Do you like reading about fly fishing? Does the latest gear or technique pique your interest? Have you given up trying to find out about the latest techniques, gear, destinations or stories on the interweb because of the jumble of useless information that has invaded the digital world? Me too!
Unfortunately; the web is full of senseless click-bait and endless pound-the-consumer-in-the-face sales attempts. Fly fishing as a business on the web operates no differently. Online shops, like us at Stillwater Fly Shop, are in a highly competitive niche market with a finite number of fly fishing consumers. The same goes for the major manufactures of gear like Sage, G Loomis, Simms, Patagonia and many others. Capturing the fly angler’s attention and loyalty has become an increasingly difficult task because of the huge surge in online advertising and great content being created for us fly fishermen. This constantly evolving and growing world of excellently written articles and slickly produced videos has made it almost impossible for some of the best writers, their articles or their stories to be found. So I give you my five favorite fly fishing blogs, some that you probably have never heard of and some that you haven’t, that I read. What they have in common is that they always make me think or give out great information on gear and techniques.
The Trout Life blog is a continually evolving, fun blog written and curated by soon to be published author Spencer Durrant. His unique style will make most anglers view the hows and whys of fly fishing with a eye opening perspective. Often opinionated, Spencer draws from his travels around the west to make some bold statements that are often tempered with a dose of reality that many anglers tend to romanticize away. His gear reviews are fair and even handed and yes, he has even written negative ones. Trout Life – Fish Tales is not glossy or slick. But it does have great articles and photos that won’t disappoint you.
Epic Waters is a website primarily dedicated to steelhead fishing in British Columbia. This doesn’t mean that it is a continuous infomercial for guides in lodges. What it does mean is that many of the contributors have a unique perspective on the fly fishing world since many of them have guided around the world. Now don’t be put off if you aren’t a steelhead fisherman because every now and then they through a curve ball out there talking about bamboo rods or trips to Florida chasing tarpon. The girth of knowledge and humor that comes from the various authors makes their tips, experiences and recommendations a great read that always have some stunning photos or videos.
I stumbled across this blog one late night when I couldn’t sleep. The reason I truly love this blog is the great photos that seem to capture the essence of fly fishing and other outdoors pursuits. Sean Johnson writes most of the stories about trout and steelhead fly fishing around the world. The voice of this blog is geared to the tradition with unique perspectives about fly fishing, hunting and the outdoors. This blog is a one of a kind largely due to the fiction and non-fiction stories that capture the essence of why we hunt and fish. If you dream of fly fishing or have lived the dream, then you should read Always A Good Day.
Fly Fishing Simplified is probably the quirkiest blog I read. Stephen Plut jumps from fly fishing to wine to kayak fishing and many other subjects that aren’t found in the more mainstream fly fishing blogs. His opinions on gear, fishing and wine seem to always draw me back to his site for more. His fishing posts are informative and fun. I really love his articles on fishing for bass with a fly or kayak fishing because these topics are outside of my realm of knowledge. His gear and vendor reviews can gush a little, but as a whole I like reading about what he has to say about the different companies and gear that he uses and tests. If you are bored with the normal “look at me” or “I am a guide, so I must be right” blogs, then Stephen’s informative and eclectic topics are great way to give the fishing side of your brain a large dose of fresh oxygen.
The Aardvark McLeod blog focuses myopically on one topic usually – adventure fly fishing travel. Granted, this primarily European company is somewhat unknown by the rest of the world. However, its articles on fly fishing around the world are insightful and captivating. Geared to booking trips the publisher doesn’t go over the top with the descriptions and insight from the various trips they offer. I like to think of this blog as my “dreaming blog” because of its short concise posts with great photos about the various destinations they offer. If you are having a bad day at the office and you need something to take you away from it all, then read a few posts about Atlantic Salmon fishing in Iceland or a saltwater trip to the Seychelles. Instant stress relief!
Each of these lesser known blogs offer a fresh take about the ins-and-outs of fly fishing without a lot of gloss and pretension that seems to be permeating the more popular blogs on the web these days. They all offer an uncommon point of view that is often ignored because substance is becoming secondary to marketing. Enjoy these blogs and writers as much as we do at Stillwater Simplified.