“Why Fly Fishing?” 

Choosing Fly Fishing as a sport and lifestyle

By JP Ross, JP Ross Fly Rods & Co.


So what makes fly fishing so fabulous? Is it the mystery and romance? Is it the majesty? Is it the sense of honoring a tradition? Or is it because it’s like joining a secret club? It’s all of these things, yet the simplest answer is the best.  Fly fishing is just really fun to do.  It’s calming, helps you notice things about nature that you never noticed before, and you love to learn, you’ll love to learn how to fly fish.

Royal fishing? Fly fishing actually dates all the way back to the early Egyptians. Feathers and fur were tied to a hook and used to catch fish in the Nile River. It wasn’t until the Europeans started to fish for trout that fly fishing was considered sport. The early fishing in Europe was considered Royal fishing.  Only kings and the highest levels of society could fish for trout. Commoners were only allowed to catch what were called course fish, like perch and white fish.  Of course today, millions of people from all walks of life, embrace this wonderful sport and all the fabulous rewards it brings with it.

People are romantic about fly fishing! Several years ago, the famous Robert Redford movie “A River Runs Through It” sparked an unprecedented influx of novices into the sport and lifestyle of fly fishing. Today, fly fishing is experiencing another renaissance.  The fastest growing devotees to the sport are women.  Women have a knack for casting, plain and simple.  And most of us love what comes naturally to us.  Spending part of your week on a local river or stream, you quickly achieve a sense of self, a oneness with Mother Nature.  It’s a unique relaxation that comes only with immersing yourself in your backyard’s aquatic glory, fly rod in-hand.

What exactly is fly fishing and how does it work?   Fly fishing is the act of casting a fly that’s very light weight. In conventional fishing you cast a lure and it’s the weight of the lure that pulls the line out of the reel. In fly fishing you cast the line and it’s the line that carries the fly through the air and presents it to your dream fish.  The fly’s too light to pull the line like a harpoon.  You have to throw the line instead.  That’s the iconic action, the graceful line through the air you see, that so many of us associate with fly fishing.

Keeping it simple.  The gear that you use for fly fishing doesn’t have to be complicated.  It just has to be balanced. The fly line has to match the rod, and the reel has to balance the rod.  Once you do that everything works out well.  The type of line you choose, “line weight,” correlates to the type of fish you desire to catch that day, just as in traditional fishing.  Little pan fish require a light weight medium line, whereas fishing for trout you’ll want to use a “five weight.”  To catch bass you’ll have to throw a bigger fly… which means you need bigger fly line.  For bass a “six or seven” line weight will carry the day.  Learning and adapting to these nuances of fly fishing is great fun, and one of the most rewarding senses of accomplishment as you grow with the sport!

Not many people realize you can also Fly fish for species like carp, sharks or other saltwater species. Some people even catch Marlin and swordfish on the fly.  Those anglers will use a rod that is custom-made and is usually a 12 weight or higher, with rods that are extremely stiff and strong.

Just add water.  For the area around Beekman 1802, or what’s considered the Mohawk Valley, we mostly have trout, pan fish, and smallmouth bass. Beekman’s Badger Hackle fly rod is specially designed by JP Ross Fly Rods & Co. as an all-around, easy-to-use, great fly rod for all types of fish.  As an eight and a half foot fly rod, the Badger Hackle suits most environments from small streams to ponds, to rivers and lakes… so “Just add water!”


Who is Badger Hackle?  Learn more here


by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Sonja Norman

I am not a fan of fishing, but fly fishing, that is a whole other entity. And Brad Pitt made it sexy 🙂


hey im from montana! thats one things its got going for it. brad pitt was there, and a movie happened =/

Debra Conway

You all need to take a drive down to Roscoe, TROUT TOWN, USA – in Sullivan County, (NY)the birth place of American fly fishing and visit the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum. And while Brad was adorable in that movie, I can share real pictures of Mark Ruffalo really fly fishing in Roscoe. (He lives near by.)

Bev Nan Murphy

Ah, you boys don’t miss a trick. Loved the history. I surf cast but it’s all magical, like kite flying, you reach into another dimension and take the time to be in the moment. Maybe we should issue a new amendment that anyone in government is required to go fish and figure out what’s really important. Off the soapbox and into the Bay. xx