Football Fly Routes

What is a fly route in football?

The fly route is a passing route in which the receiver runs straight towards the end zone without stopping or turning to receive a pass from the quarterback. The fly route is also often called the go route or the streak route, and it is considered to be one of the fundamental routes in football’s route tree.

As in any pass pattern, the fly requires receivers to separate themselves from defenders to get free and receive a pass. For the fly route, the most important aspect is the receiver’s pure speed, because there are no complicated turns or other maneuvers. It is just a straight shot forward.


The fly route is used for long yardage gains, and thus has the potential to move the offense several yards upfield. It also can serve as a good distraction to pull safeties and cornerbacks off of other receivers that are running shorter routes. Thus, fly routes are usually run by the fastest receiver on the team, since they have the best potential to get open.


The main disadvantage of the fly route is that there is no variation or surprise possible. It is a simple, straightforward run down the field. This means that the defense will not be surprised by any sudden turns or complicated maneuvers. If a defensive back can match the speed of a receiver running a fly route, the play will be soon over.