Why Fly Fishing Is Fun

I was at a family reunion with some of my family the other day. Then a couple of them asked me how I spend my time because I am often not out at parties.

I said that I am usually off by myself on a lake doing some fishing. This led me to a long conversation about my passion, fly fishing.

I was talking with some of them, and they didn’t even know the difference between fly fishing and spin fishing.

I realized that I have to explain to people the difference between the two. Most people think the two are the same. But in reality, they are worlds apart.

Why is fly fishing fun? The reason fly fishing is fun is that you are trying to outwit a fish with a fly. If you are lucky enough to hook one then the fight is on this can really get your heart pumping

The only real similarity of fly fishing vs spin fishing is that you are still trying to catch fish. That, however, is where the similarities stop. In this article, I will not be giving my opinions, although I do have some, on which is better than the other.

Proper care should be taken for the environment and the fish you take. Then whatever floats your boat is the right choice for you


Fly line, leader, and tippet are used to cast the lightweight flies

Fly and Spinning Rod
                       FLY FISHING                  SPIN FISHING
Fly Rods– Lightweight, Used to cast the line by false casting Spin Rods – Heavier, casts mono filament line with a single cast.
Fly fishing uses flies (dry flies, nymphs, emergers, streamers) and imitates all forms of food fish feed on Spin fishing uses heavier lures normally imitating fish
Fly fishing uses heavier lines to help cast the lightweight flies Mono filament, line or others cast heavier lures or flies, they don’t need a heavier line to cast.
Most fly fishermen usually use dry flies and nymphs on creeks and streams but there are a lot of fly fishermen that use nymphs and streamers on lakes and reservoirs Usually spin fishing is primarily done on still water like lakes, and ponds, but there are some that use bait and spinners on rivers and streams

The Difference

Fly Fishing:

The intent of fly fishing is to typically to fool a fish into biting on an artificial fly that is made with pieces of animals, like hair, feathers and such. The desire of most fly fishermen is to challenge themselves to try and catch as many fish as possible whenever they go out.

Challenging yourself is the main idea of fly fishing or any type of fishing that you do. Without a doubt, it is very peaceful when you get out in the great outdoors. Did you know fly fishing has been called and branded as the purest form of catching fish?  A lot of times trout will prefer insect imitations or flies over lures and spinners. Many times using lures with spinner fishing does not give you as many options to catch fish in a lot of trout waters.

Today, a lot of fly fishermen have been trying to catch anything and everything on a fly rod. Most of them have been able to catch many different species of fish, so fly fishing is not just for trout today.

Spin Fishing:

Spin fishing or some people also call it bait fishing it can be a really good way to catch fish. It is very likely a more versatile way to fish if you are going after different kinds of fish rather than trout. You can have some incredible results using crankbaits and other resistance lures that can only be used with spinning rods and reels.

This is a great edge that spin fishing has over fly fishing when you are going after bass, northern pike, muskies and large walleyes. These types of fish usually take bigger types of lures and won’t even look at a large fly let alone a dry fly.

The skill of the angler often goes above any of the things mentioned above. If you have an equally matched spin fisherman against a fly fisherman the spin fisherman has a better chance for catching the above-mentioned fish.

The End Of The Day:

At the end of it all, you will have to decide which one is the best for you. If you are looking to just go and catch your dinner, a spinning rod might be a good way for you to go.

There are lots of people that like spinner or bait fishing in some ponds, lakes, and reservoirs along with bigger rivers and streams. These offer some very big fish like walleye, trout, largemouth bass, northern pike, muskie, and catfish.

Fly fishing is great if you are looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors and experience the fun of trying to catch a fish on a fly rod.

If you are going to be fishing in a small stream and rivers. Rember there is a lot to know about the presentation of your fly and which fly to use.

You will have to be aware of the bug hatch and what the fish are feeding on. This is true even if you are fishing water like a lake or pond for panfish like bluegill, crappie, perch, and bass.

If you are going to try larger lakes and reservoirs then the possibilities are endless with fly fishing. Some things you can experiment with are line depth, line retrieval known as a strip and the different flies.

Even though fly fishing is more difficult to learn it also offers great satisfaction when you get the basics down.

Try Them Both:

One of the very best ways to find out which is best is to try them both. Spinning outfits are very reasonable and you can try it out for under $100 very easily.

You will need to remember you will also need hooks and bait with some sinkers, or some spinners and plugs. You might also know someone that might have some extra gear and take you out and give you some pointers.

There are some fly combo sets that you can also get for under $100 but you will need some flies. If you know someone that is a fly fisherman maybe they have some extra gear they can let you use.

This would be an ideal way, they could help you with casting and you don’t have to buy gear yet. There is a big learning curve to fly fishing, but it pays off as a lifelong sport when you learn.

Isn’t it funny how our passions about something can come out in every conversation? You know a simple game of poker on poker night might start a spark in me.

This can help to get me to share the differences in fly fishing over spinner or bait fishing. This happens to be because a lot of my friends think they are pretty much the same thing

I hope you now understand that fly fishing is a lot different than spinner fishing. Big differences are both in the gear used and the ability to fish certain waters. Why don’t you go out there and try fly fishing or whatever your interests might be? Guess what, you might just find a new passion along the way.

Do You Like a Challenge?

Well, if you like to be challenged, you really should give fly fishing a try. But if you don’t do well with failure, maybe you should sit this one out.

This is not a sport that you can expect to go out and be successful on your first try. Fly fishing takes lots and lots of practice. It will take time to get the feel of the rod and the line, swinging overhead in the perfect ‘C’ shaped arc.

It also takes careful studying of the different sections of a river and of where the trout like to hang out. Unlike fishing with a spinning rod, you probably won’t catch a fish on a fly (especially not a dry fly) for your first few times.

It’s frustrating at times but it’s also very challenging. But when you finally do land your first trout on a dry fly, it is the BEST feeling in the whole world.

Another Reason Fly Fishing Is Fun

The main reason you should give fly fishing a try is that it is fun! Whether you are fishing alone, or with friends, fly fishing is exciting, frustrating, immensely satisfying, and enormously rewarding.

It can offer you solitude and a great chance to get out on your own into quiet, untouched, unpopulated areas of the wild, or it can be a social activity with a group of your friends.

Regardless, that moment when a trout sucks your fly into its mouth and you feel the line tense beneath your fingers it is indescribable. It never gets old. Once you experience it, you will be hooked forever. Pun intended.

Happy Fishing:

Dean Jensen

I started fly fishing in 1972 and I have learned quite a bit about this wonderful sport called fly fishing and I want to share some of the things that I have learned.

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