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A Beginner's Guide to Fly Fishing | Duluth Pack

A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing

 Fly fishing is a great way to experience the outdoor activity of fishing from a whole new perspective, as well as connecting with nature on a deeper level. Fly fishing is different from traditional fishing in many ways, but one of the biggest is the way the bait is utilized. In traditional fishing, the lure and bait are heavy and sink underneath the water to attract the fish. In fly fishing, the bait is lighter and built to look like insects that hang out on the surface of the water, hence the name "fly" fishing.

The first thing you should know is what the difference is between fly fishing and spin fishing. Spin fishing is the more popular of the two techniques and involves casting a rod with a lure often with some sort of bait (worms, leeches, minnows, etc.). You can spin fish from boats, docks, land, and more. It's a very versatile type of fishing that makes it more common, but there is one area where it falls short and where fly fishing excels: rushing water. 

Fly fishing is ideal for fishing in any form of a river system. Since the lure sits on the surface, it is less likely to snag among rocks and appeals more to the fish who are active in moving water. In Minnesota, fly fishing is great for catching trout, bass, sunfish, and even an occasional pike with the proper fly. The line for fly fishing is thicker and heavier than that of a spinning reel and is coated in a thin plastic film that allows the line to float. While the spool of line is larger than that of a spinning reel, it is mainly used to store extra line rather than to be used for casting. If you're fly fishing in calmer waters, try casting towards the weeds.

One of the most difficult yet most rewarding parts of fly fishing is casting. For those just starting out, this can be one of the more difficult tasks. You want to start by pulling about three rod-lengths of line out of the reel and hold it in your hand. Be sure that there are no tangles in the line. Swiftly and steadily bring your rod back until it is positioned above and slightly behind your head. Watch the end of your line until it has completely unfurled behind you. Right before the line has unfurled completely, flick the line forward again. This is the back and forward cast and is one of the more beginner-friendly casts. We recommend that beginners practice mastering these movements and placement by casting into a bucket in a driveway, yard, or spacious area outdoors.

Having the proper equipment is important for picking up any new hobby and activity and fly fishing is definitely no exception. Waders are a good idea for any fly fisherman or woman, you'll have your best results if you are out in the water yourself. As for a rod, you'll need one specifically for fly fishing. A spin rod and a fly rod have a variety of differences. You won't be able to cast a fly lure with a spin rod, the fly won't get any momentum.

Duluth Pack also has our fair share of basic fly-fishing equipment. Every fisherman needs a tackle box. The fishermen and fisherwomen at Duluth Pack have spent decades on lakes and rivers and have gone through countless cheap, plastic tackle boxes that need to be replaced each year. We’ve developed a soft-sided tackle box that is built to withstand years of wear and water while offering you plenty of space to stay organized out on the water. A top-selling fly fishing pack that has become wildly popular in the last five years is the Made in America Duluth Pack Sling Pack

For those looking for the simpler yet extremely convenient fly-fishing accessories, check out our bi-fold and tri-fold fly wallets. These are the perfect places to store your different flies for a quick change of bait for different fish and conditions. These Made in the USA fly wallets feature soft Sherpa lining perfect for storing flies for quick access without tangling or damaging them. Our rugged 15-ounce canvas with a Velcro closure for added security makes sure that your lures and wallet are there to last.

Fishing has been a Minnesota passion for hundreds of years. Duluth Pack recognizes this and wants to do everything we can to help inform and supply our local fishermen and women with the goods and knowledge they need to be successful on the water. It’s still summer so grab your gear and go catch the big one!


Happy fishing, friends!