Does Fly Fishing Use Real Flies?

Fly fishing is one of the most popular and enjoyable types of angling. It dates back centuries and has become a highly specialized form of fishing.

As the name implies, fly fishing utilizes flies as bait. But just what are these ‘flies’ that fly fishermen use?

In fly fishing, the ‘fly’ is actually an artificial lure that is designed to imitate a natural insect or baitfish. The lure is typically made from feathers, fur, or other materials, and it’s tied onto a hook to create a realistic-looking bug or minnow. Fly fishermen cast these lures into the water with the goal of fooling the fish into thinking that it’s an actual insect or baitfish floating on the surface.

Fly fishermen use different types of flies for different species of fish. For example, if they’re trying to catch bass, they’ll use a streamer pattern that imitates small baitfish; if they’re after trout, they may opt for a dry fly pattern that looks like an adult insect. They can even choose from a variety of specialty patterns designed to mimic specific insects or baitfish.

Fly fishing also involves using specialized rods and reels. Fly rods are usually shorter and lighter than traditional spinning rods, which helps them cast longer distances with greater accuracy. Fly reels also come in various sizes and styles; some are designed for light tackle while others are suitable for heavier game fish.

So does fly fishing use real flies?

No, it does not. Fly fishermen use artificial lures that mimic natural insects or baitfish in order to fool their Target species into biting.

These lures come in many shapes and sizes and are designed to look as realistic as possible. In addition to using artificial lures, fly fishermen also rely on specialized rods and reels in order to cast their lines with greater accuracy.


In conclusion, while fly fishing may evoke images of real flies being used as bait in rivers and streams around the world – this is not actually true! Instead, experienced anglers utilize artificial lures specifically designed to imitate various types of bugs or baitfish in order to attract their Target species more effectively.

Photo of author

Emma Gibson