I read a lot.

I treasure some of the quotes I encounter, some by famous scholars, some from the not so famous.

John Gierach says fly fishing teaches us something about life but nobody knows what it is.

I will share these quotes with you on a weekly basis on the QUOTES page.

Maybe they will help.

Alexander Hamilton


"If You Don’t Stand for Something, You’ll Fall for Anything"

Izaak Walton


"Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully learnt" 

   Joe Humphrey's


Dry-fly fishing is a visual thing---observation and the ability to assess and utilize the information you’ve witnessed is fundamental to effective dry-fly fishing

      John Buchan


The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

      Joseph Monier
"I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself "

      Washington Irving


There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of mind.

Zane Gray 

If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago

Jack Gartside 


I frankly don't make much of a living, but I make a hell of a life.  

John Gierach

Things fishermen know about Trout aren't facts, but articles of faith.

Thomas Francis McGuane III 

"You can't say enough about fishing. Though the sport of Kings, it's just what the deadbeat ordered

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Thomas Francis McGuane III 

born December 11, 1939 is an American writer. His work includes ten novels, short fiction and screenplays, as well as three collections of essays devoted to his life in the outdoors. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters,National Cutting Horse Association Members Hall of Fame[2] and the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_McGuane

"A world in which a sacramental portion of food can be taken in an old way - hunting, fishing, farming, gathering - has as much to do with societal sanity as a day's work for a day's pay


Jim Leisenring

The Art   of Tying The Wet Fly & Fishing the Nymph

…the tying of the wing is the least important part of a fly. True enough, some patterns are more effective if tied with a wing, but I could always, and still can catch more fish on a wingless imitation.

Note: I believe poorly tied wings are the leading cause of refusals, especially during the trico hatch.


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Theodore Gordon

The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning." 


Down By The River, www.downbytheriverbook.com

This is a beautul book; fun and informative to read, and lovelyto look at. I'd recommend it to children with an interest in fly fishing or to parents who'd like to spark that interest.

John Gierach


John Gierach

The thing is, while you’re trying to catch them at least, they’re fish and you’re a fisherman, and that’s the end of it. I used to like fishing because I thought it had some larger significance. Now I like fishing because it’s the one thing I can think of that probably doesn’t. It’s interesting how little difference that makes.


"The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be." 


Norman Maclean

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it."


Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (see name pronunciation; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist


Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after

Gary Borger


George Harvey

The Harvey-style Leader is the dry-fly fishers most potent weapom agaisnst drag.

You can't fish dry flies effecttivley without it.

Dwight D Eisenhower

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“There are three sports that I like all for the same reason; golf, fishing and shooting…because they take you into the fields, they induce you to take at any one time, two to three hours, when you are thinking of the bird, ball or wily trout. Now to my mind this is a very healthful, beneficial kind of thing and I do it whenever I get a chance”.

Louis Cahill

Gink & Gasoline, www.ginkandgasoline.com


Through ripples and reflections, we find rocks and wood, maybe a shining piece of metal someone has left behind. Even the flash of a flake of mica in the sand, no bigger than a fishes scale. How is it that we miss the trout.

Gliding above the mud and stone he is emerald and gold, vermillion and azure, violet and blaze. He is metallic, kinetic, aesthetic. Perfect in his camouflage, he is at once breathtaking and invisible.

Look closer, he is abstract. He is pointillism, he is impressionism, he is surrealism. He is cubist, fauvist, and expressionist, he is Monet, Van Gogh and Miro. He is Blake’s world In a grain of sand. Infinity in the palm of your hand.

He is beauty, and like all beauty, he vanishes into the mundane. It is a failing of the human eye, or maybe of the heart. He is truth, and like all truth he is hidden from us. To find him we must make a choice. When we choose our fly wisely, and present it well he will do what truth dose. Rise to the surface.

Reg Baird, Nova Scotia's Kejimkujik National Park


The man who coined the phrase "Money can't buy happiness", never bought himself a good fly rod!

Trout Unlimited Founding Father Art Neumann


Take care of the fish, and the fishing will take care of itself

Woodrow Wilson

"To go fishing is the chance to wash one's soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men - for all men are equal before fish."

Dave "Moose" Rohrbach


Good losers are used to it.

Herbert Hoover 


"Be patient and calm - for no one can catch fish in anger." 

Ernest Hemingway 
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“Somebody behind you, while you are fishing, is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.“

 Brian Mantrop, Westport, Ontario 


Nobody is poorer than someone who spends his life doing what he doesn’t want to do.

