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Fly fishing is a very unique type of angling using an artificial fly, a fly rod, reel and weighted line. Casting the line requires technique and finesse that avid fishers spend a lifetime perfecting, and dedicated fly fishers even make their own flies.

However, unlike everyday fishing, fly anglers do not cast a line and wait to be surprised at what type of fish nibbles on the other end. Often fly fishing is done in the attempt to catch a specific type of fish. Fishing in a specific region and forming your fly to resemble the natural diet of a specific fish are both ways to guarantee catching your favored species.

Check out some of these fun facts on the top three species of fly fishing!

1. Trout
Closely related to the salmon, most trout live in freshwater lakes and rivers. Trout come in a variety of different subspecies, most notably rainbow, brown, flathead, marble and steelhead. They differ greatly in color and pattern based on their surroundings and habitat. While they prefer clear water, the rainbow trout can live in saltwater. Saltwater trout have silvery skin, while freshwater fish have more pronounced markings and vivid colors to camouflage themselves. They have a third small fin on the back near their tail and eat a variety of other fish, invertebrates and flies, including mayflies and dragonflies. Trout are an important source of food to brown bears, eagles and of course, fly fishers!

2. Bass
Bass is a broad term for both freshwater and saltwater species and common subspecies include black, smallmouth and largemouth. A popular gamefish in North America, bass eat smaller fish, frogs, crayfish and insects. For those not familiar with the particulars of identifying bass, a largemouth bass’ closed mouth extends back beyond the back of the eye while a smallmouth bass’ mouth ends in the middle of the eye. The average largemouth bass weighs between five and seven pounds, but they have been caught weighing upward of 20 pounds.

3. Salmon
Salmon are in the same family as trout, char and whitefish. Native to the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, salmon are born in freshwater and migrate to the ocean. Popular subspecies include Atlantic, pink, sockeye and Masu. Salmon feed on insects, invertebrates, plankton, other fish, squid, eel and shrimp. Chinook salmon are the largest subspecies and on average reach about three feet long and approximately 30 pounds!

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