If you go into any fishing tackle shop, you will find a plethora of fly fishing flys. In fact, you might find that the shop has an overwhelming amount of fly fishing flys. It can be hard to know where to even start looking, let alone how to know which flys to buy.
To help you out, here are some basic descriptions of some of the major types of fly fishing flys:
Wet Fly Fishing Flys
The flys are supposed to resemble certain insects as they would look beneath the surface of the water. Fish will bite at wet fly fishing flys, thinking that they are drowned insects, aquatic insects, or larvae swimming to the surface to hatch. When using wet flys, you are not necessarily trying to imitate a particular insect or fish, etc. (whereas you are trying to do so when using dry flies or nymphs). Wet fly fishing flys are supposed to imitate insects in motion… they look like they are swimming to the surface or drowning, etc. You do not need perfect technique to fish with wet flys.
Dry Fly Fishing Flys
These fly fishing flys are meant to resemble an insect floating on the surface of the water (although, some do not imitate insects, but rather frogs, snakes, or mice, etc.) To keep the fly on the surface of the water, many of them need to be oiled with something like Gink. Some flys rely on the surface tension of the water to float.
Nymph Fly Fishing Flys
A nymph resembles an insect living under water. It can also resemble certain larvae. Some nymphs may have added weight to keep it underwater.
Streamer Fly Fishing Flys
These types of flys do not resemble insects. Rather, they look like injured fish. If you are fishing for a predatory fish, a streamer fly is a good choice.