Fly Fishing Vs. Regular Fishing – Everything You Need to Know

Both fly fishing and regular fishing are water sporting activities, whose difference is only evident in the types of tools, baits, and waters used. You are allowed to experiment both, if you want a diverse and fun experience in fishing, or choose the one that most thrills you- don’t forget that different water flows give optimal support to either of the two.

This write up takes you through the vivid differences, not to mention the similarities, that present themselves in the two types of fishing.

Fly Fishing vs. Regular Fishing
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Fly Fishing vs. Regular Fishing: Head-to-Head Analysis


Fly Fishing

Regular Fishing

Bait used

Fly fishing requires small baits to catch fish, otherwise known as flies. These include, among others, flies, nymphs, small fish, frogs, fish eggs, and worms.

The exact type and size of bait are dependent on the fish species. For instance, small fish are used to trap larger fish, while flies are used with catching smaller fish.

Regular fishing, also known as spin fishing, uses larger baits to catch fish.

These include, but are not limited to, larger frogs and birds.

You can use natural baits or simply use artificial lures that resemble real and natural fish food.


This is more fruitful in rivers and streams, which present a water flow. The fishermen target upstream, which is a more comfortable fishing ground.

Shallow waters are best with this method.

Regular fishing is mostly done in still waters, such as in dams, lakes, and fish ponds.

It is efficient in both freshwater and salty water environs, as long as the fishing tools are designed for the specific water condition.

It is suitable for all water depths, even the deepest.

Fish type examples

Fish mostly found in rivers, including trout, catfish, bass, bluegill, and crappie, among others.

Trout, in general, is best caught using the fly fishing method, as contrasted to the conventional fishing method.

·         Fish likely to be found in lakes, ponds, and seashores, including Burbot, bass, bluegills, common carp, muskellunge, perch, shrimp, and mullet, among others.


Fishing rod

The fishing rod is light in weight and flexible enough to move with the water.

The fishing rod you use may vary depending on the fish you want to target.

Heavier and more durable fishing lines are used; hence they can catch fish in a specific location.

Fishing gear varies as much as the targeted fish do, so you can have a variety if you are a versatile fisherman.

Fishing line

Most fishers use leaders and tippets. Tippet is a small gauge that is invisible to the fish, making the bait easier to attract fish.

You can also cast the line to catch fish that are further away from you, hence convenient even when the fish are moving with the water.

Most regular fishers use monofilament.

You can only cast the line closer to where you are positioned, so you have to be accurate with the location of the fish.


More expensive rods, lines, and other equipment. The rod, fly line, reel, and tippet are more costly than the tools needed in regular fishing.

Less expensive equipment and tools. The rod, line, and reel designed for this fishing type are cheaper.

Season of the Year

The most productive fishing season will depend on the fish you are targeting. There are specific fish that are easier to catch during particular seasons.

That being said, the best season for fishing in spring, since the weather is warm but not super-hot as in summer. However, you can fly fish during summer, trying on the cooler parts of the river.

Using proven and specific techniques, people have found fun and success with winter fishing as well.

The best season for regular fishing may be summer and spring since scorching weather will rarely affect deep waters. The fish will hence remain active in spring, summer, and autumn. You can also fish during winter, depending on the type of fish you want to fish. For instance, trout, catfish, and perch, among several others, remain active even during winter.

Challenge and results

Fly fishing is more complicated than regular fishing, and you will have to sweat to get even a single fish. Concentration and focus are key, hence the sport help in developing these skills.

Therefore, fly fishing is more challenging, and the best type of sporting activity.

It not only helps you to relax and connect with nature but also improves your mental health as you focus on a different and more occupying activity.

Since regular fishing is in still water, you are bound to get more fish. You can fish more using this technique as compared to fly fishing, making it the ideal sport when you certainly need the fish.

Training Period

It is more difficult to use this method of fishing, and you will need skill. This means you have to dedicate some good time learning fly fishing.

If you are a fast learner, you will take you a minimum of three dedicated days.

It is easier to use this technique in fishing. However, if you are an amateur, you will still need to commit yourself to learn the skill required.

You can learn the skill within a day.


  • Does Fly Fishing Catch More Fish?

It all depends on the fish type, your expertise in fishing, accuracy, time, and season, among other considerations. For instance, using fly fishing, you can catch more trout than if you used regular spin fishing. On the other hand, you can easily catch a wide variety of fish within less time using consistent fishing.

Nevertheless, speaking in general terms, no, fly fishing does not guarantee more fish in comparison to regular fishing. You are sure of more fish with regular fishing.

  • Which is The Better Bait, Natural or Artificial?

Each bait has its benefits, which is why it still is popular. Natural baits are insects, tadpoles, fish eggs, small fish, earthworms, and grasshoppers that you use to catch fish. The main advantage of these natural baits is that they possess the natural and familiar shape, size and color, and most importantly, an alluring smell to the fish. This gives them an upper hand in comparison to artificial lures. You can get these from the fields, and they are a cheaper option as you don’t have to purchase them.

On the contrary, artificial baits are lures that have been made and designed to resemble the natural baits. The main advantage of these baits is that they can have an added weight to enable them to sink, and have been designed specifically for fishing. They are readily available in fishing equipment and tools store, so you don’t have to strain to get them.

  • Is Fly Fishing Done in Lakes?

Yes, it is. However, fly fishing is more effective in rivers, streams, and any sort of moving water. You just have to fish upstream for better success.

  • Which is the Best Time of The Day to Fish?

Early in the mornings and late in the evening are the best times to fish. This is because the fish are more active during these hours, as the water is cooler as compared to the daytime. This is more so effective during summer.

During the spring season, late mornings and early evening are more fruitful, and in winter, midday will still work, when a little warmth stirs up the fish.

Tips to Consider in Both Fly Fishing and Regular Fishing

  • In fishing, the most crucial skill is accuracy. Casting the rod and getting the exact position of the fish requires high levels of concentration to achieve this.
  • Strength also comes in handy, since you can bet that the fish will struggle to free itself, and you need to be the winner.
  • Your reason for fishing will determine the type of fishing that will suit you best. If you want to gather more fish, then regular fishing is the best choice. On the other hand, if you’re going to go fishing just for a sporting experience, you will get better results with fly fishing.
  • In both, you have to assess the feeding pattern of the fish and where they mostly feed. If under the water, then go for sinking lines.
  • Assess the water you want to fish in, and at least get a rough idea about where you are most likely to get the fish. This will ensure that your fishing exercise is more exciting and fruitful.

Parting Shot

Fishing is among the few sporting activities that allow us to connect with nature. Though taking fly fishing vs. regular fishing portrays a lot of differences, the bottom line is that both methods will give you the satisfaction of a fresh breeze and nature time.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced fisherman, a little guidance goes a long way into ensuring you are more informed.The best method is the one that works best for you, depending on the water body that is closest to you.

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