Fly Fishing Quirks

One of the great things about fly fishing, as Adam Kautza has noted, is freedom.

We are free to fish in whatever legal way we want. So, I’ve noticed that many anglers over time develop tendencies. Sometimes, they become quirks.

What are yours?

To get the ball rolling, here are mine:

  • Flies. I only fish ones I’ve made. I really enjoy making flies. So, losing them or giving them away to others lets me make more.
  • Leaders. I make my own. It’s almost required if you Euro-nymph. And, I love my Harvey Slackline Dry Fly Leader.
  • I drive alone. I’m an extrovert by nature, and, I really enjoy meeting people at rivers and chatting with them. However, there is something about getting into a car, turning on music or podcasts, and driving on quiet and dark roads alone. It’s very soothing.
  • Plastic strike indicators. I avoid them as much as possible. I will do everything I can to tightline or float a sighter. I will throw a strike indicator during winter; it will be a New Zealand-style wool one, though. The wool is extremely sensitive. I like the white wool, as the indicator looks like an innocent piece of foam on the water (hopefully). I do have plastic indicators in my chest pack every time I go out, just in case.
  • Pellet flies. I won’t fish them. I want to fish something that looks natural. If needed, I will fish my favorite San Juan Worm, Mops and eggs, and so, I’m not going all-Puritan on you or anything.
  • Fishing guides. When fishing new water, even in a new state, I won’t hire a guide. After fishing the Farmington a dozen times and finding some success, I did contact Zach St. Amand and learned a ton as I tried to figure out such a long river. Normally, though, I’m a DIY type of guy. Much of the fun in fly fishing for me is to do the research and see if I can catch. It makes any fish in the net that much more rewarding.
  • The Low Probability Option. I often go for it. I often eschew “hot” spots that are loaded with fish and people and go to stretches that may or may not yield fish. I will fish the mornings during frigid days. I will fish during high noon in August. I guess I’m looking for new challenges.
  • Private water. I don’t feel drawn to it. I know it’s a “thing” on the west coast. You go to a stretch of water that someone owns, and you pay a fee to target water that limits anglers. You stay at a resort, perhaps. I one day will fish one of the Montana spring creeks. But, for now, I’m a public-water kind of guy.
  • Redds. I won’t target them. I think spawning fish are producing future fun for me, and I want to leave them alone.
  • Karma. I do wonder if it exists. When I give flies to someone or yield my “hot” spot to a new angler, I feel great about it. And, something good later on happens to me.

So, what are your quirks?


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13 thoughts on “Fly Fishing Quirks

  1. Living in Boston, I usually have to drive for 1.5 – 2 hours to fish. On the way home, if it’s at all possible, I try to stop at either KFC or Popeyes for my dinner. Nothing tops off a day on the river like a well-seasoned chicken wing.

  2. Here are a few of mine:

    My gear has to be fitted right and I need a good system. 22 years in the Army burned this into my brain. No loose straps, equipment, etc. Everything needs to be where I want it and stay there.
    I always wear a hat. Can’t fish without one.
    I don’t believe in luck, but new hats are bad luck.
    I don’t believe in luck but I don’t eat bananas when I fish; they are a curse.
    I load my stuff in my Jeep the same way every time.

  3. One major “quirk” is that I can’t seem to stay in one spot for very long. I probably pass by a lot of fish by being so impatient but I just can’t help it haha

  4. Mine used to be a blue shirt. I wore it every time I went out. Also, I love to drive with a buddy even if we split up and work two different sections of water.

  5. Too many to list. Karma is real and is critically important when fly fishing for trout. I’m constantly trying to earn Karma credits. The more right you are with the universe, the better you will catch.

  6. I have to say my major quirk and fault is to stick with a zone that has produced in the past, but is not producing hits on a day when I am fishing it. Instead of moving on, I change flies, weights, leader length, you name it to prove I can connect. I am working on getting better at the moving on part. I get stubborn though sometimes.

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