If you’re anything like me, you probably think about fishing every day. This means that when you can’t actually be out on the water, you have to get your fix somewhere else.
For some, books are the way to go. Others like movies, shows, or videos. While I do love these as well, my first go-to is almost always a podcast. Instead of having to sit down and take time out of my day to read a book or watch a video, I can listen to podcasts anywhere and anytime. Driving, cooking, cleaning, exercising, the list is endless.
Even though podcasts have been around for decades in some form, they didn’t pick up steam until more recently. In the past few years, they’ve seen a boom, and there are currently over 500,000 active podcasts producing millions of episodes. Podcastinsights.com says that 44% of Americans have listened to a podcast. That’s a lot of people.
Podcasts have a lot of benefits over other mediums. Some of the biggest are…
- You can listen to them while you’re doing other things
- They show up on your computer or smartphone without any extra work on your part
- It feels more personal to listen to someone speak than to read their writing
Due to the sheer number of podcasts out there, it’s not hard to find one on a given topic. Business, fitness, spirituality, hobbies, you name it. Fly fishing is no exception. What’s also great is that even though there are numerous podcasts related to fly fishing, each has its own spin on the topic. Some are how-tos. Others are mostly stories.
If you’re looking to get your fishing fix via podcasts, look no further.
The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast, hosted by Tom Rosenbauer, is easily one of the best fly fishing podcasts out there. It’s generally more of a how-to show, although sometimes it does dive into opinions, stories, and other topics. Each episode is split into two halves. The first part, called the Fly Box, is where Tom answers listener questions. This is usually my favorite part of the show because of the amount of knowledge he crams into 30 minutes or so. It’s also nice because you can actually write in your own questions. I’ve had mine answered before! The second half is usually an interview with an expert on some topic: winter fishing techniques, choosing a fly rod, fly fishing with midges, etc.
In contrast to Orvis, Anchored is much less of a how-to podcast, and focuses more on the lives of interesting figures in the fly fishing world. April interviews a wide variety of people from around the globe, many of whom you’ve probably never heard of, but are still super interesting. She starts with their childhood and has them tell their whole story, often diving into topics much deeper than fishing. Additionally, a nice touch about this podcast is that April visits her guests in person, so the audio quality and conversations are reflective of a face-to-face interview vs. a phone call.
The Itinerant Angler falls somewhere between the “how-to” and “interesting discussion” categories, and that’s what I really like about it. It covers a refreshingly large variety of topics that aren’t always directly related to actually fishing. For example, I’ve learned how fly lines are made, what it takes to become a certified casting instructor, and how to take better fish photos. It’s really nice to hear something other than how to catch more trout. The host, Zach Matthews, also does a really good job of having a structured interview, while also pausing his scheduled questions to dive into interesting tangents that pop up during the discussion. He does often do some in-the-field recording at the end of the episode, which isn’t my favorite style, but he does a good job of getting decent sound. And, if you like the live recordings, you’ll really enjoy this section.
The Fly Tapes is pretty different from the others on this list. Each episode is an interview with a fly fishing writer, with occasional clips of live readings the writer has done for audiences. The readings are by far my favorite part of the show, and even though they make up a small portion of each episode, I do enjoy the interviews as well. The readings cover a range of genres, from heartwarming stories to humor, and most leave you thinking, “yep, I’ve been there before.”
The Remote. No Pressure. Fly Fishing Podcast is hosted by Jeff Troutman (what a great name), and focuses on the non-technical aspects of fly fishing. As much as it’s great to hear about nymphing techniques or a new piece of gear, sometimes it’s nice to listen to discussions on the “why” of fly fishing. This podcast takes a much more philosophical approach than many, addressing why people will put so much effort into small fish, or be perfectly happy not catching anything. In spite of this, Jeff still brings on well-known names in the fly fishing industry who have expertise in both the technical and non-technical aspects of the sport. Anyone who enjoys the serenity of a day on the water, the beautiful places fish live, or the friends they make along the way will enjoy this podcast.
The Drakecast, the podcast of the Drake Magazine, is usually a combination of interviews and in-the-field recordings of fishing trips. It covers all sorts of topics, from stripers to steelhead, carp to muskie fishing. While I do like the wide range of topics covered, the only thing I’m not a huge fan of is the amount of in-the-field recordings, which personally just aren’t my cup of tea. It’s well-made though, so if you like the live stuff, check this one out.
The Tenkara Cast with Daniel Galhardo is the only podcast I know of that’s completely dedicated to tenkara fishing. Since most of the fishing I do is with standard fly gear, a lot of the topics discussed are new to me, but if you do a lot of tenkara fishing, this is the podcast for you. You’ll learn about tenkara techniques, history, gear, and more.
The Fly Fishing Consultant is hosted by Rob Snowhite, who guides in Washington, DC. This alone makes it interesting in itself, since the majority of fly fishing podcasts focus on trout or saltwater, while Rob frequently discusses shad, snakehead, and other warmwater species. A lot of episodes do have a live in-the-field element, which again is just not my favorite style, but what I do appreciate about Rob’s episodes is that he often goes into extreme detail to describe the area he’s fishing, the gear he’s using, etc. You never leave feeling like you missed something.
Another podcast that does a fair bit of in-the-field recording, Fish on the Brain is one of the more saltwater-heavy podcasts. They do freshwater stuff as well, but if you want to hear about permit, tarpon, roosterfish, or bonefish, this is the one for you. The overall theme of the podcast is finding interesting people in the fishing world and going fishing with them. Really, what better way to get to know someone?
The So Fly podcast is probably the closest thing on the list to having a beer with your buddies and talking about all things fishing. Though they do often have guests now, several of their episodes have also just been the crew hanging out and chatting. They discuss all sorts of topics, including a species I find really interesting, the Aurora trout. Their guests have also included prominent names like John Gierach, although the conversations still have the familiar feeling of hanging out with your friends.
The Wet Fly Swing podcast is a super informative show that also includes some fun stories along the way. The first season is primarily about steelhead fishing with a focus on spey techniques, and then transitions over to trout tactics in the next season. This is definitely one of the most information-heavy podcasts on the list, and is probably geared more toward an experienced crowd, but it’s done well enough that even beginners can have fun listening and learn some pointers.
Fly Fishing Journeys is a well-rounded show covering a variety of topics. They’ve done live shows from fly fishing events, talked to lodge owners, and discussed fly fishing films among other things. This is a great podcast for people who like a little bit of everything. They don’t do much “how-to,” but the topics they cover are fun and interesting.
The Barbless Podcast focuses mostly on the northern California region, but it’s still a great show for people outside the state. They do a lot more ecology- and conservation-oriented episodes than some of the other podcasts, but still include lots of fishing talk and, occasionally, short fishing-report episodes. They also discuss species not usually mentioned in the fly fishing world, like sturgeon. This is a great one for anyone who likes the science behind fish and their habitats.
In all honesty, this is probably my favorite podcast on the list. The only reason it’s an honorable mention is that fly fishing makes up a small percentage of what they talk about. Mostly hunting-focused, they do occasionally touch on fishing and fish species. What I really love about this podcast (fishing-related or otherwise) is that they often discuss their thoughts on ethics, conundrums, and other wacky topics like whether catch-and-release is good or bad for populations, and whether returning to a spot that a guide showed you is a low-blow. Additionally, April Vokey from the Anchored podcast is now affiliated with Meateater, so do them a solid and support both!
Are there any others I missed? Let me know in the comments!