The earliest artificial fishing flies were probably the first dry flies 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 flies that fish were seen to be feeding on in rivers and lakes.
These were the days before flies fishing was a ‘sport’ but when fishing generally eased from being just a food gathering exercise towards a leisure pastime, fishing flies for dedicated fly fishing developed quite quickly. Anglers soon realised that fishing flies for trout could be fished at all depths and the growing hobby of fly tying soon increased the choice of specific trout and ‘game’ flies on offer.
In fact, the question of what are the best fly fishing flies 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 fly tying materials, fly fishing flies and fishing flies suppliers have increased exponentially. Fulling Mill trout flies were one of the first recognised commercial fishing flies suppliers and with the huge increase in popularity in reservoir fly fishing in the 60’s and 70’s, many more mail-order fishing flies suppliers emerged such as Fastmail trout flies with Ian Barr trout flies on the competition fly fishing side. With the advent of the internet, there are now more fly fishing flies for sale and more fly fishing flies online than any of those early fly fishermen could ever have dreamed of.
In the early days, most fishing flies names were derived from either the inventor’s name or quite often the locality, river or lake where those particular fishing flies 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 of modern fishing flies can be conveniently sub-divided into two categories:
Lifelike Imitation Fishing Flies
Such as emergers and dry flies, larvae and nymphs (inc. so-called ‘buzzers’) and coarse fry or ‘baitfish’ fishing flies intended to imitate juvenile fish.
All such fishing flies 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 actual flies the trout are taking at a particular time at a particular location.
Attractor Fishing Flies
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 such attractor fishing flies 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.
There are cheap fishing flies and expensive fishing flies and actually, as long as both offer the relevant ‘value’ on the day, then either will do the trick if you have the relevant fly fishing skills!
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 Trout flies, Dry flies, Wet flies, Nymphs, Pike flies, Saltwater flies, as well as traditional Sea Trout flies and Salmon flies.
Fly fishing flies UK - many of these fishing flies are suitable for fishing flies UK as well as many European and Worldwide locations.