A Beginners Fly Fishing Glossary: 17 Essential Fly Fishing Terms To Know…

Posted by Sportsman's Finest  |  January 6, 2016

Posted in: All Posts, Fly Fishing

A Beginners Fly Fishing Glossary: 17 Essential Fly Fishing Terms To Know…

dry fly photo

Congratulations, that gift under the Christmas tree is your first fly fishing rod and reel, the equipment you’ll need for a sport you’ve become interested in learning. It’s not a particularly exclusive club; we promise you’re in good company. While 38 million Americans enjoy hunting and fishing every year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department reports that there are 3.83 million fly anglers. It’s also a pretty diverse crowd, with women making up 35% of fly anglers.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with fly fishing tips when you’re new to the sport. There’s a long list of terms, tricks, and gear you will want to become familiar with. So dip your toes in the water with our latest fly fishing tips, featuring some of the most essential terms and proper fly fishing tools you need to know about.

Fly Fishing Glossary: Our Top Fly Fishing Tips, Terms, and Tools…

Arbor: the center segment of a fly reel around which backing and line are wound.
Back Cast; Overhead Cast: a casting motion where the rod and line are behind the angler’s body. The overhead cast is the most famous fly angler cast.
Backing: A braided line that connects your fly reel’s spool to the fly line. Backing is important if you want to land large fish that run out your fly line.
Catch and Release: Thought not exclusive to fly fishing, this practice prevents overfishing. After bringing in a fish (handle with care), the catch is returned to the water to swim another day.
Dead Drift: a perfect float, or how the dry fly is presented to the fish (usually trout) in the current.
Dry Fly: fly fishing flies designed to float on the surface.
Fly Boxes; Foam Fly Boxes: special cases designed to hold flies without crushing them.
Flies and Fly Lines: Flies are artificial lures used in fly fishing, meant to mimic the appearance of aquatic or terrestrial insects, and baitfish that fish feed on. Fly lines are specialized fishing lines used by fly anglers to cast their flies.
Fly Rod: fishing rods built to cast fly lines. The reel is joined at the butt of the rod, positioned beneath the grip. Fly rods come in different weights and lengths. Smaller weight rods are used for small water or small fish, while heavier weight rods are useful for two-handed salmon or steelhead fishing, and for saltwater fishing.
Hat: possibly the most important tool in the fly angler’s arsenal.
Hemostat: special clamps or forceps used to remove flies.
Leader: a small section of line that provides a nearly invisible transition between the fly line and fly; it delivers the fly away from the line.
Midges: a type of small insect that can make up to 50% of a fish’s diet in the winter.

Nippers and Pliers: tools used for gripping or cutting.
Surgeon’s Knot: one of the most essential fly fishing knots, used to tie monofilament lines together.
Wading Boots, Waders, and Wading Staffs: a variety of fly fishing apparel and gear used when wading into the water.
Wet Fly: a fly designed to sink below the surface.
It’s far from an exhaustive list, but certainly things beginners to the sport should know about. Good luck out there!


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