Whats the Difference Between Fishing and Fly Fishing?

Fishing and Fly Fishing are two popular outdoor activities that many people partake in for recreation, relaxation, and the thrill of the catch. Although both activities involve catching fish, there are some significant differences between them.

The primary difference between Fishing and Fly Fishing is the type of gear used. When fishing, anglers use rods and reels with artificial lures or live bait.

Fly Fishing, on the other hand, requires a specialized rod and reel setup with long tapered lines designed to cast flies, which are small artificial lures made of feathers or fur. Additionally, Fly Fishing anglers often use lighter tackle than traditional fishermen.

Location is another key difference between Fishing and Fly Fishing. Traditional fishing can take place in a variety of locations such as lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and even from shorelines.

However, Fly Fishing is typically done in slower moving bodies of water such as creeks or small rivers where the water is shallow enough to easily spot fish. The type of fish you can catch also varies significantly between these two activities.

Fishing usually yields a variety of species such as bass and catfish while Fly Fishing primarily Targets trout species like brown trout or rainbow trout. The techniques used to catch each type of fish also differs significantly. Traditional fishermen will often cast their lines out into deeper waters and wait for bites while Fly Fishers will present their flies in precise locations to entice a strike.


Fishing and Fly Fishing are both enjoyable outdoor activities that can provide great satisfaction when done right. Although they both involve catching fish, there are several differences between them including the type of gear used, location and techniques employed as well as the types of fish that can be caught.

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Emma Gibson