The 5 Kinds of Anglers You Meet on the Water

Back in May, Ben Duchesney, of Postfly (a review of which I’ll have up here on the Trout Life blog in a week or so) wrote a piece titled, “The 6 Fly Anglers You’ll Meet on the Water.

I liked Ben’s piece, so much so that I wanted to add to it. This list is based largely on my experiences criss-crossing the Western United States in search of trout.

So with that tip of the hat aside, let’s wade into this discussion.

The Hipster
This is the guy who somehow managed to find a pair of skinny waders to match the skinny jeans he normally wears.

He probably wears his flat-brim hat backwards, and uses phrases like, “Bro, that’s so dope,” and “I’ve been doing this since before Instagram was a thing.”

This angler might ruffle the feathers of the traditional guys, but he’s having fun, catches fish, and is better than you’d expect.

The Purist
You know him by reputation alone. He catches the biggest fish, the prettiest fish, and when he keys in on one stretch of river, you want to set your rod aside and watch him fish.

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Using only dry flies, the purist plucks trout from water you consistently overlook, and a glance into his box reveals nothing but battered dries from sizes 16-32. He doesn’t carry split shot, and likely hasn’t put a bobber on his leader – ever.


Hank Patterson
The character created by Travis Swartz is infamous on YouTube for his antics and making fun of fly fishing culture in general.

But what makes Hank even funnier is the fact that we all have one angling friend who thinks that a trout really can spit a fly out of its mouth at 95mph, or that the surface of a trout’s mouth is the same consistency as solid brass.

Despite his fopas, loud shouts of “Hambone!” when he hooks a fish, and insistence on fishing hoppers during a January midge hatch, Hank catches fish, and has a ton of fun doing it.

The Media
Those fishing shows have to be filmed on real rivers somewhere, right? Yeah, they do (and I’ve even done a few of these shows myself) and every now and then you’ll run into a full camera crew on a tailwater like the Frying Pan or the Green or the Miracle Mile.


These guys squat in the best holes, take all day to get the perfect shot, and make life difficult for everyone trying to fish around them. I should probably take this opportunity to apologize to any and everyone I’ve inconvenienced on my shoots.

In the end, though, you can’t find it in yourself to get mad at these guys. Their videos rock and help rid you of cabin fever when you’re stuck in the office or have to spend three weekends straight working on the honeydo list.

The Talker
Fly fishermen are largely a congenial bunch, but that doesn’t mean we want to spend our time on the water shooting the bull with some random stranger.

The Talker doesn’t get this, and seems to spend more time talking about fishing the river than actually fishing. He’s constantly asking questions about the flies you’re using, and seems to always forget something important. You’ve probably netted a fish for him once or twice because his is back at the truck.

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Even though the talker can get on your nerves at times, some of them turn out to be lifelong friends.

What kind of anglers do you commonly run into on the river? Let us know in the comments below!

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Spencer is a fly fishing writer and novelist from Utah. His novel, Learning to Fly, is for sale now on Amazon. You can connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @Spencer_Durrant, or on Facebook @spencerdurrantauthor. 

Posted in:Just For Fun

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