Offer up a tip-

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
1. adding a 1/32 oz. conical sliding worm weight to the line above a fly that isn't sinking fast enough will make it sink faster and will turn over easier than pinched lead.

2. make a list 4 weeks before a major fishing trip. then make a blank list called "things I forgot to put on my fishing trip list, and keep that and a pencil with you for the next 2 weeks at all times. As you remember things you forgot, add them to the list.
I like both of these, but I'm already behind for my upcoming MT trip. It is really not a fishing trip but a wedding trip...but I'm fishing! T-6 days to departure...I better get cracking on that list.

Richard E

Active Member
Here's a dirty dozen (baker's dozen) that are hopefully little different than what has already been shared.

1) Clean your fly lines! The line will float higher, will be less clingy (if that's a word), will cast further, and will last longer. In short, it will just perform better all-around. A clean fly line is a happy fly line, which makes for a happy angler.

2) Sharp hooks, sharp hooks, sharp hooks! Keep a hook sharpener, particularly for larger freshwater and saltwater, handy at all times. I actually have two on my fishing lanyard.

3) When tying, use the best hooks you can afford. It's your point (pun intended) connection to the fish. I have a lot of cheap hooks that I don't use and won't likely use since I've learned the value of using good hooks. Sure, that box of 100 Tiemco or Daiichi hooks might cost twice that of a lesser quaiity hook, but that 100 hooks are going to last a long time. Gamakatsu (for salt) rocks!

4) Take casting lessons, they're relatively cheap and well worth the money, but don't take them from just anyone. As Coach noted, some great fly fishers are crummy coaches. The Federation of Fly Fishers has a fairly rigorous program for certifying casting instructors with the emphasis on knowledge and ability to teach and share that knowledge. When reading 'how to' articles on bonefishing or tarpon fishing or something similar, note how many advice getting your casting down before going on your trip.

5) To add to 4), learn at least how to single haul. Double hauling will take you to another level, but if you can get your stroke down and are awesome at single hauling, you'll do quite well and better than many folks who are 'kinda' doublehauling.

6) As Coach noted, learn how to tie. Even if you just get a beginner kit, try it. Naw, it ain't about saving money. What it does, though, it teaches you to be more observant about the details of flies and the 'why' of their construction and use materials. It, in turn, will help you be more observant about the 'whys' of that which you are imitating, whether it be a #20 blue wing olive or a 2/0 sardine pattern.

7) Treat yourself to a guided trip once in a while on new waters and split the cost with a buddy. You'll likely learn some new techniques and gain some knowledge about products, how-to, and the water itself, and you'll get to spend some quality time with your friend doing what you love to do.

8) If you're serious about this sport, buy the best equipment you can, and get the crying over with once. Buy it right, buy it once. For example, when I first planned to start tying, my wife bought me a Regal Bronze Pedestal, and I had her return it because I felt I didn't deserve it (beginner), it was expensive for our budget then, and I thought I could get by with a Thompson vise. Within a year I bought the Regal. Her lesson ("I told you so"): the difference in price between the two was maybe $125, and she wisely noted that it was not that much money to get exactly what I wanted and not to compromise as I would have that vise for a lot of years and run a lot of hooks through it. Summarizing, if you plan to be doing this for a while and are serious about it, buy the best you can. Stretch.

9) Let your family members help you acquire 'stuff'. My wife puts a new line cleaner in my stocking every year. When my mother-in-law asks for tips for gifts for me for Christmas, I make sure the list has a new line, a net, jacket, or some other goodies on it, ranging from big to small. A couple fishing buddies have been extremely generous, with one recently giving me a $50 gift certificate to Kaufmann's for my birthday. Thanks, Brian!

10) Cultivate relationships with a local shop. Buy stuff there, be a friend, and you'll be rewarded with information, instruction, and insight on which it is tough to put a value. Those guys eke out a living. For some reason people think they make some good dinero; naw, being the son of a father who had a similar store for years I can attest it's a labor of love, and they're doing it because it's an excuse to pay for their passion (and hopefully the mortage with a little left over to buy that rusted out 1987 Toyota pickup with 350,000 miles).

