One of the first things you’ll need to learn when you’re getting into fly fishing is the difference between a wet fly and a dry fly. This can be hard to learn early on just because it seems so basic a fact among so many long time anglers. But we all start out as complete newbies, so this is a great place to start.
The type of fly you use, and therefore the type of fishing you’ll be practicing, depends a lot on what style of angling you plan on using. Fly fishing comes in two forms: wet fly fishing or dry fly fishing, hence the difference between wet flies and dry flies.
Dry fly fishing is the type most often portrayed in magazine articles, books, and movies. Some anglers is considered the “purer” of the two forms, though there really isn’t a major reason for that. This type of fly fishing is done with a fly that will float on the surface of the water, whether it’s a creek, stream, lake, or river. The fish have to hit the lure on the surface for you to hook it and reel in, and your hope is that your fly looks like a bug jumping on the surface to entice the fish to hit.
As might be expected, wet fly fishing involves a different type of lure. A wet fly is one that goes underwater. Some of these types of lures can even sink all the way to the bottom if they are designed for that style. These flies are made to be mobile below the water’s surface so they can move around in the current, and often times a wet fly fishing angler will use multiple flies at once to up the chances of success.
If you’re looking to go the traditional route with dry fly fishing, then summer is the best time for you to spend time in the water. The summer has the most insects and mosquitoes that fish feast on, which is exactly what you are trying to make your fly simulate. There are also decent times in the fall for the same style, it just depends on weather, location, and what the bugs are doing.
Wet fly fishing isn’t as restrictive since the lures go underwater, allowing them to seem realistic for longer periods of the year. Regardless of which style of fly you choose to use, learning more about each style of angling will help give you a leg up on enjoying this great new recreation.