Although we are still in winter, the nights are getting a little bit shorter. The days are a little bit longer. This is encouraging, but we still have a long way to go before I will be thrashing thin blue-line brookies with spiders and other wets. Which means, for me, just like for many of the rest of you, this is primarily tying season.
I can’t really watch a movie or TV show or whatever it is my fellow kids are doing these days. I mean, I am pretty sure I have been a grumpy old man since about nine years-old, so don’t ask me what’s cool. I wouldn’t know what it was if it slapped me in the face with its fins.
What I do know is that I love podcasts. Maybe they aren’t your thing, but I find them endlessly wonderful for keeping my brain engaged while commuting, working out, doing chores, or otherwise having my hands working, like with fly tying. He is a list of some of my favorite fishing and non-fishing podcasts to help you through those endless whip finishes on these long and cold New England fly tying nights.
If you like history at all you must attest that the grandpappy of them all is still one of the best: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is a great place to start. His entire library isn’t available, but he has plenty of shows for free. A good place to start is his WW1 series. But be warned: these are long (three to four hours or more) but worth the investment and can help you through some serious tying marathon sessions.
Ancient Roman History more your thing? How about medieval English history? Both the History of Rome and the History of England are good quick 30-minute bites that are fun and informative and make you want to listen to just one more episode. You can jump in where ever you want, but I suggest listening from the beginning of these.
Of course you probably have heard of the Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast, hosted by Tom Rosenbauer, but have you taken a gander to the Casting Across podcast? It is pretty good, and it’s a pretty good blog with reviews and insights, too. I really like the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers podcast and the Articulate Fly rounds out the fly fishing specific stuff, but April Vokey’s Anchored and the Meateater podcast are both classics of outdoor sporting podcasts.
I also have a soft spot for folklore, from ancient mythology to more current takes on the subject. Lore may be familiar to you, but if it isn’t, it may not be for the faint of heart. It deep dives into the really dark parts of local history and stories. I really enjoy it. It has over 100 episodes and it’s going strong. This is a good one to jump in anywhere, but the second episode is about the Hoosac Tunnel construction in Western Mass. Definitely made me look at it differently.
Also, this podcaster decided to deep dive into the happenings surrounding the Salem Witch Trials in season 1 of his other podcast, Unobscured. Gave me so much more context about that event and how this region was founded.
Whether you are a believer or a die-hard skeptic, there are some really fun dives into the “cryptic” parts of the world. I like to listen to learn about what different perspectives and possibilities are out there; plus, the following casts do a really good job telling the stories of some weird happenings. I really like Blurry Photos, Not Alone, The Mad Scientist Podcast, and Astonishing Legends. You get to decide how big a grain a salt you listen with.
That’s a smattering of what I listen too and what is available. There must be thousands of good podcasts out there, but I only have so much time to tie flies! Do you already listen to these? If so, what are some of your favorite episodes? Or, what are some good shows you like that I haven’t listed?