Keeping it simple - your advice and experience please

shropshire_lad

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May 31, 2017
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Too far away from the wild places!
I'll be the first to admit, I have hardly embraced minimalism in my life. My hobbies, fishing, audio, bikes, photography, have been weighed down by the amount of gear I have acquired. At various points, I must have had around 20 fishing rods, a similar number of reels, 10 bikes and 30 record players.

The problem this has created, for me at least, is you can focus more on the gear than the pursuit and can end up not seeing the wood for the trees. Which bike do I use today?

I have barely fly fished for the last 20 years and sold most of my gear thinking I'd never take it up again. A mistake but also an opportunity. I now have the chance to take a simpler, back to basics approach. I have re-equipped myself with a couple of rods, one reel, a couple of lines, and some flies I kept and kind folk on here provided me with.

What I'd like to hear is any stories from FFF members about how they have stripped things back to basics. For example, I have heard rumours that @ohanzee roams highland lochs with just a few flies in his box and @noddy299 tied me a few flies recently telling me they are pretty much all he uses. Similarly, does anyone just fish with one rod and one line for most things?

I'll be the first to admit a major part of fly fishing is the allure and history of the tackle which is quite frankly often beautiful. So, I imagine many have lofts stuffed with gear which I find totally understandable. However, any stories about taking a minimalist or back to basics approach would be most welcome and hopefully guide me on my reawakened adventure :)
 

JCP

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Feb 14, 2008
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Dorset Wilts Borders & Baja
Ha ha.Depends how far you want to go in the pursuit of happiness.Best steer clear of reservoir boat fishingo_O. I can be minimalist on the river from many years experience and out of necessity as I have gotten older.''Das Boot'' however is another story entirely.I am not alone as see the wheelie boxes on YouTube and my local Bristol Waters.Believe me I have tried but there is still too much gear in my stripped down for 2020 boat kit.:eek: :unsure:.

JP
 

GEK79

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Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
480
I'll be the first to admit, I have hardly embraced minimalism in my life. My hobbies, fishing, audio, bikes, photography, have been weighed down by the amount of gear I have acquired. At various points, I must have had around 20 fishing rods, a similar number of reels, 10 bikes and 30 record players.

The problem this has created, for me at least, is you can focus more on the gear than the pursuit and can end up not seeing the wood for the trees. Which bike do I use today?

I have barely fly fished for the last 20 years and sold most of my gear thinking I'd never take it up again. A mistake but also an opportunity. I now have the chance to take a simpler, back to basics approach. I have re-equipped myself with a couple of rods, one reel, a couple of lines, and some flies I kept and kind folk on here provided me with.

What I'd like to hear is any stories from FFF members about how they have stripped things back to basics. For example, I have heard rumours that @ohanzee roams highland lochs with just a few flies in his box and @noddy299 tied me a few flies recently telling me they are pretty much all he uses. Similarly, does anyone just fish with one rod and one line for most things?

I'll be the first to admit a major part of fly fishing is the allure and history of the tackle which is quite frankly often beautiful. So, I imagine many have lofts stuffed with gear which I find totally understandable. However, any stories about taking a minimalist or back to basics approach would be most welcome and hopefully guide me on my reawakened adventure :)
I've fished over the years but recently taken a bit more interest.. I have a Bob Church rod and a vision reel with a DT 5wt on it all from my dad.. Since I have a 8ft 6 4wt stream river rod.. And a shakespeare agility 7wt with a cortland reel as for flies I've picked a few up along the way I have a vest which is essential on the Lough but the river you need a few pockets as with most things you can get bogged down with gear which is better but end if the day you make your choice.. When in at the Lough I will take either the Bob Church or the shakey and I will also put the 4wt into rucksack to fish the margins as the light drops.. My rucksack holds my jacket flask and lunch I set up. Adeyiah base have a mug of tea and off I go.. That's probably not helpful but getting caught up with gear and ESSENTIALS..as with all things will generally cause headaches.. Rod reel flies extra tippet net a few other bits and thats you away.. Enough if me twaddling on..
Take care good luck..
Gary
 

hutch6

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Nov 4, 2007
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2,332
Location
West Yorkshire
Depends what your pursuit is.
Is it the fish or is it the experience?
Is it all of the fish or just ones you remember the most?

The answer to these questions will determine the amount of gear you accumulate.

