In this episode, we dive deep into the heart of the Northeast, where the wilderness rivals the vast national parks of the West. Join us as we follow the adventures of David Brotzman, who embarks on a journey through Adirondacks fly fishing, armed with the newest gear and a van life setup that brings him closer to nature. David shares invaluable insights on preparing for a remote trip, the allure of van life for modern anglers, and the conservation efforts vital to preserving these pristine waters. Get ready to explore hidden fly fishing treasures in the East and learn how to make your next outdoor adventure successful and sustainable.

Show Notes with David Brotzman on Adirondacks Fly Fishing. Hit play below! 👇🏻

apple podcasts

google podcast

Find the show:  iTunes | Stitcher | Overcast

Subscribe on Android

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Subscribe on Google Podcasts

Subscribe via RSS

(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


Sponsors and Podcast Updates


Adirondacks Fly Fishing

Episode Chapters with David Brotzman on Adirondacks Fly Fishing

2:00 – David shares his relatively recent journey into fly fishing, a passion ignited during the COVID-19 lockdown. With a background in outdoor activities and fond memories of spending summers in the Adirondacks during his youth, David was drawn back to nature and fishing as an escape from the indoor restrictions of the pandemic.

7:23 – His breakthrough came when a friend introduced him to fly fishing, leading to an exhilarating experience of catching a Chinook salmon on one of his first attempts. This encounter and the fascinating complexity of river ecosystems and trout behavior deeply hooked him into the sport. David emphasizes the importance of not getting overly fixated on gear for beginners and highlights the joy and tranquility fishing brings, beyond the thrill of the catch.

10:29 – David recounts his restoration project of a 1965 vintage mirror craft boat, emphasizing the joy of blending his newfound fishing passion with family bonding and the allure of waterborne adventures, even on the historic Erie Canal near Rochester, New York.

13:05 – David, alongside a friend, creates a film that encapsulates their fly fishing adventures, focusing on the distinctive aspects of Eastern versus Western fly fishing. They aim to highlight the contrasts and similarities, particularly emphasizing the need to adapt techniques and understand the local ecosystems.

20:00 – Our chat touches on the choice of equipment emphasizing the distinctive quality and depth that professional cinema cameras bring to the narrative, allowing him to paint with footage and add his unique touch as a storyteller.

adirondacks fly fishing
Photo via:

27:10 – David emphasizes the pivotal role of TroutRoutes in their adventure. Their trip, initially challenging due to the season and the unfamiliarity with the Adirondacks’ fall conditions, was streamlined with TroutRoutes’ comprehensive features. The app’s river grading system, river flow data, and the newly introduced river miles feature proved invaluable for selecting suitable rivers, ensuring safe navigation, and avoiding restricted areas.

adirondacks fly fishing
Photo via:

33:20 – He shares his memorable trip to the Ausable River in the Adirondacks, a renowned river known for its clarity and the quality of trout fishing it offers. Despite its fame and the potential apprehensions associated with tackling such a well-known location, David leveraged thorough planning and use of resources like TroutRoutes to feel well-prepared for their adventure.

36:17 – Beyond digital tools, David suggests leveraging a wealth of information available through simple Google searches, including blog posts and articles from individuals who have previously fished or floated the river. These insights offer contextual knowledge that can complement apps, helping anglers to make informed decisions about where and when to fish.

He also stresses the significance of visiting local fly shops for real-time advice and updates on river conditions. This step is crucial for understanding the current state of the river and any potential hazards, as conditions can change rapidly and impact the safety and success of the trip.


38:25 – David recommends going on a trip in the Adirondacks in spring as the prime season for such adventures, especially in the Ausable, based on local advice and their own experiences. Sring offers higher water levels due to snowmelt, leading to more active fish movement and the potential for early dry fly hatches.

40:21 – David highlights the distinct appeal of the Adirondacks. He also emphasizes the sheer size of the park, which is so vast that it can encompass multiple national parks within its boundaries, including Yosemite.

45:36 – He talks about an unexpected challenge they experienced, including a nearly 60-foot waterfall adjacent to their planned route. This discovery underscored the potential dangers of navigating the river, highlighting the necessity of constantly checking maps and staying alert to the terrain’s unpredictable changes.

48:06 – David also praises the gear that supported their expedition, particularly highlighting the innovative design of Kokopelli’s Rogue R-Deck rafts. These rafts, equipped with internal storage within the tubes, offered a perfect blend of durability, buoyancy, and convenience, proving instrumental in navigating the challenging waters while keeping their gear dry and secure.

Photo via:

58:26 – We delve into the intricacies of van life, sparked by David’s transition to living and traveling in a customized Ford Transit. With his wife’s support, he ventured into van life by transforming an empty Ford Transit into a fully equipped mobile home.

David’s project, “The Very Good Van Build” series, is documented on Instagram and TikTok, offering glimpses into the van’s layout and the lifestyle it enables. Despite lacking a full interior tour online, plans are in place to share more about their unique home on wheels as they continue their travels and adventures.


PART 9 in the Van Build series – plumbing, structure and more. Tag along as we start to finish up this build!!! LIKE AND FOLLOW FOR MORE. #vanlife #vanbuilds #vanbuild #fishinglife #flyfishingnation #flyfishinglife #blundstoneusa #blundstone #blundstoneboots #fishing #construction #plumbing #electrical #acunit #dometicac @dometic @renogyofficial @blundstoneusa @ford @loweshomeimprovement @project.vanlife

♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) – CKay

1:13:00 – David highlights the Starlink internet service as a game-changer for remote work and entertainment, providing reliable, high-speed internet anywhere, which is particularly beneficial for those living the van life.

1:18:10 – David revisits the topic of luxury items brought on their trip, highlighting the Outin espresso maker as a standout addition. He and his wife, having backgrounds as baristas, highly value quality coffee. This portable espresso maker, resembling a thermos, allows them to prepare authentic espresso shots remotely, without needing to plug it in, thanks to its battery and water heater.

Nano Portable Espresso Machine (Photo via:

1:20:25 – David expresses genuine affection for freeze-dried food, particularly Mountain House. He specifically praises the Beef Stroganoff, noting that its noodles and beef rehydrate well, and he enjoys it with a bit of Tabasco for extra flavor.

Photo via:

You can find David on Instagram @verygoodflyfishing

Facebook at Very Good Fly Fishing

TikTok @verygoodflyfishing

Adirondacks Fly Fishing

Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 532 – Backcountry Skinz with Kelly Reaume – Wading Gear, Bull Trout, Fly Fishing Canada



Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

Adirondacks Fly Fishing

Conclusion with David Brotzman on Adirondacks Fly Fishing

For anyone inspired by David’s story and looking to go on their fly fishing adventure, especially in the vast wilderness of the Adirondacks or similar regions, it’s crucial to research, plan, and equip yourself properly. Engaging with local communities and leveraging tools like TroutRoutes can significantly enhance the experience and safety of your journey. And, of course, embracing the adventure spirit with respect for nature and local regulations is paramount.