Essential Fly Fishing Gear for Trout

Cory with a great brown

This post is meant to be a very simple list of just the basic and most essential fly fishing gear for trout fishing. Most of the time, when you’re fly fishing for trout, you won’t need everything under the sun and can just keep it simple.

Essential Fly Fishing Gear for Trout

  • Good forceps with scissors
  • A good nipper on a zinger
  • Leader material from 4X up through 0X
  • Indicators, and non-toxic split shot (it is doubtful you’ll be fishing alone and without a guide who will have all of the terminal tackle rigged and ready, but it doesn’t hurt to have some backup).
  • If you want to carry a lightweight net, then carry one. Chances are the guide will land the fish.
  • A wading staff is excellent if you’re going to be out of the boat.

Clothing, Accessories and Personal Items

You’ll want to dress in layers appropriate to the season while you’re out on the water.

  • Polarized sunglasses – As in every other style of fishing, sunglasses are critical. Take three pair; a backup for your backup. Wear croakies to keep them from falling off and floating down river. Make sure your main pair are superior polarized lenses to cut the glare and allow you to see the bottom as well as the fish. Your backups can be lesser and there are some great less expensive fishing glasses out there.
  • High-quality breathable raincoat in good condition
  • High-quality breathable waders in good condition, with repair kit
  • Stout, felt soled wading boots with good ankle support.
  • Studded boots are optional but not needed.
  • Headgear, i.e. hat with a brim, and a beanie for cooler weather.
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Lightweight and fleece long underwear
  • Fleece sweater or jacket
  • Packs – Fly-fishing packs are the best way to carry what you need for a day in the Alaskan wilderness. Waterproof packs are even better. Essentially you want a larger pack to carry extra layers and then a fishing pack such as a sling pack or a hip pack to carry flies, leaders, and other accessories. This can actually be transported to the river inside the larger pack and you are not going to need every accessory and every box of flies you own. Your guide will tell you what you need and generally you will be fishing the same species during the course of the day. Take what you need in the smaller pack, and pack what you think you need in the larger pack, which can stay on the shore, in the boat, or on the plane.
  • Casual clothing for wearing around the lodge.
  • Swimsuit for the hot tub (if there is one at the lodge), or the river if you like!
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof boat bag
  • Water bottle
  • Camera (bring extra film or cards, batteries, chargers)
  • Video cameras (bring extra discs, tapes, batteries, chargers, there are plugs in the rooms for chargers)
  • Binoculars for eco-trips and sightseeing
  • Basic toiletries
  • Passport

Rods, Reels and Lines

Flies:

Before your trip, contact your guide or a local fly fishing shop and ask for fly list specific to the time of the year you plan to be fishing. At most fishing lodges, they have a large selection of the best used flies for their water.

Rod, reel and lines:

  • 2 fast action 5-6wt 9 foot rods with floating line and a 150-250 grain sinking tip for streamer fishing
  • 9 foot 2,3,4x leaders for dry fishing and 7.5 foot 0-2x leaders for streamer fishing
  • 0-4.5x tippets

Be sure to talk to your guide about any specific gear that you should bring, but this list should cover you. If you’re looking for a fly fishing guide, we would love to help!

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