Robert Traver, Testament of a Fisherman  


"I fish because I love to; because I love the environs that trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, 
and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the 
television commercials, cocktail parties and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world 
where most men spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of 
delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or 
impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect 
that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don’t want to waste the trip; because 
mercifully there are no telephones on fishing waters; because only in the woods can I find solitude without 
loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup tastes better out there; because maybe someday I will 
catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I 
suspect that so many other concerns of men are equally unimportant -- and not nearly so much fun" 

Gary Borger on the Leisenring Lift


A technique that kicks the fly into a pulsing swim toward the top, the Leisenring lift,is generally effective when trout are rising all the way from the bottom to take emergents. A sinking pattern is cast upstream and allowed to drift near the bottom, but when it reaches a likely holding spot it is teased to life, hopefully in front of a trout. It is a method that demands skill in reading water if the angler is not casting to visible fish.

Joe Humphrey’s Trout Tactics


Photo by Trevor Lanning

Dry-fly fishing is a visual thing---observation and the ability to assess and utilize the information you’ve witnessed is fundamental to effective dry-fly fishing

Pablo Picasso

I think this this applies to the art of fly fishing;

Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.

Fran Betters

Take one part science and one part art, tie them together, add a whole lot of finesse and combine it all while standing thigh deep in moving water, and you have the ingredients for getting a fish's attention. Now add practice and you might even get one on your hook.

Joe Humphries on the approach to the stream















Joe Humphries Trout tactics

The first approach is with  thermometer…if you’re a dry-fly man you should know that optimum temperatures for dry-fly fishing are in the upper fifties to midsixties…If you don’t know the water, don’t put your rod together. Walk the stream and observe where fish are feeding…draw your own map as you walk

Rod Rohrbach
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When you approach the stream, take a moment to analyze it. Fish the prime lies first. Be aware of the window. Don't waste valuable fishing time in water that isn't productive while spooking fish.

Stephen Ambrose, Biographer for Eisenhower and Nixon 

In casting, as in politics, Eisenhower was terribly earnest in his attempts to educate Nixon, with frustrating results in both cases.

Swisher and Richards, Selective Trout

When fishing a #28 hatch...a 1-mm variation from the natural means at least a 30% dimensional error...

Rod Rohrbach on the Phasianidae family


Anytime I can incorporate peacock into a Spring Creek pattern I do.

James Leisenring,The Art   of Tying The Wet  Fly & Fishing the Nymph


…the tying of the wing is the least important part of a fly. True enough, some patterns are more effective if tied with a wing, but I could always, and still can catch more fish on a wingless imitation.

Note: I believe poorly tied wings are the leading cause of refusals, especially during the trico hatch.


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Lefty Kreh


JAMES E. LEISENRING, The Art of Tying the Wet Fly & Fishing the Flymph

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When choosing material for winging a fly it is important to remember that the wings of most natural flies  are transparent-you can actually read print through them. Artificial wings should have a similar quality…

Gary LaFontaine


“...40 to 70% of predation
occurs just prior to emergence.

JOHN GAY, 1760

I can tell you that having a big ego is like owning one of those huge dogs that crap on the floor and eat the couch if they don’t get constant attention. I mean, it’s just fishing, and the best the big non-angling world can say about any of us is that we’re harmless.

JAMES E. LEISENRING, The Art of Tying the Wet Fly & Fishing the Flymph


SINCE THE BODIES OF MOST TROUT-STREAM insects are somewhat translucent the flytier must choos materisls to imitate them with qualities which produce or reproduce those little sparkles of light which transmitted light gives to the bodies of natural insects. The bodies of natural flies allow a certain amount of light to pass through them.



When you catch your first fish on a fly you tied, retire the fly to your fly fishing archives.





When Lefty would show up at my shop,, he never left without uttering some humorous quotes such as;


He is so dumb he beat a stick to death with a snake.


He has a Zebra named Spot, etc.

He left me with one I think of every day, I try to live by it.;

You don't make your candle shine brighter by blowing everyone elses out



“…constant casting doesn’t help a fisherman any more than aimlessly filling the air with lead would help a hunter.” 

Gary Borger on prey animals


Prey animals are easily spooked by sights and sounds that don’t fit in with the natural surroundings. For a fish, anything out of the ordinary means only one thing, DANGER. Thus, everything you do as a fly fisher should be designed to minimize your presence: the equipment you select, the clothed you wear, the way you move, how you cast…everything!

