The first reference of fly fishing dates back to Ancient Greece when the
popular Aelian (A.D. 170 to A.D. 130,) a religious leader in Praeneste and
an excellent student of the rhetoric arts, who wrote about the Hippourous (a
fly that imitates the color of a wasp and the sounds of a bee) being used as a bait for fishing.
It seems that people of ancient times do know how to catch their fish! Using
only their keen observation, they have learned by themselves that flies can
be used as bait. Instead of using the fly as such, however, they created an
imitation so that they wouldn’t have to kill any creature that was ineffective
The fact that there are indeed many kinds of fish that are attracted to flies, as
stated in Greek history, proved that fly fishing has always been destined to
transform common fishing into a highly sophisticated and refined art.
Scotland introduced the modern day fly fishing and was later polished in
England. When it came to America, the people had no idea how it worked,
but the “pioneers” had a way to discover the method using a rod, reel, line,
and fly bait.
Take note that the biggest consideration in handling a fishing rod is the
weight. Hence, many people embraced the carbon fiber rod as their
instrument of choice and this led to its wider distribution.
As for the fly line, two types were manufactured after World War II – the
monofilament and the braided. The monofilament was not at all popular
because it can easily spring and cut through knots. The braided nylon, on
the other hand, gained instant popularity because of its versatility and
In 1949, the first nylon fly appeared. To this date, fly fishers use fly lines of
greater flexibility due to the continuous development of certain methods
dealing with gravity and buoyancy.
The reel experienced many changes since the 1970’s, but its incarnations
have been mere refinements of the tool that was invented centuries ago.