How Hard Is Fly Fishing?

Fishing is an exciting and fun hobby, but there’s no fishing technique like fly fishing. Although fly fishing can be rewarding, it can also seem overwhelming, especially to beginner anglers.

So, how hard is fly fishing? Fly fishing isn’t as hard as it looks. Of course, learning fly fishing is hard when you first start out, but like any other skill, fly fishing gets easier the more you practice how to cast. Fly fishing equipment, lures, and casting techniques differ from gear and methods used in regular fishing.  

If you’re interested in fly fishing, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to learn more about fly fishing and basic fly-fishing gear. 

Can Beginners Fly Fish?

Fly fishing is suitable for beginners and experienced anglers alike. Learning the basics of fly fishing can bring a lot of fun and excitement to beginner anglers.

Although hard, fly fishing isn’t too tricky for a beginner to master with some practice and time. Once you learn fly-fishing basics and purchase the proper fly-fishing gear, you can look forward to having productive fly-fishing trips.

How to Learn Fly Fishing

The goal of fly fishing is to catch a fish using an artificial fly lure. When learning about fly fishing, start by understanding the basic fly-fishing gear. 

To learn how to fly fish, you’ll need a weighted fly line, rod, reel, and some artificial flies. Artificial flies are made with fly-tying techniques using thread, wire, beads, yarn, hair, and feathers to create artificial insects and bait fish. 

Fly fishing uses fishing techniques that are more challenging to master than other types of fishing. An important thing to remember when learning fly fishing is that it involves casting a lightweight lure instead of a heavier lure or live bait. 

Because everyone learns differently, there are many ways you can learn how to fly fish. Some of the most effective ways of learning fly fishing include casting instructors, fishing clubs, guides, fly shops, and online courses and videos.

Basic Fly-Fishing Gear

Basic Fly-Fishing Gear

To start learning to fly fish, you’ll need some basic gear. There is a lot of fun fishing equipment to choose from, but as a beginner, you don’t need to spend much money on fancy fishing gear. 

To start, it’s best to stick to bare necessities, including a fly rod, fly reel, flies, and fly fishing line, which consists of backing, a leader, and a tippet.

Fly Rod and Reel

A fly rod and fly reel are the most important pieces of fly-fishing gear. 

Fly rods come in different weights and lengths. The type of fly rod you choose will depend on the kind of fishing you want to do.

For the majority of fly fishing, the reel is simply a line holder. When choosing a fly reel, make sure to match it to the rod for it to work correctly. 

Fly Line, Fly Backing, Tippet, and Leader 

In a conventional fishing setup, only one line goes from the rod to the hook. In fly fishing, things are a bit different because there is no weight on the end of the line.

Unlike the conventional fishing line, the fly line is heavy and bright-colored and provides weight when fly fishing. Fly backing is thick, brightly colored, and mostly used to provide extra length for catching larger fish.

The leader is used to transition from a thick, brightly colored fly line to a thin tippet. The leader is usually 9 to 10 feet long and keeps the main line invisible to fish.

The tippet is used to attach the fly to the leader. Using a tippet allows fly anglers to present the fly without any line being visible to the fish.


Artificial flies are used in fly fishing instead of lures and baits. There are three main types of flies:

  • Dry flies: Designed to look like real insects that land or float on the water, dry flies are the most common type of fly-fishing lures
  • Nymphs: Look like larvae and float at or just below the water’s surface
  • Streamers: Designed to mimic aquatic life, streamers are larger than nymphs and are also referred to as lures

Basic Fly-Fishing Knots

To fly fish successfully, anglers must learn how to tie multiple lines together using various types of fly-fishing knots. 

Use the following basic fly-fishing knots when tying together the multiple lines necessary for fly fishing.

Clinch Knot

Single or double clinch knots are excellent for tying the fly to the tippet. Use a single clinch knot for smaller flies and a double clinch knot for larger flies.

Blood Knot and Surgeon’s Knot

The blood knot and the surgeon’s knot are suitable for tying a leader to the fly line and tippet to the leader. Although many anglers prefer tying a blood knot, the surgeon’s knot is easier to learn.

Is Fly Fishing More Fun than Regular Fishing?

As opposed to regular fishing, fly fishing allows anglers to more accurately present the bait to hungry fish. This means fly fishing almost always outperforms regular fishing, making it fun and interesting to most anglers. 

Little can compare with the feeling anglers get when catching a fish, but that doesn’t make fly fishing an enjoyable activity for all anglers. Whether fly fishing is more fun than regular fishing is entirely individual. 


Although it seems overwhelming and difficult at first, fly fishing isn’t impossible to learn. Beginner anglers may experience some challenges while learning how to fly fish, but they’ll master the overhead casting technique with some patience and practice.

Before you start learning fly fishing, you’ll need some basic fly-fishing equipment. Although there’s no need to spend a fortune on fly-fishing gear, steer clear of cheaply made and flimsy equipment that might break the first time you test it on the water.