When I was doing research for fly fishing on our trip, there was one specific area I wanted to focus on – Patagonia. Patagonia is known for some of the best wild trout fishing in the world as well as some of the clearest and most pristine water. The first step was researching the specific gear and what to bring. This was difficult as I had to pack extremely light since I had to be able to carry everything on my back in a 70-liter Osprey backpack. Another huge criterion for me and a major factor in why I chose all this gear was because of the quality for cost. Here is what the list came down to:
- Fly Rod: Cabelas Stowaway 6, 5wt 9ft rod. I chose this almost purely because it is a 6-piece rod. This helped me a ton because it fits easily into my backpack inside its case with plenty of room for other things. Additionally, it is very versatile and can be used for a number of types of fishing, and is easy to cast. Now, it is more common to use bigger rods (6-9wt) in the fall as huge fish come into the rivers from the lakes, but for summer fishing this was plenty big. Plus, who doesn’t like a challenge, right? 🙂
- Reels: Two disk drag Cabelas Prestige Premier fly reels 5/6wt. I wanted to have two reels lined at all times so I could easily change them quickly depending on the type of water I was fishing (lakes, rivers, creeks, etc.) since I did not have two rods like most do when going to Patagonia. Disk drags are also needed in case you get into a fish of a lifetime!
- Fly Line: WF floating line, intermediate sink tip line (15ft tip), and type 4 sinking line (15ft tip). These were also so I could fish a number of different scenarios at all times. Although most of the time I kept the floating line and the type 4 sinking line on my two reels.
- Leaders: Leaders are also something you need a wide variety of. For dry fly fishing, we mostly used 9ft tapered leaders, even adding tippet to extend them in super clear water to about 10-12 ft. These were mostly 2X-3X, but you could use 4X as well, though could be a challenge in faster water with a big fish on. For streamer fishing, we used 5-7.5ft leaders from 0X-2X. I used RIO Powerflex Plus tapered leaders and tippets due to their tensile strength.
- Tippet: One 50ft roll of tippet from 2X-4X. This seemed to be more than enough.
- Flies: Wide variety of dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. Depending on where you are fishing and when, a wide variety of flies will really help. We mostly used caddis flies, stoneflies, and big terrestrials and dragonflies for dries. Wooly buggers, leech patterns, matukas, zonkers, and the like for streamers. Big articulated streamers are more common in the fall.
I got most of my flies through Jerry Warrington, aka “hairwing530” on NAFFF (The North American Fly Fishing Forum). I found him while looking for someone who tied quality flies at a low cost. Jerry makes two main fly boxes, the miracle box (dries and nymphs), and a streamer box. He also does custom packages for people depending on what they need which is what he did for me. Not only are his flies top tier, but the reason he ties them is extraordinary. In short, he takes all of the money he makes and puts it back into fly tying classes for “his kids” with cancer. Because of this, his classes are free of charge for his kids and he has been doing them for 18 consecutive years now. If you ever have a need for a large quantity of very nice flies at a great price, Jerry’s are very hard to beat. What he stands for is something that hits very close to the heart for me because of Nancy (Krista’s mom), so it was an even better reason to buy from him.
Jerry tied me a huge amount of flies, but I do also want to thank my dear friend Richard Denham with Holy Moly Outdoors. I have been fishing with him since I played baseball in Community College (7 years now), and he tied me some very nice buggers for big hungry trout. He has taught me a tremendous amount about fishing, whether it is spinner fishing rivers for salmon or fly fishing in Pass Lake for big browns. Anytime I plan on going fishing back home, he is who I contact first. If you are looking for a very knowledgeable fisherman or any how-to videos, visit his pages below!