What Are the Different Types of Fly Fishing Flies?

Fly fishing is an activity that dates back centuries, and has become a popular form of fishing all over the world. While the basics of fly fishing are relatively simple – using a rod, reel and line to cast a small artificial lure – the techniques behind it and the various types of flies used can be complex. In this article, we’ll discuss what types of flies are commonly used in fly fishing and how they differ from one another.

Dry Flies

Dry flies are some of the most common and popular types of flies used in fly fishing. These flies float on top of the water, making them easy to see for both fish and anglers. They usually imitate insects such as mayflies or caddisflies, which are found on or near the surface of most bodies of freshwater. Dry flies can be tied with a variety of materials including feathers, fur, yarn, and even synthetic materials like foam or rubber.


Unlike dry flies which float on top of the water, nymphs sink below the surface.

Nymphs are typically tied with material such as feathers or fur to imitate underwater insect larvae or pupae. They tend to be heavier than dry flies so they sink quickly in order to get down to where fish are likely to be feeding.


Streamers are large artificial lures which resemble small fish or other aquatic creatures like frogs or crayfish. Streamers typically have long tails made from feathers or fur that give them an attractive profile in the water. Streamers can be fished with either a wet or dry fly line depending on how deep you want them to sink into the water column. The larger profile that streamers have makes them attractive to larger predatory fish like bass and trout.

In summary, there are three main types of flies commonly used for fly fishing: dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. Each type is designed differently depending on what type of insect it is intended to imitate, as well as its intended depth in the water column when fished. Whether you’re new to fly fishing or an experienced angler looking for something new, understanding these different types of flies will help you choose which one is best suited for your next outing!

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Emma Gibson