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Generally, fly patterns are considered either imitators or attractors. Imitations deceive fish through the life-like imitation of insects on which the fish normally feed. Imitators do not always have to be precisely realistic in appearance; they may derive their lifelike qualities when their fur or feathers are immersed in water and allowed to move in the current. Attractors, which are often brightly colored, seek to draw a strike by arousing an aggression response in the fish. Famous attractors are the Stimulator, Royal Wulff, and Green Weenie flies. There are five main categories of flies: dry fly, wet fly, streamer fly, terrestrial, and nymph . Some fly patterns may fall into several categories. For example, the Wooly Bugger is precisely imitative of very few creatures, yet can be fished as a nymph, a streamer, or as a wet fly imitation of a crawfish or leech.

Fly rods vs Spin casting rods

Fly Fishing rods are long, thin and flexible fishing rods designed to cast a fly or tie, usually consisting of a hook tied with feathers, foam, fur, or other lightweight material. Originally made from split bamboo, most modern fly rods are constructed of composite materials, such as fiberglass, carbon/graphite, or graphite/boron composites. In place of a weighted lure, fly rods use the weight of the fly line for casting. Lightweight rods are capable of casting the very smallest and lightest fly. Typically, a mono filament segment called a leader is tied to the fly line on one end and the fly on the other. Spin casting rods are designed to be used with a spin casting reel, normally mounted above the handle. Spin casting rods also have small eyes and a forefinger grip trigger. They are very similar to bait casting rods, to the point where either type of reel may be used on a particular rod.

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