The Fly Fishing Channel brings you the best fly fishing action from around the world. Whether you’re a beginner looking for advice or a more experienced fly angler looking for inspiration, there’s plenty to enjoy here.
Fly fishing is enjoyed by millions of anglers around the world today in numerous countries and for an ever expanding list of species. The advancements in tackle development have seen anglers pushing the boundaries with what is possible to catch and anglers have travelled to all corners of the globe to find the next big fly fishing adventure.
The sport actually dates back thousands of years, its origins being traced back to the Macedonians in the 2nd Century, but it was in England in the 15th Century that fly fishing really took off. Thereafter followed Isaac Walton’s world famous book, The Compleat Angler which in its 5th edition featured 12 chapters from Charles Cotton entitled “Instructions How to Angle for Trout and Grayling in a Clear Stream”
Since then thousands of books have been written about fly fishing and in more recent times, dedicated magazines published. The video age has brought us dedicated fly fishing TV shows and films and The Fly Fishing Channel is a home to some of the best ones of these.
What’s on the Channel
The Fly Fishing Channel covers a wide variety of programs and films covering all aspects of the sport including adventure films, documentaries, tuition, fly tying and more. Most content is English spoken however there are some excellent programs too in native language which carry English subtitles.
Trout are probably the most widely sought after species with a fly rod. The development and popularisation of the sport took place in England as described in our film Chalk. The Victorian’s love of trout fishing, saw them take trout around the world colonising them into New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Afghanistan and Argentina. Brown trout were also taken to the US to live alongside the native rainbow and cutthroat and brook trout. Trout make the perfect species to target with fly fishing as they live on a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects and small fish which can all be imitated by carefully tied fly patterns. Typically, trout fly patterns can be broken down into 4 distinct groups, dry flies, nymphs, streamers and wet flies.
Trout are voracious and opportunistic feeders but can also be picky and they are incredibly wary of anglers so much be approached with stealth. For these reasons, they represent a fantastic challenge for the fly angler.
The Atlantic and Pacific Salmon are the ultimate freshwater quarry for fly anglers. After being born in the river, both Atlantic and Pacific species migrate to sea and put on significant weight and muscle before returning to the rivers in subsequent years and it is then that anglers target them. The Pacific Salmon covers 5 distinct species, Chinook, Coho, Chum, Sockeye and Pink. Salmon do not feed at all once enterring freshwater, their only instinct to reach the spawning grounds so its still not fully clear why they take an artificial fly at all but its believed to trigger a memory of what they ate in saltwater. Salmon flies commonly therefore represent shrimp or bait fish rather than anything that actually lives in the river.
Fly fishing for salmon often involves the use of large double handed rods which are needed to cover the large rivers that salmon migrate up. This involves a completely different casting style to that of trout rods and the ‘Spey’ cast was developed on the River Spey in Scotland a fantastic river that can be seen in Blue Charm.
The plight of salmon in recent years has been of great concern to anglers and conservationists alike as numbers of returning Atlantic Salmon have dropped significantly in recent years. Films like Salmon Confidential and Atlantic Salmon Lost at Sea highlight some of the many issues involved.
Saltwater fly fishing has exploded in recent years and anglers are still discovering new and exciting species to target on a fly rod. Traditionally, bonefish, tarpon and permit were known as the main saltwater flats species to target. Rods and lines with heavier weights are used to catch these hard fighting flats species with artificial flies imitating shrimp, crabs or small fish.
Fly fishing for offshore species such as sharks and bluefin tuna can also provide some spectacular results and game fish such as marlin or sailfish can also be targeted by fly rods once brought within casting distance of the boat using teasers.
In the southern states of the US, redfish, snook and sea trout are also common species to target with fly rods in lagoons and inshore fisheries whilst in the UK, more and more anglers are taking up saltwater fly fishing and trying for bass and pollack.
In tropical regions, like Alphonse in the Indian Ocean, Giant Trevally have become one of the most sought after fly caught species. Growing to prodigious sizes, aggressive and powerful, they represent one of the ultimate challenges for the saltwater fly angler.
Fly fishing is possibly the most technically difficult discipline in fishing. Learning fly casting generally requires one to one instruction and a lot of practice. For consistent success fly anglers need to be good casters to present their flies accurately and delicately and the ability to cast at distance can be an advantage in some situations. Once the basics have been learned, then watching videos like Casting That Fly can help develop your skills further.
For the trout and grayling angler a good grasp of entomology certainly helps when identifying insect hatches and being able to match the hatch with the right pattern.
Many fly anglers derive a great deal of pleasure from tying their own flies and using these rather than shop bought imitations. There’s just a little more satisfaction deceiving a fish on one of your own creations! Tying your own also enables the fly angler to develop his own patterns or variations of established patterns. Some anglers may be a little intimidated when starting fly tying so video series like Fly Tying Secrets could help you get started. The channel has specific series on salmon, trout, pike and saltwater fly patterns so go hit the bench!