S3:E32 The Art of Making Small Adjustments on the River

Making small adjustments on the river is the secret sauce to better days on the river. No one ever tells a new fly fisher that the three attractor patterns in his or her fly box won’t work every time out. Sooner or later, we all learn that fly fishing is all about a thousand adjustments. In this episode, we discuss the importance of the ability to know when to switch out one pattern for another or go up or down a size or switch to nymphs or streamers. It’s all about adjustments.

Listen now to “Making Small Adjustments on the River”

Great Stuff from Our Listeners. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last segment of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.

What kinds of adjustments do you make most often on the river? How patient are you when what you’re slinging isn’t working?


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We’ve published a book for regular-Joe-and-Jane fly fishers called The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists: Life is short. Catch more fish.

One person who purchased the book called it “Cliffs Notes” for fly fishers.

To switch metaphors, perhaps it’s more like a handful of potato chips. It’s an entire book of lists. The goal is to help you find practical help quickly and in an easily digestible format!

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3 Replies to “S3:E32 The Art of Making Small Adjustments on the River”

  1. As fly fisherman we have all learned that adjustments are a necessity for success on the Stream. Be it adjusting your tippet size on clear water under bright blue skies . Lengthening our leaders for dry fly fishing or shortening our leader for nymph and streamer fishing . The content changing of flies size, color and type . Changing up the retrieve while streamer fishing . Depth and weight while nymph fishing . The list is end endless . That’s what makes fly fishing such a wonderful sport . Always learning and trying new things to outwit a simple fish that most of the time outwits us humans .

  2. My small adjustment is simply that after every season I look at and examin my outfit and Everything I bring to the stream or camp with. If I didn’t use it, I sadly remove it. Braded leaders, coffee pots, boots, fanny packs and cigar cutters have all gone under. But what’s left is a minimalist version of what I need, bared any extreme survival situation where I must match the hatch or face extinction☠️

  3. To be successful is to be constantly making adjustments. That’s the name of this game and that’s what makes it fun. It is also the difference in having a successful day on the water.

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