Part 6: Fly Fishing Conservation is Healing Rivers with Scientific Research | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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Part 6: Fly Fishing Conservation is Healing Rivers with Scientific Research with Donny Benkendorf

Here is a raw summarization of the show transcription with Donnie Brenkendor titled, Fly Fishing Conservation is Healing Rivers with Scientific Research

The Hidden Streams : Unveiling the Secrets to Successful Fly Fishing

Fly fishing has long been revered as a rewarding and nuanced outdoor activity, with enthusiasts constantly seeking to unravel its countless intricacies. The Fly Fishing Insider Podcast recently shone light on some fascinating and lesser-known aspects of fly fishing, hosting an engaging discussion between two experienced enthusiasts.


Yellowstone, with its untouched wilderness and rich ecological diversity, serves as a tempting canvas for fly fishing. Within its boundaries, many undiscovered streams teem with elusive fish, creating a scene of intrigue and curiosity among the fishing community. The podcast’s conversation circled around these hidden gems, with the speakers sharing their experiences and advice on how to approach the clandestine fish dwelling within these streams.

Diving into Hidden Streams:

Speaker 0 reminisced about a friend’s internship experience in the Jackson hole area, involving stream shocking— a method used to temporarily stun fish for study, revealing that even the seemingly unpopulated streams are abuzz with aquatic life. Speaker 1 acknowledged this abundance of life, highlighting the healthy condition of many of Yellowstone’s streams, resonating with shared experiences of surprise and marvel at the creatures unveiled during shocking sessions.

Exploring Backcountry:

The speakers, brimming with curiosity, delved into discussions on the accessibility of these mysterious fish. They emphasized the importance of exploring the backcountry in Yellowstone, the lands less traveled, revealing that some of the best fishing experiences lie within the remote, lesser-known waters of the park. Speaker 1 advised eager listeners to invest effort into reaching these secluded locations, as the more accessible, well-known waters often face substantial fishing pressure.

Unraveling the Secrets to Successful Catch:

Christian Bacasa introduced Anthony, a dedicated cutthroat chaser and fly fishing enthusiast known as “into the wild we go” on Instagram. Anthony advocated for the use of heavy, small leech patterns, focusing on presenting them in front of every potential hiding spot, such as undercut rocks, where fish might be lurking. His unique approach is grounded in the belief that fish, especially the bigger ones, tend to hide and can be enticed to strike when a tempting bait appears before them.

The Intricacies of Night Fishing:

Another fascinating tip revealed during the podcast was the potential success of night fishing. Proponent of this method, Brad from Fly Fish Elevated, championed this tactic, stating that big predator fish are active nocturnal feeders, giving anglers an excellent opportunity to catch them off guard. By contrast, during the daytime, these fish likely recline under their hiding spots, emerging only when food presents itself conveniently.

Importance of Weight and Depth:

A critical aspect of catching fish, as noted by both speakers, was ensuring the correct weight of the tackle. In certain streams within Yellowstone, adjusting the weight proved pivotal in securing a catch. The speakers mentioned using split shots to achieve the desired depth and employing various techniques, such as high sticking or using a strike indicator, to adapt to the different water conditions and depths, reinforcing the importance of versatility in fly fishing techniques.

Versatile Approaches and Adaptability:

The conversation steered towards other notable fly fishing figures, such as George Daniels, and his approach to fly fishing, detailed in his book, “Dynamic Nymphing.” George’s ideology resembles Bruce Lee’s martial arts philosophy, where learning multiple styles and techniques is crucial. He encourages anglers to familiarize themselves with various tactics, allowing them to adapt and employ the most suitable approach depending on the river’s demands.

Concluding Thoughts:

The discussion concluded with gratitude exchanged between the speakers, leaving the listeners enriched with newfound knowledge and perspectives on fly fishing in Yellowstone’s hidden streams. The advice and experiences shared emphasized the importance of exploration, adaptability, and a deep understanding of the fish's behavior and habitat.
This enriching dialogue underscored the essence of fly fishing as a harmonious interplay between knowledge, technique, and intuition, inviting avid anglers to transcend conventional boundaries and explore the myriad possibilities that lie within the hidden streams of Yellowstone.


Fly fishing in Yellowstone’s hidden streams opens up a realm of exploration and learning. The secrets unveiled in the podcast—exploring the backcountry, understanding fish behavior, adjusting tackle weight, and diversifying fishing techniques—paint a comprehensive picture of the delicate dance between angler and fish. By embracing these insights and merging them with personal experiences, fly fishing enthusiasts can enhance their connection with nature, achieving a more profound and fulfilling engagement with the art of fly fishing.

Listen to the Podcast Episode with Donny Benkendorf 


 Christian Bacasa, Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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