There is no limit to the amount of money you can sink into fly fishing supplies. This guide explains the necessities, as well as some of the niceties.

Basic Fly Fishing Supplies

There seems to be an unending amount of fly fishing supplies that you “need” to go fly fishing for trout. The word “need” is relative of course. I have enjoyed many days fly fishing with just my rod and reel, my box of flies, polarized sunglasses and a fly fishing hat.

OK, I had on more than that.

Your First Shopping Trip

Here is my list of some of the fly fishing supplies you will find helpful depending on the type of fly fishing you plan on doing. Of course as you move beyond the fly fishing basics this list will grow.

I will keep these in the order that you should buy them.

Fly Rod, Reel, and Line

Goes without saying.

See our gear specific guides to help you learn what to look for and explore product recommendations

Fly Rod Guide Fly Reel Guide Fly Line Guide

Fly Box with Essential Trout Flies

The box should include a few dozen nymphs, dry flies, wet flies and even streamers.

Our curated fly boxes will help you build a solid foundation.

Consult your local fly shop for hatch information, as well as river and season specific flies.


Shop Our Essential Fly Boxes

Fly Fishing Hat

You may already have a good hat. A baseball cap is fine, but a hat that has full coverage is even better. You may take this more seriously if you have any experience with malignant melanoma.

Fly Fishing Hat Guide

Polarized Sunglasses

These are crucial for both sun protection and sighting ability. The polarized frames make it easier to see fish, or their shadows, or their movement. And they make it less likely that a fly will find its way into your eyelid.

Polarized Sunglass Guide

Your Second (Or Third) Shopping Trip for Fly Fishing Supplies

These are some of the very useful, but not completely essential fly fishing supplies if you are just starting with fly fishing basics.

Fly Fishing Vest or Pack

These are very handy. They save you the trouble of carrying a tackle box. You should be able to take your extra leader material, fly box, indicators and miscellaneous tools in these.

Fly Fishing Waders

Nice things to have if you plan on doing any serious wading. They come in many different materials and of course budgets. A good entry-level set could be as simple as Muck boots used by many farmers. Not good for much more than ankle-deep water but they are good for swampy areas.

For safety, always use the belt. Ever try to swim with your waders full of water?

Wading Staff

I am not talking about the staff at the fly shop here, I am talking about a collapsible rod that you can use for support when crossing a stream. I have been lucky in that I have only taken one fall into the river. It makes you think “what if.” If on a tight budget you can always use a stick found on the side of the river.

Wading Staff Guide

Fly Fishing Nets

When it comes to this topic of conservation, a good fly fishing net will allow you to catch and release your trout without harm. The newer materials used today will not rub off the scales of the trout.

Your Last Shopping Trip for Fly Fishing Supplies?

Don’t you wish! But don’t worry about it. What you need to do now is get out there. Go! Learn your local rivers, and get to know the staff at your local fly shop.

Start saving because I know you are already thinking about a fly fishing boat!

Click here for our guide to fly fishing boats.