Fly fishing is a gadget-oriented sport. You can easily walk into a shop and get overwhelmed with all of the gimmicks and gadgets available on the market these days. There are really only a hand full of “must haves” needed to get started in fly fishing! Here are my top five:
1. Nippers - Nippers or Line clippers are used to simply and effectively cut your line. Most often used for cutting the tag-ends off of the fly you tied onto your tippet or adding tippet to your leader. Just get yourself a basic pair to get started. They range from $5 - $100, but really all achieve the same thing. Make sure the pair you decide on has a small needle on the end, this is used to remove any glue or debris that may be preventing you from getting your tippet through the eyelet of your fly.
2. Hemostats - you may have also seen this tool at your doctors or dentists office, but as fly fishers we use this handy tool for a variety of different things. My favourite uses for this tool are crimping the barb on your fly, holding the fly while tying a knot, pulling tag ends, and fly removal.These are also available in a wide range of prices and styles. I recommend not buying the cheapest set you can find due to the fact that some often have too much flex and wont apply enough force to crimp your barbs. For $10-$20 you should be able to find yourself a quality pair that will last you many years.
3. Floatant - If you are fishing dry flies, fly floatant is a must have! There are many variations of these products from silicone gel to powdered substances and depending on your needs, both have their advantages. Gel floatants are typically a pre-use treatment that work best on flies tied with hair, yarn or hackle. Simply apply a small amount to your dry fly and the gel will help repel the water from the fly, insuring your fly floats high for many casts to come. Powdered floatants are used mostly as a post treatment once the fly has started to absorb moisture and you need to revive your fly to float back on top of the water. In most products you simply drop the fly into the the powdered container, give it a few shakes and the powder will draw the moisture back out of that fly and coat it to insure it rides high on top of the water.
Be sure to check out Freestone’s Bug Pow! and High Ride floatants!
4. Indicators - A strike indicator is basically just a fancy term fly fishers use for a bobber. When you're fishing nymphs in a river, or chironomids and leeches on stillwaters, I highly recommend using an indicator. There are all kinds of different variations such as cork, foam or yarn indicators that slide right onto your leader, playdoh or putty-like substances that mold onto your leader, and what I would consider the most popular these days, the Airlock or Thingamabobber indicators. They come in a variety of different sizes and colours and allow you to change fly depth with ease.
5. Polarized Sunglasses - Polarized sunglasses are something I will not fish without and are probably my most important accessory. For starters, when casting you've got a fly whizzing past your head at an extremely high rate of speed, you'll want some eye protection. The polarization on the glasses greatly reduces the amount of glare on the water, allowing you to see into the water for fish and/or structure. I would recommend purchasing the best pair you can afford as they will not only protect your eyes from flying objects and harmful sun rays, but allow you to spend more time out on the water enjoying the outdoors and looking cool doing it!
Those are my top 5 must-have accessories that you won't find me on the water without. I would love to hear what your must haves are! Feel free to send me a message with any questions you may have and remember to follow and share your fishing photos with @freestoneflyco on Instagram!
I recommend taking a look at Freestones online store for a variety of fly fishing gear and accessories where you can also save 20% using promo code “GEOFF20”