Introduction to Fly Fishing by Tony Scott
your Fly Line
me begin by explaining the difference in profiles of fly
will see 3 main descriptions: Weight Forward, Double Taper,
and Shooting Head.
fly lines are 27 – 30 metres long. The line has an
inbuilt taper, or shape if you like. The different tapers
are designed to give the angler different presentations
of the fly upon the water or in the case of the shooting
head, distance. The illustrations below are exaggerated
to give the reader a better idea of the various profiles.
The Weight Forward Tapered Fly Line.
the name suggests and as can be seen by the illustration
above, the first 30 feet or so of the line is carrying the
bulk of the weight. It is the weight of the flyline that
loads the rod in a cast, very much like a coarse angler
uses a lead weight to load his rod. A weight forward line
will load your rod more easily with a shorter length extended
than any other type of line. This makes it ideal for the
beginner. As an instructor I always recommend students buy
a weight forward line as their first one.
The Double Taper Flyline
double taper as can be seen has the bulk of the weight in
the centre of the flyline. Whilst giving a more delicate
presentation of the line and the fly, more line needs to
be extended to cast greater distances. Although if you have
more than the first 30 feet out on the water, it can be
easier to “lift off” and recast than it would
be with a weight forward line extended past the 30 feet
mark. The reason for this is that you are asking the rod
to lift more line off the water than it can comfortably
handle with the weight forward line. An interesting point:
The weight of the first 30 feet of a weight forward line
and a double taper line is identical.
The Shooting Head.
a type of line for distance casting and therefore not really
suitable for complete beginners as they can become a little
unruly when in the hands of a novice. Best used on large
waters where distance is required to reach fish. The head
of the line is short and carries nearly all of the weight
of the line, the running line being a lot thinner and lighter
move onto how the line behaves once you have cast it onto
the water. Once again there are 3 main types of fly line.
Floating, Intermediate and Sinking.
Floating Fly Line, as the name suggests floats
very high on the water. This is always my suggested fly
line for beginners. As it floats is it easier to see any
faults that you may develop during casting. Normally you
would use the floating line with a leader of up to 14 feet
to present your dry fly upon the water. Equally you can
fish the nymph, buzzer, emerger or lure. If the water you
are fishing is not deep, a floating line is ideal. Easier
to cast and easier to see.
Intermediate Fly Line is in effect a fly line that
sinks very slowly through the water. This can have the advantage
of covering a lot of water, depthwise, if you are fishing
deeper waters. In fast moving rivers the intermediate line
can help keep you keep your line below surface currents
thereby allowing presentation of the fly for a longer time
than a floating line.
Sinking Fly Line. These are available in differing
sink rates. Anywhere from slow sink to the famous Airflo
DI range. The Di7 will sink like a stone enabling you to
reach deeper waters quickly in lakes and reservoirs where
the fish may be feeding close to the bottom at the time.
a general rule, you will use a floating line for dry flies,
buzzers, emergers, nymphs and lures. An intermediate line
is used to fish buzzers, emergers, nymphs and lures, with
sinking lines also used to fish buzzers, emergers, nymphs