People frequently ask, why do they use those little flies to go fly fishing? Why not use lures or live bait like other kinds of fishing?
Mainly, the type of fly and also the fly fishing rod are needed to catch a specific kind of fish in a unique aquatic environment. In other words: a fly fishing fly is the right tool for the right job. By design, fly fishermen use hand-tied flies that bear a remarkable resemble to natural insects and bugs, or other food organisms. The resemblance to those real food sources are what provoke the fish to strike. But it's not just the way that the fly looks that draws the fish to it.
At its basic, fly fishing is a method of angling that requires an artificial "fly" to catch fish. The fly is then attached to a fly rod, reel, and a specialized, weighted line. The next part of fly fishing is also unique: the way you cast. When casting the nearly weightless fly the technique is significantly different from other forms of fishing. The cast is almost a whipping action, with the bait, or fly, just touch the surface of the water, much like a real insect would alight.
The basic fly casting motion can be explained easily without getting into physics or using technical language. At it's core, it is a smooth and gradual acceleration of the rod to put a bend in it by pulling against the weight of the fishing line, which causes the rod to flex. This is also called “load”. At the final moment of each cast, your hand has accelerated greatly and then suddenly stopped, which allows the tip of the rod to snap back straight. This causes the line on the reel to unroll toward your intended target.
Most people are surprised to learn that fly fishing can be done in both fresh water or salt water. In North America fisherman typically distinguish freshwater fishing between cold-water species, such as trout, salmon, or steelhead, versus warm-water species, most notably bass. The actual techniques for fly fishing also differs depending on the habitat: lakes and ponds, small streams, large rivers, and of course, the open ocean.
So, different types of fly fishing flies are developed for each different specie, the location they are being sought, the local insect population and even the time of year. Each are hand tied and the best one can last many, many years and can provide a tremendous amount of enjoyment to the owner.