There is probably nothing more complicated in fly fishing equipment than the artificial flies. Flies are the ones used to attract the fish’s attention and play a major role in catching a fish.
Although its purpose may be straightforward, there is nothing straightforward in choosing the right fly for the right fish.
In the past, choosing a fly is easy enough because there are specific flies for a specific fish.
For example, a trout fly is to be used exclusively on trout and a salmon fly on salmon. But in the present, there are more specific flies that cater to the varying diets of a particular fish.
So for example, a trout does not only have a singular trout fly, but also has flies that imitate frogs, worms, etc.
Another source of confusion, at least for beginners, is that categories of US fly types are named differently than their British counterparts.
For example, what are called dry flies in the United States are simply called dries in the UK.
But despite the difference in taxonomy, they usually have the same set of sub-categories. Again using the dry flies as an example, the sub-category of mayflies can be found in both categories.
Aside from its different types, flies also differ in sizes. Usually, a fly size ranges from #2 to #22 with the former being the largest.
Not to worry though as the confusion can be resolved by a good advice from reputable and experienced fly fishing equipment vendors. It is always a good idea to ask them when in doubt of which type of fly to buy when one goes fly fishing.