You want to catch all of the fish then you need all of the equipment to cover all bases at all times.
You want to soak in the experience as a whole and not just focus on the fish then it's one rod, one reel, one line and a few trusty flies.

For me personally I couldn't care less about catching all of the fish.
When I fish I either fish alone so I enjoy the break from everything and absorb myself in where I am or I fish with a friend so it's just us having a laugh.

The appeal of hauling out fish after fish holds nothing for me. The thrill of the bow wave following the fly if I'm subsurface holds more excitement than hanging buzzers out. The anticipation of a rise to a dry fly is what keeps me going back for more.
Seen some pretty special stuff when fishing but not all about the fish being caught.
 

GEK79

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Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
480
I only ever fish with one rod and one reel. I have about 10 rods to choose from but only take one to the river. I put stuff in my pocket, mainly toffees. No rucksacks.
I take the rucksack to the lake.. And a flask to all waters...
 

Maruta

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Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
61
Location
Wiltshire
I've kept it quite minimal. I own the following rods:

8'6" 4wt leeda volaire
8'6" 5/6wt daiwa whisker (freebie)
9'6" 7wt shakey (for carp)
9' 8/9wt airflo for pike/saltwater

A reel for each rod. I have the wychwood SLA mk2 for the 9wt outfit with 3 spools.

Waders/boot/airflo vest backpack.

Small net for wading, larger folder for lakes and big net for carp/pike.

The 4 and 7wts will be getting upgraded in the coming year.

The freebie daiwa is a dream to cast, the action fits me really well such a shame its 2 peice though.
 

smallmouth

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Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
156
As an ex coarse match angler that often felt overburdened with tackle, part of the appeal of fly fishing for me is the lack of “gear”. As a result I’ve bought things slowly and carefully and never sold anything, though I have given a few items away to good causes, when I’ve upgraded it.

I get away with this because of the limited types of fly fishing I do, and restricted techniques I use. For example I’ve never owned a sinking line, not because I’m a purist, but because of where and how I like to fly fish. So no spare spools or multiple reels.

So over time I’ve ended with three, maybe four outfits, but take only one fishing at time:

A 9ft #7 outfit which has only ever been used on holiday for SWFF.

A 9ft #5 outfit used on local reservoirs from the bank.

A 7ft 9ins #3 outfit used on my local river.

Then there’s my most recent addition, (which may turn out to be an unnecessary whim), which is a 10ft #3, which will be used in summer on the reservoir for dries, (if conditions look just right for it), and for winter grayling.

A handled net for the reservoir, a scoop for the river. Waistcoat and thigh waders. A small bag for the reservoir.

My fly tying gear isn’t as spartan as I’d like, but that’s because of the inevitable build up of materials over years, and my failure, (so far), to come up with suitable compact storage.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
24,136
Location
Embra
Ha ha.Depends how far you want to go in the pursuit of happiness.Best steer clear of reservoir boat fishingo_O. I can be minimalist on the river from many years experience and out of necessity as I have gotten older.''Das Boot'' however is another story entirely.I am not alone as see the wheelie boxes on YouTube and my local Bristol Waters.Believe me I have tried but there is still too much gear in my stripped down for 2020 boat kit.:eek: :unsure:.

JP
Yep - same here, re boat fishing.

Here we are, 2 of us, just about to load the car to come back from a week's boat fishing in the far north...



Packed!





😜🤭🤪
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
1,950
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
Depends what your pursuit is.
Is it the fish or is it the experience?
Is it all of the fish or just ones you remember the most?

The answer to these questions will determine the amount of gear you accumulate.

You want to catch all of the fish then you need all of the equipment to cover all bases at all times.
You want to soak in the experience as a whole and not just focus on the fish then it's one rod, one reel, one line and a few trusty flies.

For me personally I couldn't care less about catching all of the fish.
When I fish I either fish alone so I enjoy the break from everything and absorb myself in where I am or I fish with a friend so it's just us having a laugh.

The appeal of hauling out fish after fish holds nothing for me. The thrill of the bow wave following the fly if I'm subsurface holds more excitement than hanging buzzers out. The anticipation of a rise to a dry fly is what keeps me going back for more.
Seen some pretty special stuff when fishing but not all about the fish being caught.
I like that perspective, thanks.