Joe Humphreys on stocked trout

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Stocked trout have a conditioned respose to look up.

Trout Tactics

Rod Rohrbach on Fly Fishing Paraphernalia

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If you see something you really like, buy 2. They will stop making it!

Dr Ernest Schwiebert


Big Jim was a simple Pennsylvania toolmaker whose fishing and flymaking skills are legendary among knowledgeable anglers throughout America. His fishing partners were called the twelve apostles and his portrait once hung in the old Hotel Rapids at Analomick.. Big Jim lived near Allentown, fished these pastoral waters, and spent years on the Little Lehigh.

The inscription on the Leisenring memorial written by Dr Schweibert



Staying will back from the fish or staying very low when you’re close keeps you near the horizon line and makes it hard for the fish to distinguish you clearly. Keeping your casts low and making as few of them as possible greatly minimizes the risk that fish will see the moving rod and line.




Do things. Be Sane. Don't fritter away your time: create, act,take a place wherever you arer and be somebody; get action.

Advice to Theodore Roosevelt, Jr



It’s been said that to get to the place where it’s no longer about how many fish you catch, you first have to pass through the place where that’s exactly what it is about. Apparently, it’s a long journey.



Who are the nobles of the earth, The true aristocrats, Who need not bow their heads to kings

Nor doff  to lords their hats?

Who are they but men of toil

Who cleave the forrestdown

And plant amid the wilderness

The forest and the town?



Tying perfectly lifelike imitations of nymphs with vinyls, plastis, and SpaceAge dubbing materials is often at cross purposes. It’s the nymphal movement that stimulates the the trout’s feeding response, and most super-realistic nymphs I’ve seen lack this movement. I’d file most of these imitations under Arts and crafts. It’s how the nymph looks to the trout, not the angler, that counts.


Gary Borger


A fish must take in more energy than it expends. 


Fish strike from short distances, usually 6 feet or less

Gifford Pinchot

But for me there is a powerful charm in being solitary in the companionship of woods and waters or the sea.

 Kit Carson

The cowards never start and the weak die along the way.

Gary LaFontaine

Resistance by anglers to the entomology of fly-fishing is baffling for two reasons: one, because entomology is so vital to angling success; and two, because it is so easy. It is a way for even a beginner to understand the movements and preferences of the fish.


Gary Borger

Zone of Binocular vision

Trout look for food in a relatively small area around themselves. The faster the water the less clear the water, the smaller the area…”


No wonder fish are so easily spooked by our all too many false casts. That long, shiny fly rod flashing that fluorescent line back and forth is on of the best fish spooking devices that the fly fisher has.


Fishing trips provide me with a direction to go, a goal to attain and new things to experience, new places to see.


Be generous-with your money, of course. But more important gve of yourself. Take an interest in people. Get to know people. Get to know what they’ve been through before you pass judgement. That’s essential.

I can tell you that having a big ego is like owning one of those huge dogs that crap on the floor and eat the couch if they don’t get constant attention. I mean, it’s just fishing, and the best the big non-angling world can say about any of us is that we’re harmless.

Gary Borger

Tradition is wonderful because it passes information from one generation to the next. Tradition is horrible because it passes information from one generation to the next.


Charles, Prince of Wales

Piscator Non Solum Piscatur ("It is not all of fishing to fish")

is the motto of the Flyfishers' Club, a gentlemen's club in London which was founded in 1884 for enthusiasts of flyfishing. In 1894, the club had more than three hundred members, while in 1984 this number had risen to between eight and nine hundred. 
Leader: Charles, Prince of Wales
Patron: Charles, Prince of Wales


Joe Brooks

Fish it before you wade it.

Reid Bryant

I wonder what we gain from being exclusive in our love affair with fly fishing, what we gain from making it rigid and bounded and superlative. 

Ameican Angler, SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014

Dr Alan Mittleman

...fly fishing is...a team sport. Your partner is the fish. He too must be willing. You entreat him with your art, which you strive to perfect. And when he strikes, is it skill? Is it luck? Is it both? It is both. Skill takes you to the edge of mystery.

Gary Lafontaine

There are three things that lock fish into a rigid feeding pattern; high population densities of an insect species, accumulations of vulnerable individuals and unique visual characteristics for the particular insect life stage.

John Gierach

David McCoullough

John Gierach