River Fly Fishing A brief look at Flies and Cords


12 min read

Welcome to our guide on river fly fishing – a brief look at flies and cords. Fly fishing is a popular and rewarding angling method that involves using a lightweight rod and reel to cast a small, artificial fly to mimic the appearance and movement of insects and other small prey.

In this guide, we will be exploring the various types of flies and cords used in river fly fishing, and how to choose the right ones for different situations and species. Whether you are new to fly fishing or an experienced angler, we hope that this guide will provide you with valuable information and inspiration to help you have a successful and enjoyable fly fishing outing.

Let's get started and learn about flies and cords in river fly fishing – the essential tools and techniques you need to know!

River Fly Fishing Gear

Have you decided to start fishing with a fly rod and a line? That's great! But before you rush to the store and buy all sorts of existing and non-existent artificial flies, you need to take some time to explore. Take a brief look at the insects that inhabit the pond, where you can make your first trip with the new equipment. The larvae and flies found there will be of great help to you later in the store and accordingly your choice will be the right one.

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[caption id="attachment_1599" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Fly Fishing Accessories Complete Gear Combo Fly Fishing Accessories Complete Gear Combo[/caption]

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Many people believe that a good fly fisherman is known for his elegant style of casting and the beauty of the performance. But do you really know what he can be known for - the modest choice of flies he carries with him?

For some, this may seem strange at first glance. The experienced fisherman with the fly and the line always knows exactly which insects are found at the moment of his chosen pond and does not bother to drag his entire collection of feathered creatures, finding out later that only a small part of it will work for him.

FlyFishing Cord

River Fly Fishing cord, also known as a tippet, is a thin, transparent line that is used to connect the fly to the leader in fly fishing. It is usually made of nylon or fluorocarbon and comes in a variety of sizes and lengths to suit different fishing situations and species.

The size of the cord is expressed in terms of its diameter, which is measured in thousandths of an inch.

For example, a 4X cord has a diameter of 0.004 inches, while a 6X cord has a diameter of 0.006 inches. The larger the number, the thinner and more delicate the cord is.

Cord size is an important factor to consider when River Fly Fishing, as it affects the way the fly presents in the water and the strength of the connection between the fly and the leader.

[caption id="attachment_3059" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Fly Fishing Cord Line Fly Fishing Cord Line[/caption]

The thicker cord is more visible and can be more durable, but it may also be more noticeable to the fish and cause the fly to behave differently in the water. The thinner cord is less visible and more sensitive, but it may also be more prone to breaking.

When choosing a cord for fly fishing, consider the type of fish you are targeting, the size and type of River Fly Fishing fly you are using, and the conditions of the water. A general rule of thumb is to use the thinnest cord that is suitable for the conditions and species you are targeting, as this will minimize the chances of spooking the fish and allow for a more natural presentation of the fly.

Do not be fooled by colleagues who demonstrate during the trip their enviable collection of all sorts of imitations, even if you do not know exactly what they are recreating.

River Fly Fishing Overview

First of all, it is good to know which insects currently inhabit the pond on which you will take your trip. This applies not only to the nymphs flying around you in the air but also to those nymphs living below the water's surface. Get serious about fishing before you get your equipment.

How will our intelligence be most complete and how can we determine which insect or nymph corresponds to which of the finished imitations?

Of course, it is impossible to know the Latin names of all 280 species of dragonflies found in our reservoirs, the 100 species of mermaids, and diurnals. Therefore: which insects should we really know? Before heading to the fishing tackle shop, it's a good idea to stock up on a small cap (a great job for catching aquarium fish) to catch creatures underwater and a larger one for those flying around. In addition, we need a few transparent small boxes in which we will place our catch.

[caption id="attachment_3445" align="alignleft" width="1024"]River Fly Fishing River Fly Fishing[/caption]

These from the camera tape are very suitable, as they are almost completely light-transmitting and also close very tightly and are quite easy to obtain. What are our actions on the pond after we have already provided everything we need?

If it is slow, dip a small pin and slowly move it against it, not far from the shore. In running water we drop the cap to the bottom and drag it along a little longer, always passing a few larger stones, which if possible should be turned (of course by hand). This operation is very fascinating and interesting, bringing knowledge of whole life. With the help of our pin, we collect the larvae and nymphs inhabiting the pond and place them in small transparent boxes. When removing algae, aquatic plants, and sticks, we must not miss the remaining among them seemingly unnoticed aquatic creatures.

You will be very surprised in the end by the collected collection. Part of it is larvae of insects flying in the air - they are called nymphs and at first, a glance is almost identical, but on closer inspection, the differences are found between them.

There is a different larva inhabiting a small tube made of it small stones, sand, and sticks. This is the larva of the dragonflies. Take a closer look at this larva, sorry: nymph and more precisely in her house. The nymph itself is colored creamy white and has a dark head, resembling a large mealworm. There are those who do not build their own houses but occupy those of nymphs of the other species, spending their lives in a robbery.

If you meet both species in the cap, you should know that they inhabit your pond together. In the larger one will fall creatures whose folded wings resemble a small roof - this is the insect itself, hatched from the larva living in a tube.

River Fly Fishing: Caddisfly

As a good fly and line fisherman, you should know the nymphs you discovered, as well as the insects that hatch from them with their international names. Some have more - others only one. caddisfly is classified as SEDJ or Cadiz, so it is called in England or more precisely in the United States. Why is all this necessary - well, very simple.

