People, Places, & Things

The people, places, and things that go into fly fishing make the culture what it is. More than just catching fish, fly fishing means picking out that perfect fly rod or finding a comfortable, go-to fishing shirt.

The following is a list of people, places, and things that I have come to truly enjoy. Furthermore, they all support Casting Across in one way or another. I highly recommend each, and encourage you to follow the links to find out more. The section headings take you to the corresponding website, and the bullet  point links refer you to Casting Across posts featuring each company.


It is good to know that the most versatile, functional, and durable packs available for fly fishers are made in the USA out of American-sourced components. Vedavoo packs are my pack of choice, both for circumstances when I need to carry a little and when I need to carry a lot.


Furled leaders have been the leader of choice for many for a long time. For a few years now, I’ve been using the handmade leaders from Appalachian Furled Leader Company exclusively for my tightline nypmhing and small stream fishing. For just a little bit more than a monofilament leader, these durable options will really help your cast and presentation.


By and large, nearly all commercially available fly fishing gear is pretty good these days. Pricing comes down to some bells and whistles and the matter of labeling. Risen Fly sells some top-notch gear that is equivalent to some of “the big guys,” but at a fraction of the price. The rods and fly boxes, in particular, stand out and are adored  by those who fish them.


Beards are in. In fly fishing, beards have always been in. If you fly fish and have a beard, there is no reason why your beard should be stinky, rough, or untameable.  The all-natural beard oil from Yukons Beard is the best stuff I’ve found, and everyone I’ve recommended it to agrees. Want something that smells delicious? Give “Well Travelled Beer’d” a shot.


I am a big fan of podcasts in general. I follow a few fly fishing podcasts with devotion, and 2 Guys and a River is one of them. Steve and Dave are genuine, and genuinely interested in helping beginners find their way and encouraging normal anglers to enjoy the sport. Follow them on your favorite podcast catcher to get their weekly releases.


In my humble opinion, the most fly fishing fun that you can have while not actually fly fishing is a weekend at The Fly Fishing Show. Whether you’re looking to buy new gear, learn from the experts, or just hang out with thousands of like-minded folks, the Show is a winter highlight across the country.


How could something as simple as a piece of foam in a plastic housing make such a difference in your fly fishing? Well, the short answer is that you won’t know until you try it. Pirate Fly Fishing released a fly patch that mounts to your visor or any other similarly sized spot. No more flies in the upholstery, no more torn up and cheap solutions.


There are a handful of fly-a-month clubs out there. Most of them have a lot to offer and are worth looking into. Personally, I’ve been impressed by the quality of flies offered by The Fly Crate. Really, that is what getting flies every month should come down to. Additionally, The Fly Crate has “bonus content” for subscribers to enrich the membership experience


I first came across Cortland like many young anglers: it is the token fly fishing brand that has a presence at stores with small fishing or sporting goods departments, But Cortland is a brand that is so much more. More products, more innovation, and more history. Cortland makes some fantastic lines, and their Spring Creek and Sylk products are staples on my small stream reels.


Sister companies that don’t have much in common besides an address and ahead-of-the game aesthetics, Cheeky and Wingo have quickly risen to the top of the fly fishing industry. Cheeky’s reels (fly and spinning) are some of the best and brightest out there. Wingo makes belts, dog collars, and more in patterns that just begin with some amazing fish skin images.


If you think all forceps or tying scissors are the same, you’ve never used good forceps or tying scissors. StreamWorks makes some excellent fly fishing tools. Functional, durable, and precision-crafted tools are the kind of things that you don’t realize you need until what you have stops working. Add in one of the best clip-on fly boxes around, and StreamWorks is a company that makes what you need right.


There is a reason why Orvis is synonymous with fly fishing, and there is a reason why anglers today appreciate the Vermont company’s pivotol role in the sport’s past, present, and future. My first job in fly fishing came through Orvis, and I owe a good deal of my appreciation for the community and industry to my time there.