Journal: Keeping fly fishing simple


I’m a big fan of things that are simple, and that includes my brand of fly fishing.

I’m a pretty simple guy and when it comes to fly fishing, I like to keep things simple there as well.

When you keep things simple, you keep from getting caught up in too many technical things. Those technical things can make a fun day on the water get pretty frustrating really quickly. One of the main reasons that I fly fish is because I enjoy getting outside and enjoying a day on the water. Fly fishing can get way too technical if you let it get to that point.

Chauga River Rainbow Trout

So what do I mean by keeping fly fishing simple?

I mean like a rod, a reel and an Altoids box with about 7 or 8 flies in it kind of simple. That is simple.

I don’t hit the river with 3 or 4 setups and 5 different fly boxes with every conceivable fly you could imagine in them. To me, that’s way too complicated and distracts from I really want to be doing, which is enjoying a day out on the water.

I tend to keep it simple with my gear and focus more on presentation and technique. I believe this makes my days on the water more successful. Now, that may mean I don’t net 30 fish in a good day on the water, and I’m okay with that. It does mean, however, that I enjoy the day, and I keep it simple.

Trout really don’t care.

I’m not the type to change flies every 5th cast. I’m also not the type to worry myself with line choice, leader choice and all that other jazz. I take a basic, all around set up to the river with me and it has served me quite well.

I’ve found that trout simply don’t care that you’re using 6x tippet or a 9ft leader instead of a 12ft leader.

Most small stream trout are super opportunistic, which means that if you present your fly half way decent, they’re likely going to try to eat it.

Simplicity is not for everyone

Some guys dig the complicated, technical aspects of fly fishing. Some guys thrive on having 9 different caddis patterns in 6 different sizes in their fly box. I’m not one of those guys.

For some, simplicity is boring. For me, it just means that I can break fly fishing down to the basics and have fun doing it my way. Either way is fine, if it means you’re ultimately enjoying what you’re doing. But when and if that enjoyment starts to fade away, take a look at what you’re doing to make sure you’re not making it way more complicated than it needs to be.

Cory Perry
I'm a husband, father and fly fishing geek living in Greenville, SC. I'm down with slinging flies, tying flies and spending every minute I can enjoying the vast outdoors with my family and friends.

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