Sunday’s Classic / Two Anglers Are Often Better Than One

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Capt. Joel Dickey and I soaking up a team victory. Photo By: Louis Cahill


There’s times when I really enjoy fly fishing in complete solitude, all alone, just me and the river. That said, my best angling skills seem to come out when I’ve got a buddy fly fishing alongside me.

You can’t enjoy camaraderie on the water by yourself. There’s no high-fives, no passing the victory flask around, and worst of all, it’s awfully hard to snap a quality photograph of you and your prized catch. Wait a minute, I take the latter back. It is possible to get a good photo by yourself if you’ve figured out a way to strap a tri-pod to your back and you’re also willing to lug it around all day. That being said, the main reason I think two anglers are often better than one, is because it allows you to work as a team, and that generally makes it much easier to find success on the water.

Louis and I have had pretty consistent success fishing together over the years. Even during really tough fishing conditions we generally find a way to put enough fish in the net during the day to call it a win. The biggest reason for this is because we’re always working together to decipher the fish code. Fly Fishing as a team, we figure out what the fish are feeding on, where they’re primarily located, and what are the hot fly patterns. We make a point to never tie on and fish the same patterns first thing in the morning, and quite often, we don’t even start out fishing in the same water column. This allows us to quickly eliminate what’s not working and adjust our fishing tactics to what fish want.

It’s a pretty simple concept, more common sense than rocket science, but it works well, and we stick to it. Even in situations where only one of us can fish at a time, like on a flats boat, the non angler will stay busy maintaining line management and helping with spotting fish. We always have each others back, we openly strategize together, and we’re not afraid to push each other to our limits when success depends on it.

So next time you’re fixing to head out fishing, take the time to call and invite a buddy to come along with you. You just might find that it’s the winning variable in the equation of fly fishing success.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Sunday’s Classic / Two Anglers Are Often Better Than One

  1. Agreed! No doubt two is better on most days. I enjoy fishing by myself on occasion, but I also really have fun fishing with my buddies. Like you mentioned, we fish differently, approach water differently, and fish different fly patterns. These factors come in handy when the fishing gets tough and you’re trying to figure out the pattern for the day. The learning curve gets shortened, and we often have way more success when we fish together.

  2. I enjoy spending time on the water with my friends as well. Most of the time we joke around and heckle each other. But, like you mentioned it is nice to be able to work as a team to find success when trying to trick a picky fish.

  3. One additional reason for the buddy system is that you learn from each other. My friend Jay and I both love fishing, we have the same politics and ethics, and we are both pretty decent fishermen with different backgrounds (mine in salt and Alaska, and his out west). We learn from each other. Admittedly, I learned more from Jay over the years. Learn and grow…

  4. I have a couple fishing buddies (best is my brother), and I learn something new every time I fish with someone else. For that matter, I learn something every time I’m on the river and watch someone fishing with fly or conventional tackle even when I’m not fishing with them. “What color?” to fluke user catching stripers from a jon boat or a rooster tail slinger netting one stocker after another has saved many a day for me.

    But I really like fishing by myself, too. I think I almost always catch more and better fish solo because I can get up as early as I want, fish at my own pace, and not feel obligated to be a good host or guest and keep the good water to myself.

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