As many of you may have guessed, in addition to enjoying writing about fish and fishing, I also love to read about it. Although books and magazines offer a wealth of information like no other format could, blogs present more bite-sized nuggets that are easier to read throughout the many transition times I have over the course of a day: on the bus, between classes, etc. While other teens scroll through Instagram or play video games, I look at some of my favorite blogs for the latest articles on fly fishing methods, rigs, tactics, tying, travel, and conservation. Below are the blogs I routinely return to when I need to escape to a trout stream, tying bench, or striper flat.
Blog Fly Fish: If I had to pinpoint one blog that has truly inspired me over the years, it would be Blog Fly Fish. This New England fly fishing blog, based mainly in the Bay State, has been an incredible resource for me over the years. My introduction to the blog came in the form of some of their older posts, which gave spot overviews across many Massachusetts waters. For a kid that was, and still is, learning the intricacies of the many fisheries this state has to offer, Blog Fly Fish has been invaluable. One of their most visited posts, “Best Flies and DIY Spots: Easy Links” is a landing page for some of the most helpful spot overviews they have written throughout the years.
Though Blog Fly Fish focuses mainly on trout, it also has information on fly rodding for some of New England’s other species. Information on spots, flies, gear, and tactics are all present. In addition, in the last few years they have been branching out into more long form posts, written largely by one of my favorite writers for the blog, Bill Hager. Not only is there some useful and entertaining information about destination fly fishing trips in those longer posts, but also some much appreciated comic relief thoughtfully intertwined.
If you’re a New England fly fisher and you take only one blog away from this read, it should be this one; Blog Fly Fish continues to inspire me not only on the water and behind the vise, but also at the keyboard when I sit down to write these posts each week. In addition to the outstanding quality of writing and the impressive amount information, the blog has an ever-present community in the comment section, which always seems to bring some positive discussion to the table.
MidCurrent: Those looking for one of the largest, most variety-packed banks of information about fly fishing on the internet should look no further than MidCurrent. Ranked the world’s #1 fly fishing blog, MidCurrent delivers a large amount of content each week covering a wide range of topics. While not as humorous as those of Blog Fly Fish, MidCurrent also has many posts about destination travel that will take you back to a warm summer’s day spent on a high mountain stream, even during the doldrums of winter.
One of my favorite series of articles was penned by Bob Mallard, executive director of Native Fish Coalition. The series focused on numerous contemporary fisheries conservation issues, from the legal names of trout to the use of piscicides to restore native fisheries. Mallard is an excellent conservation writer and seems to always find ways to make an otherwise dull topic much more engaging.
Hatch Magazine: During a recent conversation with my paternal grandfather, who has never cast a fly rod, mind you, our discussion somehow stumbled upon Hatch Magazine. “I keep getting these Google suggestions for some fly fishing website” he explained, hoping I’d be able to identify what it was. Having received numerous suggestions for Hatch Magazine articles weekly in my Google cards, I replied that that was likely what he was seeing. “That’s the one!” he responded. We continued to talk about how we’d both enjoyed the articles we’d read from Hatch, though he didn’t understand some of the fishing references.
The best part about Hatch is that you don’t necessarily have to be a fly fishing guru to understand some of their pieces. Especially in the many narratives I have read from them, the information presented in the article is often all the background you need. Hatch pieces and the pictures present within them take you to land and water near and far, and wherever the destination may be, you feel as if you are truly present. The way the authors write about fish, wildlife, and nature helps you connect with the environment in more ways than you knew possible, especially through just some black text scrawled across a white screen.
That being said, those that do have a deep passion for fly fishing (as most of you likely do) will find a wealth of tips and tricks that will elevate your fishing to the next level. Unlike many other blogs, which simply repost content from a variety of other sources with a brief summary, Hatch publishes all original content. If you’re someone who learns best through reading rather than listening or watching, then Hatch is certainly the place for you.
Fly Fisherman: While I certainly recommend receiving their print copy, the online edition of Fly Fisherman offers numerous informational articles that are sure to help develop your fly fishing and tying skills. If you’re looking for heartfelt narrative pieces that leave you feeling like you just read a good book, then some of the aforementioned sites are probably a better bet. Those searching for cut-to-the-chase knowledge that will offer never-seen-before insight on the world of fishing, tying, and traveling, will be more than satisfied with what they find on Fly Fisherman.
George Daniels, one of Fly Fisherman’s most popular authors, has written numerous articles on such modern tying and fishing techniques as euro nymphing, streamer fishing, and jig streamers. His insights never fail to offer a fresh take on already effective methods. Of all the 21st century fly fishing authors out there, I truly believe Daniels presents information in the most comprehensive yet understandable manner, something that’s crucial when your audience ranges from absolute novices to Team USA pros.
Troutbitten: I will admit: of all the blogs listed here, Troutbitten is the one I’ve likely read the least. Yet when I compiled this list of some of my favorite blogs, it would have been a crime not to have included it. Like George Daniels, Swentosky offers a modern, often simplistic, view on the sport, proving that fly fishing isn’t always the aristocratic, purist pursuit it is often considered to be. If there is one blog that I want to spend more time reading, it is Troutbitten; I believe it would be in your best interest to follow suit.
Gink and Gasoline: Ah, good ol’ Gink and Gasoline. After Blog Fly Fish, this was likely one of the first fly fishing blogs I began actively reading, and as such, it has shaped my writing a great deal. G+G may not be the flashiest blog out there, but don’t be fooled; it is a top-notch fly fishing blog to its roots, and has provided some incredibly useful tips and techniques throughout my years of reading it.
I was sorry to hear about Louis Cahill’s eye injury while I listened to an episode of the Wet Fly Swing Podcast (also worth checking out). Cahill’s injury makes it difficult to so much as look at a screen, much less write a blog post. For us, this means more republished articles from the past and short form posts. Luckily, having posted every day for numerous years now, there is no shortage of illuminating writing to read from the likes of Gink and Gasoline.
Obviously there are countless blogs that I have omitted in this list, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth reading. As 2022 unfolds, I can’t wait to read the writing of new authors and rediscover some old favorites.