

 

Benefits of using a net:

  • Fish can be landed faster (gentle to the fish and you can release it faster)
  • Extended length handles are available – very useful when fishing from high banks or boats.
  • More comfortable to unhook and measure the fish
  • They keep the fish safe and gentle under water until you take a quick snap shot

 

What are the main things to keep in mind when using a net?

  • Avoid lifting the fish out of the water within the net
  • The head of the fish should point against the current to help the fish take water through its gills and breathe normally
  • When releasing the fish, drop the net completely under water and allow the fish to swim out when it is ready
  • Always wet your hands before handling the fish (e.g. when taking a photo)