Throwback to Horseback Riding and Fly Fishing | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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In this conversation, Bob Terwilliger, a fly fishing guide, shares his experiences and expertise in high mountain lake fishing and ice-off scenarios. He discusses the types of rods and weights he recommends for different fishing situations, emphasizing the importance of considering wind conditions. Bob also explains the strategy he uses during the fishing season, starting with ice-out fishing in lakes and targeting fish in shallow areas. He shares tips on locating fish, such as fishing near structure, weed beds, and windy areas. Bob also talks about his guiding experiences, including a memorable trip with a beginner who caught 41 fish on his first day. In this conversation, Bob Terwilliger shares his thoughts on casting and presenting flies from a casting perspective. He emphasizes the importance of a delicate presentation and understanding the fish's cone of vision. Bob also discusses line management and the need to keep tension on the line while fishing. He shares tips for beginners, such as wrapping the index finger around the line and keeping the rod tip up. Bob also talks about the benefits of fishing with two flies at once and the importance of switching flies until you find a combination that works. He concludes by encouraging people not to be afraid of horseback riding in the backcountry and to enjoy the unique experience it offers.


  • When fishing in high mountain lakes, using a lightweight rod with a weight between three and four is recommended. A longer rod, such as a 10-foot rod, is preferred for fishing in windy conditions and making longer casts.
  • Ice-off fishing can be extremely productive, as fish become more active and cruise the shallows. Fishing near the shoreline where the wind is beating and the water is cloudy can be a great way to locate fish during this time.
  • Bob recommends using inflatable boats with oars for trolling along shorelines and locating fish. This method allows for easy casting and fishing while rowing. Structure, weed beds, and areas where wind has pushed food against the shoreline are key areas to find fish.
  • Teaching beginners can be rewarding, as they often learn quickly and have a great experience catching fish. Simplifying fly fishing and focusing on size, shape, and color when selecting flies can make it more accessible for beginners.
  • Casting ability is not the only factor in successful fishing. It's more important to get the fly in the right place, even if the cast doesn't look perfect. Having fun and being safe are top priorities in guiding. A delicate presentation is crucial in fly fishing, and understanding the fish's cone of vision is important for successful casting.
  • Line management is a challenging aspect of fly fishing, and beginners should focus on keeping tension on the line and being ready for a strike.
  • Fishing with two flies at once can increase your chances of catching fish, and it's important to switch flies until you find a combination that works.
  • Don't be afraid of horseback riding in the backcountry, as outfitters provide riding stock for all abilities and can help beginners with the riding experience.

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Christian Bacasa, Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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