[caption id="attachment_1594" align="aligncenter" width="300"] River Fly Fishing: Caddisfly[/caption]

When we come across this name on television, in a book, or in a store, we will not know what it is about. Especially this insect is a universal bait and at the same time very successful. Trying it in practice you will understand how much the fish prefers and attacks it. Usually, the artificial imitations have brown wings in the form of a canopy and are made on hooks number 10 - number 14.

River Fly Fishing: Walking on the bottom

If we decide to catch the pond with a sinking end of the line (ie aiming under the water surface) we will have to work with nymphs. They are two main types.

The first imitates larvae living on the bottom and, accordingly, the imitations resembling them have a relatively light body to a creamy and dark head. Especially the free-living larva of the roe deer is made of dark and light deer fur. There are also imitations with the imagination and a house, but fishing with their help is much more difficult, as it is necessary to immediately detect the fish, spitting quickly, feeling the deception. Suitable nymphs: Cadiz larva, hook size number 10 - number 14.

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[caption id="attachment_1595" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Fly Fishing Flies Kit Fly Fly Fishing Flies Kit Fly[/caption]

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The second type of nymphs we need mimics the group of dragonflies, but the transition between larvae and the flying insect. These creatures are very strong and fast swimmers, and of course, our fishing techniques should be similar. We let the fly fall to the bottom and with technical short movements, it pulls towards us.

At the end of the movements after the throw, we can abruptly pull it out of the water. The pecking while guiding the bait is quite rough. We can keep the bait in one place, leaving its dance only in the water current. Suitable nymph: Cadiz PUPA, or the so-called golden-headed nymph, made on hook number 12 - number 14.

River Fly Fishing: Dragonflies and Mermaids

Other widely used nymphs are dragonflies and mermaids. They become quite large in size. This, for example, of the largest mermaid reaches three, and that of the dragonfly up to more than 5 centimeters. Whether we have decided to buy one or the other type, we can easily distinguish them from the general form of other artificial flies. The dragonfly larva has a distinct tail made of three feathers. The mermaid's one always has two thin strands.

Hatched insects are even easier to identify. The colorful dragonfly is hardly unknown to anyone and can not be mistaken for anything.

The hatched mermaid can only be mistaken for the hatched roe deer. Its wings are almost transparent and covered on top of each other, while those of the dragonflies are rather dense (of most species) and are always in the form of a roof. What they have in common is that they are both very good lures.

Let's move on to fishing. If we have decided to fish with a dry fly, we must forget the dragonfly. Because it flies very well and rarely falls on the water's surface. Things are very different with mermaids. They fly without much pleasure, and relatively rarely. Most often they stand on the branches of trees and bushes overhanging the water, from where they easily fall on the water's surface.

Fishing with this bait is similar. It is tossed near the coastal vegetation, imitating its fall in the most natural way. Two or three times it is pulled and thrown again. When biting, we should not rush to detect, but wait for the moment when we are sure that the bait has got inside the mouth of the fish. nymphs we have to roll up our sleeves because we have a lot of "work" ahead of us. The fat larvae of the dragonfly are well known to fish and they have a special relationship with them. Their actions with them are almost analogous.

[caption id="attachment_1598" align="aligncenter" width="300"]River Fly Fishing: Mermaids River Fly Fishing: Mermaids[/caption]

The difference is that the nymph of the mermaid is released almost to the bottom, and that of the dragonfly in the middle water layer and with short movements is pulled. Most mermaid larvae are very good swimmers. Suitable nymphs: a horse larva is imitated with DAMZEL FLY, most have a long, distinct tail, and they can also be made of marabou feathers. The size of the hook is from number 6 to number 10. Its color is from brown to green depending on the species. The larva of the mermaid: STONEFLY NYMPH - brown, made on hook number 4 - number 8.

River Fly Fishing: Mayfly

[caption id="attachment_1565" align="aligncenter" width="243"]River Fly Fishing: Mayfly River Fly Fishing: Mayfly[/caption]

Probably in your cap are small, thin nymphs, which have three distinct huts at the end of their body. So one-dayers can be found on our pond. If similar ones are caught, but with larger sizes - these are the nymphs of the May one-day. The hatched one-dayers can also be very easily recognized. They have a pair of wings protruding above their body almost close to each other. At the end of their tail, they have two to three long, distinct growths.

With a good pass, it splashes slightly on the water's surface and stands on top like a small sailboat carried by the wind.

And by this, the insect can be recognized. It is quite difficult and not necessary to recognize by the nymph which type of daylily it is. They are very similar to each other. This is a great advantage for us, as the trout hardly finds any difference.

If like most colleagues, you have a preference for the nymph with a pheasant tail, its use can almost always be successful. If you have not noticed hatched daylilies in your pond, you can use a model with a gray body. He catches almost always. Especially the May Day should be imitated very accurately, as it is typical at certain times. Its color should be analogous to the original.

Let's move on to fishing. The nymphs descend to the bottom without any movement. Towards the end of the course and downstream, the cord can be slightly stopped and held in place. Suitable nymph: PHEASANT TAIL, made on hook number 12 to number 18, depending on the species. on the water surface without pulling. A suitable dry fly is ADAMS or yellow-green model, made on hook number 12 - number 16.

Original or Fake Lures

As you can see, it takes a short time to get an overview of flies. Only the true imitation of the right insect or larva after proper handling can bring us a good result. Look carefully at the creation of Mother Nature to choose the right copy. Good luck on the tour with the cap of the chosen pond!


In conclusion, flies and cords are an essential part of river fly fishing, and choosing the right ones can make a big difference in your success and enjoyment on the water.

We hope that this guide on river fly fishing – a brief look at flies and cords – has provided you with valuable information and inspiration to help you catch fish on the fly.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you have a great time river fly fishing!