Fly lure

From Academic Kids

Missing image
"Blue Winged Olive", a classic dry fly for trout.

A fly lure or Fly, in terms of sport fishing and fly fishing, is an artificial lure tied with thread, feathers, and hair.

Fly tying is becoming common practice in fly fishing. Many fly fishers tie their own flies, either following patterns in books, natural insect examples, or using their own imagination. The technique involves attaching small pieces of feathers, animal fur and other materials on a hook in order to make it attractive to fish. This is made by wrapping thread tightly around the hook and tying on the desired materials.

There are four main categories of flies: dry fly, wet fly,streamer fly and nymph .


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Dry fly

A dry fly resembles an insect floating on the water surface. Dry flies can also imitate mice, frogs, and snakes. A dry fly is often tied on a light hook so it can float easily.

Dry flies can be tied to imitate insects on the water, such as Pale Morning Duns, or to attract fish to rise without imitating any one specific insect, such as a Royal Wulff or Adams dry fly. Traditional dry flies have a few basic parts, tail, body, wing, hackle, and head. Floatation of the fly can be achieved in a variety of ways. Traditional dry flies use the surface tention of water to float. The fly will ride on the hackle and tail, and in some cases the hook point will not break through the surface. Closed-cell foam can be used in the construction or sometimes a CDC feathers, to hold molecules of air. Some dry flies have to be oiled with special dry fly floatant before presentation to further enhance the floatation.

Dry fly technique

Fishing technique with dry flies is what makes fly fishing so easily distinguishable. In order for the dry fly to float unobstructed, it has to be dried after it is pulled out of the water for another round of presentation. This is accomplished by several rapid strokes or whips of the airborne fly line, called "false casting", in the air.

Another method is squishing the dry fly in amadou to suck out the absorbed water in the dry fly.

Dry flies can be fished upstream or downstream. Casting upstream generally keeps the angler out of the view of the fish while casting downstream may be easier to get at productive holes.

Wet fly

A wet fly resembles an insect under the water surface. Wet flies can imitate aquatic insects, drowned insects, or the larval stages of aquatic insects swimming to the surface to hatch. Wet flies are traditionally tied with a tail, body, wings, and soft hackle.

Wet fly technique

A wet fly is traditionally fished in a down and across swing.

Streamer fly

A streamer fly or streamer can be used to mimic injured fish. Streamers can be used to catch predatory fish of almost any size. Fish will bite streamers out of aggression while protecting spawning areas, out of curiosity, or when feeding. The big showy Atlantic Salmon flies, bucktails (hairwing), and feather wing flies all fall into the streamer category.

Streamer fly technique

The fishing technique with a streamer is much the same as with a spoon lure. Casting across and downstream is the traditional presentation. Retrieves can be fast or slow and erratic to imitate an injured fish.


A nymph resembles an insect or stage of insect living underwater. Leeches, mayfly nymphs, caddis fly larva, and diptera can all be imitated by nymphs.

Normally a nymph is tied on a heavier hook, sometimes with an added weight in the body or head to keep it underwater during presentation.

Nymph technique

Nymphs can be fished successfully upstream or down. A large percentage of what fish eat is found living underwater and imitated by nymphs. To learn more about nymph fishing visit

Rod and tackle

Certain fly lures such as streamers may be used with a normal sport fishing rod, but a special and much softer fly fishing rod is required for most fly fishing. See fly fishing for details on the procedure of casting a fly.

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