Fly Fishing 101

February 18th 2016

Fly-fishing is a pastime where an artificial fly is attached to a fishing rod and used to bait fish. It is a popular sport that requires a special technique in order to cast a nearly weightless fly to bait the fish and reel them in. This can be done in mountain streams, lakes or even the open sea. One of the most beautiful places to go fly-fishing is in the clear mountain streams that surround the Creekside Lodge in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. You can catch a number of species of fish when fly-fishing, but the most popular fish caught is trout

Choosing the Right Equipment

Regardless of where you decide to fish, choosing the right kind of gear is vital to successful fly-fishing. Flies are the little bits that you attach to the end of your line to bait the fish into biting on the hook. They are designed to imitate the kinds of foods that tempt fish, such as small invertebrate and insects. The three common types of flies are nymphs, dry flies and lures. Each one attracts different kinds of fish and selecting the right one to use is as important as choosing the right kind of fishing rod.

If you are new to fly fishing, choosing the right rod for you can be a daunting task! Fly fishing rods vary in length from 6′ to 15′. Choosing the right rod for you depends on where you wish to use it and how it matches with your line and the size of your fly.

Another thing to consider when picking your rod is the “action”. A fly rod’s action is a description of its flex. Lighter fly rods have slow action and heavier rods are faster.

A slow action rod has nodes the entire length of the rod, which enables it to bend all the way. They are good for small streams where you have to cast the fly with a touch of finesse so as not to spook the fish. Slow action rods are more difficult to cast well if there is a lot of wind in the area.

Medium rods flex are easier to use as they flex along the top third or half of the rod and work well for medium-skilled casters. They give you a better of feel of how it strikes the water as compared to a rod with a fast action.

Fast-action rods have stiff backbones with the flex happening in the top third of the rod. This stiffness puts more strain on the tippet, which means that inexperienced anglers will lose large fish. Fast-action rods are good for casting over long distances and require an experienced caster.

Once you have selected a suitable rod, the next step it to choose the right reel. A fly reel’s function is to balance out the weight of the rod, store the extra line and to provide a smooth run for the fish that you have just caught. It is customized for right-handed or left-handed people and is placed just above the grip of your rod. A good reel has a weight that balances well with that of your rod with enough capacity to hold the right length of for your preferred mode of fishing.

Good reels also come with drag systems that are designed for the types of fish that you are going after. For large fish in open water, you’ll want a powerful disc drag; however, a click check reel will do the job when fishing for small species.

The final part to consider when purchasing your equipment is clothing.

Clothing is an important ingredient that could make the difference between a good fishing day and a miserable one. When selecting clothing, it is best to choose clothes that will help you blend in with your surroundings so you won’t spook the fish. Clothing with insulating layers are best so you can get right out into the water without becoming soaked.


Fly-fishing is a lot more complex than simply tossing the lure into the water. To be good at it, you must learn the basics of fly-fishing. First you must analyze your surroundings in order to understand what bait will work best to catch the fish you’re after. If you are fly fishing for trout, it is good to know that trout get spooked easily and are unlikely to be tempted into feeding if you are within sight. Trout typically like to feed in locations where they have access to good food and have protection from predators (that’s you) at the same time.


Casting is the process of getting your bait into the ideal location to snag some fish. What is important to remember is it is almost impossible to throw the fly itself very far. Before you step out into the water you’ll want to practice your casting and remember these five principles:

  1. When you start to load the rod remove all slack from the line.
  2. As you come to towards the end of your cast accelerate and then come to a complete stop.
  3. Keep your throwing hand in a straight line. Do not let it go in an arch.
  4. If you are casting a long line, ensure that your cast has a longer stroke. Imagine a clock face and if the line is short, aim your back cast to 11 o’clock and your front cast to 1 o’clock. For longer lines think 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock.
  5. When you reach the end of your back cast, pause before casting forward. This gives the line time to straighten out. The longer your line, the longer you’ll need to pause.

Tips for Fly-Fishing

Handy ideas for fishing in streams are:

  • • Fish the areas in between fast and slow moving water as this where trout like to rest.
  • • Learn to use nymphs because the main components of a trout’s diet lie immediately below the water’s surface.
  • • Don’t let the line of the lure land right above the fish because this can spook them. Your goal is to draw the fish out of their comfort zone.

Tips when fishing in lakes:

  • • Stay near the bank. This is where most of the fish food is located. Stick to locations with lush vegetation.
  • • Choose areas where a stream flows into the lake. These provide good sources of oxygen, protection and food.

Have Fun

Learning to fly fish may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but with practice, you will be amazed at how much better you’ll become! Fly-fishing can be a truly relaxing and enjoyable experience, especially when done in a beautiful, mountain setting such as the clear, rushing streams close to <<>>in Maggie Valley, NC.

Don’t delay! Call Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge at (800) 621-1260 to book your fly-fishing getaway today!


  • We went with a large group to the Maggie Valley Creekside Lodge and they were incredibly helpful and hospitable. The accommodations were great. The large foyer area was wonderful for the group and the staff was incredible. They made us welcome in so many ways. The rates were incredibly reasonable and the room had all the necessary amenities.

    Chip T.

  • We loved our visit here! We just got home last night and we all wish we were still there! The staff is extremely helpful and the rooms are nice and clean. We spent a lot of time by the stunning creek cooking dinner on the grill and roasting s'mores over the fire pit. It is centrally located to many attractions. We went on many day trips and didn't spend all day in the car getting there. It's also within walking distance of restaurants and shops, but you may find yourself eating by the rushing creek instead!

    Amie M.

  • Really enjoyable place to stay. Room had a balcony overlooking the creek. Spacious room with comfortable bed. Staff was very nice and friendly. Took only 35-40 minutes to reach the Valley at Cataloochee where the elk were in rut. Awesome stay and can't wait to go back.


  • Clean, friendly, quiet, relaxing. Heartfelt thanks to Carol and her entire staff for making our group feel at home again this year. They went out of their way to make sure we had what we needed to make our event a success. We will be back again!

    Ricky Y.

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