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The difference between fly fishing and bait fishing explained

  • Feb 1, 2016

Anyone just getting into fishing may be confused by the differences that separate fly fishing from bait fishing, but any seasoned fisherman likely has a strong opinion on the matter.

For fly fishing enthusiasts, it is a cerebral art, and a combination of delicate preparation and keen instincts. As for bait fisherman, there is just as much skill involved, but with the opportunity to sit back and relax. Neither is necessarily superior, but there are important distinctions between the two.

Understanding the difference between the styles can be important for anyone interested in getting started, especially for planning a trip. Each type uses different equipment and techniques to land a catch. Here's what you need to know.

Bait fishing
As The Catch and The Hatch reported, bait fisherman use different equipment, strategies and locations to reel in a catch than fly fishing, and when most folks envision a fishing trip, they imaging casting a line and patiently waiting for a catch. Indeed, bait fishing can be less of a proactive sport that fly fishing.

Bait fishing derives its name from the worms or other goody that can be used to entice a potential catch. Shrimp, leeches and small fish can also be used, depending on the location, time of year and what type of fish are available to catch.

Lures are also popular for bait fisherman. Plastic or rubber attachments are used to entice fish and mimic real prey. Seasoned fishermen may have dozens of different lures depending on the location and season, and no doubt most will have a specific preference and inkling as to the best use of a lure. For anyone fishing in dark or murky water, a shiny lure can be helpful for catching the attention of a big bass sitting on the bottom.

Spin rods are used to bait fish, which typically use a monofilament line, according to The Catch and The Hatch. While picking the right time and location can be important, patience is key for bait fishing. Casting a line and carefully monitoring any bites is important. It can be fun to try different lures and locations, but above all else, a keen eye and calm composure is necessary for making bait fishing successful.

Fly fishing
Unlike the gentle relaxation of a bait fishing trip, fly fishing is a full workout and can take a lifetime to master. The Los Angeles Times reported that fly fisherman take great pride in the different strategies and delicate ties that can be used.

Fly fishing derives it's name because the strategy is to imitate flies and other insects like nymphs and emerges landing on water. Fishermen make elaborate and sometimes incredibly precise knots comprised of fur or thread that mimic specific bugs, depending on the location and time of year.

Unlike bait fishing, fly fishing involves repeatedly casting a line up stream. The fisherman's fly lands on the water, where fish usually wait to catch unsuspecting insects. A sitting line without bait or a lure does little to entice any fish, so fly fisherman must be constantly casting a line. Because fly fishing is such an active pursuit, rods are longer and lighter than the spin rods used for bait fishing.

The LA Times reported that in some cases, fly fishing enthusiasts and bait fisherman can be something of rivals. Likewise, a seasoned fisherman often has favorite techniques and locations to share. For anyone traveling into the deep woods for a long fishing trip, your Pro Trek triple sensor watch comes loaded with helpful tools for making the most out of the excursion. 

When you're headed toward trout you need a watch as essential as bait. The ProTrek PRG-270B-3 is tough, solar powered, 100M water resistant, and packed with daily sunrise and sunset data to track the time.