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Evolution: Fly Fishing is Changing to Cater to American Warm Water Fish [PICS]

Image by Mike Malchow

The way fly fishing is changing, it’s not all about trout anymore.

For years, fly fishing has been nothing else but chasing down trout in beautiful places followed by trips to the salt somewhere tropical.

The fly fishing crowd that follows these species is a welcoming crowd, but they are fairly exclusive to trout and the salt. High dollar rods, reels, clothing, and other gear is way of the industry. Recently however, fly fishing is changing to cater to everyone else.

Most of the country doesn’t live in a mountain town with a crystal clear stream running through their backyard teeming with trout, or on the coast of somewhere beautiful.

For the rest of us, it’s fishing grassy retention ponds with a layer of film on top; It’s sludging through muddy rivers with litter along the banks; It’s fighting for a spot at the boat launch before the rest of the crowd arrives at 6 a.m.

What do all of these places have in common? Warm water species of fish live there and they can all be caught with a fly rod.

Brad Smith

The fly fishing industry has taken notice too. A large percentage of the fishing population has the ability to fly fish for fish other than trout, but there is little gear out there to accommodate. Companies like G. Loomis are especially catering to these masses by developing rods like the Shorestalker or the ShortStix, launching just last year at iCast 2014.

Both rods are designed for fishing carp, muskies, pike, bass, or other large warm-water fish. With the smaller but tighter action rods, they allow for chucking larger-bodied flies to present options to fish that may have never seen a fly pattern before.

With the G. Loomis noted rod making tradition, these fly rods are lighter than other heavier action rods on the market. This is extremely important when it comes to casting a non-wind-friendly fly all day.

Reel companies have come a long way to cater to warm water fly fishing in equal ways. Quality reels, like the Taylor Reels Array, boast incredible drag systems which are a must when it comes to chasing fish that will take you down to your backing. In most trout worlds, a reel is a glorified line holder, but in the hands of a warm water fly fisherman, a quality reel is a make or break component.

Brad Smith with a Taylor Reels Type1

There is still plenty of summer left to fish and plenty of warm water fish near you right now that all can be taken on the fly. With options that Loomis and Taylor offer, you can set yourself up with an enviable combination for less than you might think.

Just be careful if you give warm water fly fishing a shot. Once you open that door, it’s awfully hard to keep it shut.

NEXT: Here’s How They Fly Fish for Dorado in Baja: Find a Dead Pelican [VIDEO]

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Evolution: Fly Fishing is Changing to Cater to American Warm Water Fish [PICS]