Fly fishing - Where to start?
Before I tell you can tell about fly fishing, I would first like to tell you what fly fishing is. Fly fishing can be seen as the next evolutionary step in fishing. At first people started to catch fish with nets. After that, they started to fish with fishing rods, hooks and bait. Next, the clever English found out how to trick fish with fly fishing. This was followed by fooling blackbass on lures. Anglers enjoyed to fool bass with lures, but at some point the anglers started to wonder if they could fool other species with artificial lures, such as those that are caught on bait?
As bass species were monitored to determine their eating habits for the purpose of catching them with wooden artificial lures or plastic artificial worms, so have anglers started to watch our freshwater species to get to know them. Slowly but surely, these anglers have learned where and what the different fish species feed on and what must be done to fool them.
In doing so, fly fishing originated. Fly fishing can be defined as the target of various fish species with man-made baits, which appear to them in a certain way and they believe it's natural bait, and the fish takes the bait and can be caught.
This way of fishing is very exciting! Anglers indeed hunt the fish they want to catch and learn to adapt to any circumstances in order to catch any species of fish on lures. Where other facets mostly "blind" catch, fly fishing anglers catch most of their fish on sight. We go to a dam or river, move from place to place, while physically searching for fish. The majority of anglers in the country are unaware that large schools of fish feed on the surface of water at our dams and rivers's shores. Fish feed around an entire dam, as long as they remain undisturbed. Most people can not believe their eyes when they try fly fishing for the first time, they see so many fish - it's like being in an aquarium to catch fish, but now you see only wild fish!
Most fly fishing anglers catch from bassboats. On the water we seem like bass anglers, the only difference is that we do not only focus on one specie of fish for the whole day. We catch whatever we encounter that day. This method is very successful - we almost always catch fish, we regularly catch quality fish and every day on the water is different from the previous day because we catch what is available. Our regular encounters include; banks where schools of carp feed with their tail fin out of the water, schools of mackerel feeding on small species that look like sardines – catfish playing in the reeds among the small species where they lie so thick in the weeds that their bodies are halfway out of the water!
A person can successfully fly fish from shore, but you must fish waters where structures are and not many people who can scare the fish. It is much nicer to fly fish from a boat, the whole dam is your playground, and if you do not get fish at a place you can just look for them at another location. You do not nead a "fancy" boat to fly fish. The boat should just have a flat deck with a trollingmotor. The best fly fishers catch with small old boats and show the other guys how it is done. Although it costs some money to acquire a boat you can find a second-hand bargain on the internet. If you have a boat, you can slowly build up your fishing tackle in order to target different species, but it is done with time. Prices depend on where you fish and how heavy your boat's engine is on fuel, but with a small boat one can go on up to three fishing trips on a tank of fuel. Thit is when you weigh up the cost per fishing session against your fishing enjoyment and results, it is undoubtedly worth the money to engage in this facet.
Because fly fishing anglers rely on sight fising you should have polarized glasses. These glasses block out the sunlight reflected from the water, it allows you to physically see fish feeding on the side of the dam through the water . Many people compare fly fishing with hunting. Like hunting you go to find your prey in its own habitat, each prey has a different habitat where you will find him, if you find him, then you shoot it / catch your fish where it was feeding. The only difference between fly fishing and hunting is that you release your catch back for another day of fun.
Fly fishing is a busy aspect of fishing. You are always actively working to cast to fish or to see if you can spot fish like you do when fishing from the banks. It makes it very different from shore fishing where you are waiting for a fish to bite. Here you look for the fish and physically see how the fish takes your lure. We spend most of our time in the sun on the deck of our boat. On the deck we look for potential fish to catch while we drive along the banks of the dam/river with our. There is little shelter from the sun on a boat, for this reason it is important that you as an angler protect yourself from the sun. We usually wear long sleeve shirts and pants, hats and buffs and put sunscreen on the parts that are not safe.
We use a lot of different kinds of rods because we have so many fish species that we target. In competitive fly fishing it is the goal to try and find as many species in a day as possible. We catch all species of the largest karps and catfish up to the smallest fish. For each species, you have a certain rod, reel, line and lures which is needed. Furthermore, you need to understand each species' habitat very well to know where and on what each of them feed and at which time of the day they feed. With four fishing rods you can come pretty far and catch most fish. These rods include:
• Calling rod with a baitcaster loaded with braided line 100-150lb
• Dipstick with low profile baitcaster loaded with 20lb braided line
• 7ft medium action baitcaster rod with a low profile baitcaster loaded with 12lb fluoro carbon line
With time on the water one quickly learns about the fish’s habitat and by following groups like "Artlure Fishing South Africa", you will also learn a lot. All the questions your heart desires will be answered by experienced anglers to put you on the right track. Fly Fishing anglers very seldom get small fish, most days we get good quality fish. Something like a 5kg carp or 8 kg catfishis nothing unusual for us anglers. When you know what you're doing, you can easily catch a 14 kg carp, 3kg bream fish or 25kg catfish on lures! Best of all is that fly fishing anglers are successful in both the winter and summer fishing. So if you want to have a new challenge, fly fishing is definitely for you!