The past four years of podcasting and writing articles (weekly for both!) have been a terrific fly fishing adventure in its own right. We announced in our last podcast that we’ve come to the end of our run. We are feeling a bit sad. But the time is right, and we’re excited about what’s next.
That includes more fly fishing. You can listen to our last podcast to hear the reasons behind our decision. So in honor of four wonderful years, we thought we’d pontificate even more to make your next fly fishing trip a most excellent fly fishing adventure:
1. Now is urgent. [Dave]
You’re not getting any younger. Even if you’re only 25.
It’s tempting is to kick the can down the road. Don’t. Pick up your fly rod now. And go fish. Pick a date on the calendar. Put it all on a credit card. And save your regrets for later, when you’re paying it all off one month at a time for two years.
2. Pack carefully. [Steve]
I am still shaking my head about the time I grabbed the wrong rod tube on the way to catch a flight to Colorado.
I meant to take my 4-weight rod. I spent the week in small mountain streams casting a 4-weight line with an 8-weight rod! Actually, it handled better than I anticipated. But it’s best not to forget your rod, reel, flies, waders, and boots — or to grab the wrong fly rod.
3. Find a Fishing Partner Who Is a Planner. [Dave]
Steve is so organized that he pulls his socks from the bottom of his carefully stacked clean pairs in his tidy drawer. He wants to wear each pair of socks out equally.
I like that in a fishing partner.
Steve would happily plan what I have for dinner after a great day on the water, if I let him. God bless planners. They design great fly fishing adventures.
4. Don’t bring your family along on a fly fishing trip. [Steve]
You’ll be disappointed. So will your family.
In fact, they might leave you. At least they will be mad at you. If you insist on trying to fly fish, agree on a set amount of time you’ll be gone. If it’s 3 hours, you’d better get back on time. We’ve learned this the hard way.
So do as we say, not as we’ve done.
5. Go easy on the guide’s new Orvis rod. [Dave]
Guides for the most part are warm, kind, and generous.
They bring a 3,000-calorie lunch for you even though you won’t burn even 179 calories casting from the drift boat. They might roll their eyes as you snap off another fly, but they do it behind your back. They might silently mock you when you can’t cast farther than 20 feet, but they wait to laugh uncontrollably until later that evening with their fellow guides at the local bar.
But the generosity ends when the guide warns you not to let the big rainbow dart under the drift boat, yet you still do. And the $1,000 fly rod that the guide most generously lent you snaps in half. It’s all fun and games until you break the fly rod.
This is no fly fishing adventure for the guide, trust me.
6. Now mend your line. [Steve]
Those words from my mentor, Bob Granger, still ring in my ears every time I cast a fly on the water.
Trout will ignore your fly if they spot the slightest bit of drag. So mend your line. Add small mends (stack mends) as you go. Consider a “C” loop while your fly line is in the air. Do whatever you can to avoid that dreaded drag on your fly. Water skiers leave wakes; dry flies should not.
7. Use a landing net. [Steve]
You may not need a net to land a trout; but the trout will thank you.
The rubber netting is a lot easier on their bodies than your hands. Besides, a good net will keep you alert. As you’re sneaking through the brush, the net will get caught in a pine branch or a bush. Then, after you walk five more paces, it will snap back and slap you square in the back. At this point, you’ll be a lot more alert as you approach the river.
Plus, you’ll remember that you brought your net. Win, win.
8. Bring ear plugs. [Dave]
Now I’m not saying that I have never snored.
Maybe I have. Maybe I haven’t.
But if you’re on a trip and the two beds in the hotel room are only five or six feet apart, then you need to bring a pair or two of ear plugs. Ear plugs are as basic as hopper patterns in mid August. Essential.
You need to be fully rested for the hard day of fishing ahead of you.
9. Stay safe. [Steve]
Yeah, we’ve hammered this point to death.
But that’s because a modicum of prep can keep you from death, or at least from serious injury. Bear spray. Wading staff. Fishing buddy. Caution. Quality wading boots. You know the drill.
And if you’re in Yellowstone on your fly fishing adventure, don’t pet the bison. Seriously.
10. Grab your rod tubes from the overhead bin. [Dave]
It’s always a win when the case you make to your spouse for a new fly rod is based on the fact that you really need a fly rod.
You forget to mention to your beautiful wife that you lost your two favorite rods on the last fly fishing trip. It’s hard not to imply that someone “stole the rods,” even if the stealing probably happened after you forgot them in the overhead bin as you made your way off the plane in Chicago.
Go on a Fly Fishing Adventure Now!
Life is short. Catch more fish.