The simplicity of fly fishing gear.
Back in my bass fishing days, gear mattered. It was nothing to have 6 or 7 different baitcasters, paired with different rods of varying lengths and weights, all rigged up for various presentations. And I won’t even get into different lines, rigging styles, or the countless lures and soft plastics. I don’t miss those days.
All of that just to chase bass with traditional gear. It was expensive, and entirely overblown. Fly fishing solved that for me. I like things simple, and fly fishing, in most all respects, is quite simple.
I suppose you could say, to some degree, the same scenario exists in fly fishing. There are different length/weight combos and the such, along with different types of lines, leaders and indicators, but on the whole, fly fishing is simple. A quick look into Tenkara will prove that.
I’ve hit the river on several occasions with just an 8′, 5wt outfit and an Altoids can with a few flies in it. I may stick an extra leader and spool of tippet in my pocket, but those are not a must. Other days, I’ll have my sling pack with some other fly boxes, an extra reel and other tidbits, but when it really comes down to it, fly fishing is super simple in terms of gear.
It’s amazing, and quite refreshing, just how versatile a single 9′, 5wt fly outfit with a WF floating line can be. It may not be the ideal set up for every single scenario you’ll encounter, but it’s certainly the most versatile in terms of covering your bases while keeping things dead simple.
I’m not one to get caught up in gear like I used to back in the bass fishing days. There is just no need for it when fishing small streams for trout. I’m also not one to prefer an $800 rod over my decent $100 outfit that I fish with. Again, no need for it.
Fly fishing is challenging enough without throwing 25 other variables into the mix. I’ve learned to focus far more on presentation, solid casting, and good drifts than what super cool, holographic, NASA inspired rod can next drain my bank account.
I hope you’ve found fly fishing to be as simple as I have in terms of gear. Obviously, there are situations that warrant having extensive gear, but for the most part, extensive gear is a reflection of the fly fisherman, not the environment in which said gear is being used.