The History of Fly Fishing | Fly Fishing Colorado
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The History of Fly Fishing 

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What is fly fishing? Today people catch fish using artificial flies which they cast out on a fly line or a fly rod. Using this method makes the fly line heavy enough to send the fly to the target. Flies are made to either sink or float depending on your personal preference. It is all the same principle no matter what type of fly you use, and that is to lure the fish in so you have food. Nowadays, flies are made of artificial materials. Originally flies were made with natural materials. The whole purpose is for the flies to look like local terrestrial and aquatic insects to catch more fish. There have been many different methods used all around the world throughout the ages of fly fishing. Here is a brief history of how the sport has been developing over the years.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay


Some people believe the first recorded use of fly fishing with an artificial fly would go to Roman Claudius Aelianus near the end of the second century. Back then, they would fasten red wool around a hook and fit it on the wool two feathers. Their rod was six feet long, the same as the length of their line. Then they would throw the snare, and hopefully, the fish were attracted by the color and then be caught by the hook.


Tenkara is the traditional Japanese method of fly fishing. Tenkara is a fly fishing method that uses a rod, line, and fly with no reel involved. It is said to have originated in the mountains of Japan as an easier way for the local fishermen to harvest fish. It is a highly efficient fishing method for small stream fishing.


Avu is another style of fishing in Japan. Avu fly fishing became very popular with the Japanese peasants from the twelfth century and on. Interestingly enough, there is not a casting technique with Avu fly fishing. The flies they use were developed 430 years ago. They also use bamboo to make long fishing rods, which are extremely light and maneuverable.


It has been said that anglers in the US were the first to use artificial lures for bass fishing. With it being so effective, the method was then used for trout and salmon. After that, specific bass flies were created, which are still used today. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, American anglers began to use fly fishing to tackle trout-rich streams, which just developed the sport even more. Fly fishing peaked in the 1920s, mostly in the eastern states. After that, the popularity of the sport took off even more with the development of inexpensive fiberglass rods and synthetic fly lines. The sport has just kept increasing in popularity since then.

Now that you are more up to date with the history of fly fishing it is your turn to get on out there and explore what the fly fishing world has to offer! If you are a first-timer and are in the Rocky Mountains, give Fly Fishing Colorado a call for guided Fly Fishing tours! Before you know it you will be an angler, casting like a pro!


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