Fly fishing around the world is a very popular sport. With a history dating back nearly 2,000 years it should not be surprising that many of the world’s cultures have adopted various styles of fly fishing for their sport fishing activities.
Let’s dive right in.
The Evolution of Fly Fishing Around the World
Fly fishing is a sport where the basics can be learned in a few hours with a guide but where the advanced techniques of the masters will take years of dedicated effort. This combination of factors helps to keep people interested in fly fishing around the world for many years.
Fly fishing is also diverse enough that it works well for quite a variety of fishing conditions.
A Flexible Sport
Fly fishing around the world will serve you well whether casting a fly into a small, mountain trout stream in North America and Europe or whether casting for bonefish in the Caribbean.
The sports flexibility has served to make it a popular sport option around the world.
The earliest records of fishing with artificial flies record that Macedonian fishermen used six-foot rods with six-foot lines to fish. These fly fishermen crafted artificial flies using a hook decorated with red wool and insect wings.
A Growing Interest in Fly Fishing Around the World
Interest in fly fishing increased in England and Scotland throughout the years though little was written until 1496 with the publication of “A Treatyse on Fysshynge wyth an Angle” by Dame Juliana Berners.
The 1653 publication of “The Compleat Angler” by Izaak Walton contained several chapters on fly fishing.
The publication of these books, along with the information they contain, demonstrates that fly fishing around the world was an established fishing sport by the time of their publication.
The development of fly fishing clubs throughout England in the 1800s served to further develop and popularize the sport.
The chalk streams of Southern England were well suited to dry-fly fishing with their shallow waterways and weeds that grew in the water to just below the surface. Northern England and Scotland also saw the development of wet-fly fishing around the same time.
However, anglers in Southern England strongly favored dry-fly fishing and tended to look down on wet-fly fishing as an inferior perversion of their sport.
Fly fishing around the world continues and in England the same chalk streams can still be fished today though most access is through privately owned and managed land.
Coming to America
American anglers in the Catskill Mountains area of New York began experimenting with dry-fly design in the late 1800s. These anglers began designing artificial flies to mimic the native insects that the trout naturally fed on.
Like Izaac Walton, some of these anglers wrote about their adventures. These publications served to further interest in the sport of fly fishing around the world. The American fly fishers were also more open than their English counterparts to experimenting with wet-fly fishing.
Fly Fishing around the World has Continued
The interest in fly fishing around the world has continued and grown considerably in the United States and in Canada.
The development of fiberglass manufactured fly rods following World War II, along with synthetic line and leaders, made the sport more affordable for many anglers.
Inland fishing is frequently done with dry flies on streams and rivers. Coastal fishing often involves wet-fly fishing in bays or surf. Fly fishing has also been adapted by bass anglers.
Expanding to the Caribbean
Many Caribbean and southern-hemisphere locations are popular saltwater fly fishing destinations. Fly fishers travel great distances to fish for bonefish and tarpon. Other southern-hemisphere locations like Belize offer both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing.
Fly fishing around the world is a growing sport. There has probably never been a better time to start fly fishing than today. The basic equipment to start fly fishing is more affordable than ever and the worldwide opportunities for fly fishing are just about limitless.
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