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Fishing is a pastime that has been around for a very long time. Any time a necessity such as fishing has the luxury of becoming a hobby, it will change and adapt to different areas and cultures. Fishing flies themselves are made to either imitate flies or to use patterns and colours to lure fish into biting. And the way to make flies depends on the type of fishing to be done

Fishing flies have been dated throughout history and are written about as early as 200 A. D. In the fifteenth century, they made a brief appearance in one of the first books to talk about fishing as a sport. Along with instructions on how to make a rod, set a line and bait a hook, there were also chapters written about how to make a fly and when to use a certain type of fly throughout the different seasons of the year.

A fishing fly used to be called an artificial fly. This is because once upon a time they were made from actual flies captured and used as bait. However, it soon became realized that these flies could be imitated with feathers and bits of fur. It would be very difficult to make a profitable business out of capturing Mayflies and other large insects in order to use them as bait. However, anyone who knows anything about craft supplies knows that feathers and fur can be found very easily. The challenge is in knowing what to use and when.

Fishing with fishing flies requires knowing where a person will be fishing, what sort of fishing they want to do and for what sort of fish. Different fish have different habits. Some do not eat from the surface of the water they live in, while other fish types will leap right out of the water and into the air to catch the right bait. Some fish wait hungrily beneath the overhang of trees for bugs and worms to fall down to the water. Other fish actually eat berries or vegetation.

Because there are so many different types of prey that a fish can eat, it’s important to know what the fishing fly should be imitating. Does it need to look like a small crab or a shrimp? Or does it need to look like the larval stage of a fly? ‘Nymphing’ is the practice of using larvae imitation fishing flies to fish. ‘Emergers’ are another type of lure that imitate flies, but mimic the larval-to-adult stage and rest on the surface of the water, like a fly about to emerge from its larval husk for the first time.

River fish have different feeding habits and prey styles than lake or ocean fish. In a river, there might still be crustaceans and crabs and the like. However, river fish also enjoy the monopoly presented by spawning fish. A large majority of fish return to the rivers they were born in to mate and lay their spawn. So, many fish consider eggs a part of their diet. In Europe, using fishing flies that look like eggs is frowned up and considered unsportsmanlike. Some fishing flies will imitate the rotting flesh of dead fish instead, since so many species perish after they have lain their eggs.


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