11) Try something new! One of my best friends, when I met him, only fished the Yakima, Silver Creek, and Big Wood and only used floating lines. He now fishes lakes, the Sound, went to Andros this year, his fished for baby tarpon in the Yucatan, fished Sekiu with me for coho and rockfish, and rarely gets to those waters he used to solely fish. Heck, I think the line he uses 80% of the time now, at least, is an intermediate line. He's been open-minded to trying new things, and his skill set, knowledge, and his universe of fly fishing friends has grown tremendously.

12) Read, read, read! It's a journey, not a destination, and reading can help us create a road map to where we want to go. I just picked up a copy of Les Johnson's new book, and it was exciting to see much of what I have observed and learned all put together in one document as well as some other new perspectives and insights to try. Magazines, books, the net can all provide some valuable (and sometimes worthless, kind of like my list here, right?) information.

13) Don't forget the standby flies, the old tried and true patterns. In our search for the holy grail new hot dog fly, we all tend to forget about certain patterns that just work. Parachute adams, standard adams, elk hair caddis, hare's ear, muddler, clouser, hot orange GP, woolly bugger, pheasant tail, stimulator (basic), renegade, green butted skunk, deceiver, emerging caddis, skykomish sunrise - these patterns are money. The versatile angler should have a good selection of them.

Thanks for letting me ramble! What's that Jim Birkholm says: "Keep your backcast up"!
These tips are excellent. Coach Duff's and Richard's are words to live by.

My tips? They may be obvious for some, but..
#1 Always, always carry aquaseal
#2 Only wear studs when you need to. If you you use a guide, don't wear them in his boat. If you are lucky enough to go to AK and get to fly out nothing will piss them off more than sliding around on your studs scratching up the boats and the airplane floats.
#3 Dry bag backpacks are worth their extra weight.
#4 Don't be a prick. Unless you own the land on which I'm standing, it is not "your river".
#5 Teach a kid how to flyfish

Did I mention aquaseal?


Be the guide...
1) always listen carefully to advice and tips from others
2) never fully trust advice and tips from others ;)
3) you won't catch fish if your line isn't in the water! (tell this to my kids all the time...but goes for some adults as well who change flies, lines, leaders, tippets, etc every few minutes while they watch me land another fish...)
4) don't be a report chaser - especially from a magazine! Be a report maker, not chaser...
5) timing, location, presentation - repeat!
6) Never, never carry aquaseal (see #1 and 2 above)
7) when meeting buddies or the guide for the big trip, have a backup alarm - being late and holding the others up is a BIG NO NO
8) Before wading\crossing a river, look downstream and imagine being swept down there. If you are fine with that possibility, proceed, but know your limits and following other good wading practices


Be the guide...
Do your heels wear little holes thru the neoprene in your wader booties?

Put a pair of wool socks over the wader booties to protect the neoprene from chafing against the boots.

(I think my heels must protrude slightly more than the norm... I can tear thru the neoprene with a 3 mile hike in my wading boots)
My cabelas waders alway had holes in the heals in short order. After sealing them with marine shoo goo or whatever is handy, I layer with a strip of duct tape.

For my simms and Dbaily waders, it is the big toe area that gets a leak first. So I seal those and cover the toe area with a strip of duct tape. Lasts quite a while and the leaks never return.


Active Member
1. Leaders are cheap. Don't try to make them last for years. I throw all mine away at the end of the season.

2. Learn to play fish off the reel!


Go Fish

Language, its a virus
1) If you fingerpaint don't put your hands in your mouth.
2) Never microwave fish.
3) The green stuff in the chicken shit is more chicken shit.
4) The best things in life are free.
5) Don't get into a casting contest with Richard.
6) The police can do what ever they want.
7) When hiking in the woods and your dog acts nervous, get out of there.
Don't be too concerned with playing fish on your reel. Actively trying to get the line on your reel may lose fish (unless you have 3 hands, in which case, disregard)

Richard E

Active Member
Don't be too concerned with playing fish on your reel. Actively trying to get the line on your reel may lose fish (unless you have 3 hands, in which case, disregard)
iagree WORD!! I lost plenty of fish years ago when trying to get them reel. For me, I'll play him off the reel if he can get himself there (don't we all pray for those fish?); otherwise, strip 'em in, baby!


1) Don't take yourself too seriously.
2) Don't take what people say about you in an online forum too seriously.
3) Don't forget rules 1 and 2 next time you find yourself in a pissing match on an online forum.