The earliest artificial fishing flies was probably a type of dry fly in that they were just a small bunch of feathers or maybe lamb’s wool, lashed to a simple barbless hook and intended to mimic the real food that fish were seen to be feeding on in rivers and lakes.
These were the days before fly fishing was a ‘sport’ but when fishing generally eased from being just a food gathering exercise towards a leisure pastime, tackle for dedicated fly fishing developed quite quickly. Anglers soon realised that trout flies could be fished at all depths and the growing hobby of fly tying soon increased the choice of specific trout and ‘game’ bait on offer.
In fact, the question of what are the best fly for trout is probably not a recent query but from the 17th Century, that has been a constant quest!
Thanks to a few hundred years of angler’s ingenuity, combined with the huge technology advances in synthetic tying materials, the number and quality of fly suppliers has increased exponentially. Fulling Mill trout were one of the first recognised commercial fly suppliers and with the huge increase in popularity in reservoir fly fishing in the 60’s and 70’s, many more mail-order fishing fly suppliers emerged, such as Fastmail, with Ian Barr being more on the competition fly fishing side. With the advent of the internet, there are now more trout flies for sale online than any of those early fly fishermen could ever have dreamed of.
In the early days, most fishing fly names were derived from either the inventor’s name or quite often the locality, river or lake where those particular rigs were most successful.
The ever popular dry flies for sale such as the Wickham’s Fancy and Greenwell’s Glory both owe their names to their skilled inventors.
The enormous subject can be conveniently divided into two categories:
Lifelike Imitation Flies
Such as emergers and dry flies, larvae and nymphs (inc. so-called ‘buzzers’) and coarse fry or ‘baitfish’ intended to imitate juvenile fish.
All of these are intended to look like, or at least mimic, what your target fish species sees as part of its ‘real’ naturally occurring food.
The dry fly fishing term ‘Match the Hatch’ has come from dedicated trout anglers who strive to dress their artificial dry fishing flies to imitate as closely as possible the food the trout are taking at a particular time and location.
Which are not intended to look like an actual insect or fish but are often dressed with bold, flashy, fly tying materials with the intention of attracting the fish’s attention and triggering that aggressive territorial instinct and so attack what they see as a rival. That aggression often results in some awesome ‘smash takes’ and memorable fly fishing moments!
The bright, flashy colours of the materials used on attractors also has the extra advantage of being more easily visible whilst fishing in murky water.
Many fly fishing anglers consider that fishing flies are the most essential part of the fly fisherman’s armoury and should be carefully selected with your chosen target species and location in mind.
Fishing Republic offer a HUGE variety of both Individual fishing flies and Fly Selections at super value prices for loads of various species, locations and styles of fly fishing such as Dry, Wet, Nymphs and Pike, as well as traditional Salmon, Trout and Sea Trout flies.
Many of these fishing flies are suitable for the UK as well as many European and Worldwide locations.