In todays world with all the artificial materials that are use, I got thinking, big mistake. I looked up the word fly in The American Heritage Dictionary, based on the second college edition July 1989, the answer is: A fishing lure simulating a fly. I guess this means we are not fly fishing, because we are imitating baitfish not flies. A strong indication of this is that you cannot fish in some states, if your fly is weighted, you are breaking the law. I guess I don't have much to do these days except to wait until the temp gets up to about 40 then maybe I can start fishing again with my new lures. Have a good weekend.
You raise an interesting point, I often get funny questions about fly fishing from the uninitiated. This generalized dictionary definition is a far cry from being worthy of defining our sport, would you agree? Why even a nymph would not be fly-fishing if we were to adhere to their views, nor would a streamer - or perhaps most ridiculously a full dress classic atlantic salmon fly would not meet the specification if it were not intended to imitate a fly. New England's classic streamers would be out of the question, as would the muddler minnow, the wolly worm, the mickey finn, just to name a few.
I define flyfishing as a form of fishing not involving the use of bait or scents or taste to tempt fish, and not involving the use of weights to cast the lure (fly or otherwise) but instead cast by virtue of the dynamic loop generated by the loading and unloading of the rod. I also feel that the "lure" should be one that is tied, not cast or molded, by hands and not machines although the components might.
In my view, whether the materials are natural or synthetic doesn't matter; and whether the forage being suggested is insect or minnow (or plant for that matter) does not qualify whether it's fly fishing or not.
I was once asked "when you imitate a fly, do you cast over the fish and tease it to jump out of the water to intercept the fly as it whips by?" I thought two things... "wish it were that easy" and "boy, the name fly fishing does imply some differences from what it's really all about nowadays". Your point is well taken, but in this case I think the dictionary thinks the fish jump out of the water...
01-17-2001, 09:19 AM
I thought that you might like to see the response to an e-mail I sent to Massachusetts asking for a definition of a fly for use in fly fishing only sections of streams.
>Thank you for contacting MassWildlife
>Enjoy a walk on the wild side at www.masswildlife.org !!!
>There is no definition of a fly in current regulations. Rather, fly fishing only sections of rivers restrict anglers to conventional fly rod and reel combinations and prohibit the use of bait, whether it be natural bait like worms or artificial bait like marshmallows or power bait. Artificial lures must be used and for most people using a fly rod the standard wet or dry fly works best.
>Western District, Pittsfield 413-447-9789
>Conn. Valley District, Belchertown 413-323-7632
>Central District, West Boylston 508-835-3607
>Northeast District, Acton 978-263-4347
>Southeast District, Bourne 508-759-3406
I am not about to do it, but, I can just imagine the uproar that one could create, by showing up at the Y pool on the Swift with a sluggo fly.