Fly Fishing Terms

Fly Rod

A fly rod is not the same as a fishing pole. Fly rods are specially designed to cast a fly line and are commonly between 7 and 9 feet long. Also known as “rod,” as in, “don’t break your rod!”

Fly Line

Fly lines have a plastic coating over a special core. They are designed with weight unevenly distributed to make it easier to cast.

Fly Reel

A special fishing reel with fairly simple mechanics designed to hold large diameter fly line.


There are several different types of casting, not just the fancy A River Runs Through It kind. Casting is the motion you make when you throw your line and fly on the water (very precisely!) to catch big fish.

Mending Line

Mending your line is very important after you have casted. You’re constantly mending, or correcting, the way your line and fly are floating in the water. Trout are very sensitive to unnatural movement.

Strip, Stripping Your Line

Retrieving your line by pulling it through your fingers instead of winding it directly onto the reel. Don’t start undressing if you hear someone on the river yell, “Strip! Strip!”

Rise, Fish Rising

Fish rising to the surface to eat. This is exciting to witness as you know the fish are active and hungry. Also known as risers.


Hooray! This is when a fish tries to eat your fly!

Set The Hook

Once the fish strikes your fly, you must pull the line quickly so the hook sets into the fish’s mouth. It’s a delicate balance. You don’t want to set the hook too softly or slowly because the fish will get away, but you don’t want to set too hard or fast because you might rip the hook out of the fish’s mouth.

Tight Lines! Fish On!

Celebratory exclamations after you have hooked a fish.

Break Off

When a fish escapes by getting off the hook or breaking off the line and taking your hook with it. This is heartbreaking.

Landing A Fish

Successfully reeling in your fish. Depending on your personal philosophy (and state regulations), you can either keep or release your fish. But not until after you have taken a picture with it.


When you see or feel fish nibble at your fly, but you don’t successfully set the hook. The number of bites you recount are always exaggerated at the end of the day.

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By |2020-10-26T16:43:02+00:00April 12th, 2017|

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