One of the great things about fly fishing is that it gets us (and little ones) off our screens and into nature. However, living in a digital world has its perks too. The growth of YouTube provides fly fishermen and women a platform to share expertise, knowledge, and opinions with those seeking it. Additionally, YouTube videos can be stunning works of art that can be invitations to learn about, and try fly fishing, to just about anyone who discovers them. We’ve put together a list of the best YouTube Channels for you to check out, and as YouTuber would say, “If you like them, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button.”
Best Trout Fishing YouTube Channels
A great fly fishing YouTube channel does one of two things – preferably both. One, they provide excellent information and education on fly fishing. Two, they make great fly fishing videos. Troutbitten does both.
Troutbitten describes its channels as “stories, tips, and tactics from a life on the water.” They provide thorough, accurate education in addition to exquisitely shot videos complete with music. Sure, there are great YouTube videos shot with a shaky smartphone or expert fly tyers in bad lighting showing you how to tie a wooly bugger, but it’s nice to have a well-polished video like the videos on Troutbitten.
If you’re a trout fisherman, you probably already have heard of Phil Rowley. Rowley is a premier fly fishing author, fly tier, and educator based in British Columbia, and is a tremendous ambassador for the sport, primarily stillwater fly fishing. Phil’s YouTube channel is a curation of fly fishing videos and fly tying with an emphasis on chironomids, balanced leeches, and all things fly fishing lakes.
Hank Patterson may not be the “World’s Greatest Fly Fishing Guide,” but his YouTube videos are effective at poking fun at the fly fishing dogma. It’s no secret that fly fishing can seem intimidating, and there definitely are members of our community that are arrogant, so it’s always nice to have a laugh at those folks and recognize that fishing is fun. Hank Patterson will make you laugh and remind you not to take your craft seriously – and nothing else.
Best Saltwater Fly Fishing YouTube Channels
Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures
The destination travel company, Yellow Dog, has invested heavily in showing all of the amazing places they set up trips for. While they book trips all over the world, including freshwater locations, nothing gets folks more excited about pulling the trigger on a once-in-a-lifetime fly fishing vacation like the sizzle reels of massive bonefish, tarpon, and permits at some lush tropical lodge. Expect to find this and more on Yellow Dog’s YouTube channel.
It’s no secret Fly Lords are masters of fly fishing storytelling. Fly Lords uses YouTube as an extension of their blog. You can expect to see videos from all over the world, but their saltwater videos are exhilarating. If you love great writing, complimented by fantastic videos, give Fly Lords a subscribe on YouTube or sign-up for the Fly Lord’s newsletter, so you don’t miss either.
Wild Fly Productions
Are you stuck in a cubicle? Desperate to be somewhere warm and teeming with fish? You might not get there today, but Wild Fly Productions can get you there with one of their YouTube videos. Wild Fly shoots fly fishing videos worldwide and focus on the fun, camaraderie, and friendship fly fishing creates. The vids are well shot, and some are pretty long, so you can binge them at work without needing to search for the next one every few minutes. Wild Fly posts the type of videos that will keep you entertained until you get that vacation set to chase trophies on your own.
Best Educational/Beginner Fly Fishing YouTube Channel
Mad River Outfitters
“Well, hello friends.”
That’s the greeting you get from Mad River Outfitters’ own YouTube sensation, Brian Flechsig. Mad River has been in business since 1994, and in that time, Brian has built a wealth of knowledge that he shares in a no-nonsense, incredibly rational manner. I love watching Mad River videos on everything from technique to gear reviews, and especially when they open the mailbag.
The New Fly Fisher
Have you ever watched a YouTube channel and thought, “these guys should be on TV.” Well, you will probably have that impression with The New Fly Fisher. In fact, you can find them on cable and streaming. I don’t know what came first, the tv show or the YouTube channel, but either way they do a masterful job of promoting fly fishing destinations. It was the first place I came across the balanced leech for stillwater, and I can confidently say I used those fly fishing tips all of the time. With a little bit of TV cred, they can pull some true stars of the fly fishing community like Orvis’ Tom Rosenbauer of Orvis and Phil Rowley, two YouTube personalities on this list.
The Orvis Company
Orvis is a brand that places a heavy emphasis on introducing new people to fly fishing—as such, providing educational resources is key to this strategy. Today, you can find Orvis-guided fly fishing instruction in the form of books, videos, and, of course, a YouTube channel. I visit this channel when I need a refresher on a specific technique, particularly casting. There is always something to learn in fly fishing from host Tom Rosenbauer, and Orvis is always a solid place to start, no matter how long you’ve been fishing.
Best Fly Tying YouTube Channels
Tightline Outdoors is my go-to online fly tying library. Whenever I need to refresh myself on a fly pattern or technique or search out a new fly to tie, the melodic, slightly monotoned voice of narrator, Tim Flagler, will show me the way. Tightline tying videos are clear, concise, and, frankly, a lifesaver. They are definitely a must-subscribe YouTube video for all fly tyers and fishermen.
Alvin Dedeaux is a Texas-based guide with a knack for finding fish and tying flies. He is particularly excellent at sharing his easy-to-tie, super-effective guide flies. What’s more, Dedeaux is comfortable targeting a variety of fish; in fresh or saltwater. His videos are super educational and go beyond the tier’s bench to show his patterns in action in the boat.
Hopper Juan Ramirez
Colorado guide and fly creator “Hopper” Juan Ramirez is known throughout the Rockies for his Slim Shady fly. His YouTube channel, where he shows how to tie this killer pattern, has only helped to spread his stardom further. If you’re tired of learning “new” fly patterns that are just variations on the wooly bugger and want to develop great technique for innovative flies, subscribe to Hopper Juan Ramirez’s channel.
Final Thoughts on the Best Fly Fishing Channels on YouTube
YouTube and other social media platforms have catapulted fly fishing into the mainstream. This has given even more people the opportunity to learn fly fishing. However, this trend is not without its negatives, as many have decried the desire for guides to become “instafamous” through self-promotional tactics that detract from the core values of fly fishing, like blowing up fly fishing locations to the public. The best fly fishing YouTube Channels do a good job of educating, entertaining, and championing fly fishing and fly tying effectively and ethically. Give them a follow and find out for yourself.