When I was younger I'd not sleep the night before and be on the lake as soon as I could weighed down with gear. Flogging away all day, by the time the evening rise happened I'd be dead on my feet and not have the energy to concentrate. It will be far more about the experience from now on.
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
1,950
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
As an ex coarse match angler that often felt overburdened with tackle, part of the appeal of fly fishing for me is the lack of “gear”. As a result I’ve bought things slowly and carefully and never sold anything, though I have given a few items away to good causes, when I’ve upgraded it.

I get away with this because of the limited types of fly fishing I do, and restricted techniques I use. For example I’ve never owned a sinking line, not because I’m a purist, but because of where and how I like to fly fish. So no spare spools or multiple reels.

So over time I’ve ended with three, maybe four outfits, but take only one fishing at time:

A 9ft #7 outfit which has only ever been used on holiday for SWFF.

A 9ft #5 outfit used on local reservoirs from the bank.

A 7ft 9ins #3 outfit used on my local river.

Then there’s my most recent addition, (which may turn out to be an unnecessary whim), which is a 10ft #3, which will be used in summer on the reservoir for dries, (if conditions look just right for it), and for winter grayling.

A handled net for the reservoir, a scoop for the river. Waistcoat and thigh waders. A small bag for the reservoir.

My fly tying gear isn’t as spartan as I’d like, but that’s because of the inevitable build up of materials over years, and my failure, (so far), to come up with suitable compact storage.
That sounds like the sort of approach that appeals to me, carefully considered, thought out.

I started off coarse fishing as a lad, hauling my Efgeeco Standard miles down the banks of the Severn. Then, in the 70's, most images of fly fishing you would see would be the same. A chap with a tweed hat, cane rod, reel and a wicker creel. Simple and light.

I'm fully aware there's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Reservoir boat fishing demands more gear, particularly when you are out for a whole day. Likewise, Cap'n's expedition above. Light is made far more easy if you live local to a water and can just pop down when the whim takes you.
 

Mies

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Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
2,062
Location
Hibernia
I know where you're coming from SL. Over the years I've accumulated a ridiculous amount of gear. There are rods in my loft that I know I'm unlikely to ever use. Some even have the plastic on the handle. All pretty decent gear too... Sage, Hardy, Thomas & Thomas but I'm having a hard time even getting to the point of selling them on. I have four "go to" rods which I invariably grab. Two for wets and a couple for dries.
Reels? The same :rolleyes: Far more than I'm ever going to use. About seven or eight Hardy reels alone. Some nice older Bougles among them. I know they'll never see daylight but as with the rods I can't bear the thought of getting rid of them. As for flies? I won't even go there! Yet, come the Galway Fly Fair and I'll be top of the queue o_O
It's odd really as I tend to be a bit of a minimalist at heart. If you visited my house you would think that I'd been robbed. I hate clutter but all logic appears to go out the window when it comes to fishing.
My OH firmly believes it's some kind of flaw in my psyche but I take comfort in the fact that I'm not alone ;)
 
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shropshire_lad

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Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
1,950
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
My current gear is as follows. An 11'3" Bruce & Walker Century AFTM 4-6 rod that I have always used for my wild lake fishing. A similar length No 7 Leeda Volare rod that a chap on here uses for fishing the lakes of Lewis - as yet untested. A Vision Onki No 7 10' rod that I'm proposing to use on reservoirs - again as yet untested. Then I have a Greys large arbor reel with 3 spools and a WF No 7 floater, intermediate and sinker. Then the usual bits and pieces. I think I am going to need a lighter floating line to use with the B&W Century in future, probably a No 5 DTF.
 

easker1

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Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
6,428
Location
Highlands
I have a few home built rods and one custom built one , but I go out with one rod and reel one fly box and some times a flask, if I am away for a couple of days I have a travel rod which is my back up, I try to keep every thing to a minimum, I only take a net if I fish from a boat, easker1
 

anzac

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Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
1,113
For me, it's pockets and a small Wychwood rucksack for my lunch and water bottle, and rod and reel. It stays home if there's no room for it.

That means one rod and reel, pocket size fly boxes, a spare spool or two with different lines, tippett, and the usual tools. A hat, sunnies, and sun block top off the list.
 

GEK79

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Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
480
Yep - same here, re boat fishing.

Here we are, 2 of us, just about to load the car to come back from a week's boat fishing in the far north...



Packed!





😜🤭🤪
Not sure you took enough I can see through the back window lol.. How was the fishing.
 
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