In fly fishing, the rod is the rock star. It gets all the attention when you’re bragging about the big one from your last trip. On the other hand, reels are the unsung heroes. They’re the ones that make the sweet music (they really do – listen to a big fish running against one sometime), the ones that make catching big fish possible. We round up our five favorites.
You've learned to cast, now treat yourself
Famed fly fishing writer John Gierach once wrote a book called Standing in a River Waving a Stick. Well, fly fishing looks a lot like that. And the stick in question is a fly rod. It’s the rod that throws the line that carries the fly to the fish. To those who aren’t familiar with fly fishing, all fly rods look the same. They are anything but.
The secret is, there isn't one
Anywhere you find fish that can be caught on a fly (which is just about anywhere you find fish) you’ll find a fly shop. Some are grand affairs with carpeting, staff in matching shirts, and hundreds of brands. Others are small with two or three options of each requisite item. Ed Estlow decided to scope out a local shop; his study (shopping trip?) reveals a lot about these hidden gems.
Tackling your essential tackle
If we’ve done our job, you’re inspired to do some fly fishing. Good on you, sir. All that stands in your way is a lot of practice, some really smart fish, and an utter lack of the necessary equipment. All three of those things are daunting. We tackle the last part with our all-inclusive, affordable fly fishing kit.
It all starts here
So you watched A River Runs Through It on cable the other night and, your brother’s gambling issues aside, you’ve decided to try fly fishing. What do you need? Well, you could start with just a hardware store rod, reel & line, a few flies in a plastic box, and some clothes you don’t mind trashing. But you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more if you have some decent gear in hand. Lucky you — we’ve got everything you need right here.
Inside the head of a typical addict
I’ve heard that question answered a lot of different ways in 23 years of flinging sharp wire & feathers at the finned ones. For some, it borders on the mystical. People talk of otherworldly feelings or suspension of time (as in time spent fishing doesn’t count against your allotment here on planet Earth).
For others it’s a religious experience.
Mortgage house, book ticket, feed soul
If you have a hankering for more exotic fish than you can find in the nearest stream, river, or lake, consider packing a bag with a few travel rods and the rest of your gear and giving destination fly fishing a try. That’s all well and good (great, really), but as always, you should strive for the cream of the crop. Here are three trips worthy of the bucket list of any fly fisher.
A Fly Fishing Legend
Lefty Kreh is one hell of a fisherman. He’s lots of other things, too: retired outdoor editor of the Baltimore Sun, accomplished photographer, prolific author, father and grandfather, teller of stories, entertainer, absolute legend as a fly caster. It seems, though, that all of these things orbit around the first one. We sat down with him to hear about his 32nd book, common casting mistakes, how he was introduced to the sport, and much, much more.
A visit to fly fishing paradise
This video, a special cut of “Off the Grid”, a full-length fishing documentary about finding and fishing in places that are untouched or simply outside the norm, pretty much has it all. There’s a quick summary of the epic trip that makes up the entire film, full of monster fish doing their best jaws impressions on happily bobbing flies; then we get to meet two young trout bums living the dream in northeast Ohio.