Today, we’re diving into choosing the perfect trout fly with an expert who knows his stuff. Imagine you’re at the river with your perfect fly rod set-up, ready to catch a trout, but unsure which fly to use.

Spencer Durrant, a fly fishing content creator and gear enthusiast, is here to help. He will guide us through the top three things to consider when choosing the right fly pattern, even if it’s your first time fishing. Plus, he’ll share his insights on gear reviews and his must-have flies for any situation.

Show Notes with Spencer Durrant on Choosing the Perfect Trout Fly. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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


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Episode Chapters with Spencer Durrant on Choosing the Perfect Trout Fly

2:40 – Spencer recounts his earliest experience with fly fishing. He shares a nostalgic story about how his father took him on an unexpected fishing trip instead of the grocery store, leading to a memorable day at Family Creek in Utah.

5:23 – He talks about his career journey. Spencer shares that after serving a mission for a church, he was uncertain about his future and decided against attending college. He gravitated towards fishing and spent significant time on the Lower Provo River in Utah.

10:30 – We discuss Spencer’s journey into podcasting and his collaboration with Ventures Fly Co. He reveals that he has long been interested in podcasts and had a short-lived one a few years ago. His involvement with Ventures Fly Co. began serendipitously when he met the team while fishing, leading to a partnership. They launched their current podcast in December 2022, focusing on making fly fishing accessible for beginners.

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13:40 – We dig into choosing the right fly for fly fishing. Spencer emphasizes simplifying the selection process to make it more accessible, especially for beginners. He and his colleague Alex from Ventures developed an easy-to-follow method called the “Right Fly Formula.” The formula is based on three main criteria: size, shape, and color.

19:55 – To learn about fly fishing without getting too deep into the etymology, Spencer suggests visiting a local fly shop for detailed information about local rivers and hatching insects. For those without access to a fly shop or a nearby river, he recommends getting a basic education on identifying common insects like caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies, including their nymphs.

22:36 – He recommends visiting their website for online fly fishing and fly tying masterclasses for beginners.

23:58 – We dive deep into how to prepare for fishing in Yellowstone with dry flies.


31:23 – Spencer emphasizes that making flies look perfect isn’t necessary and suggests that uniqueness can help a fly stand out. He shares an anecdote about a friend catching fish with a severely worn-out fly to highlight that presentation might be more important than the fly’s appearance.

35:51 – He stresses the need to closely observe the surroundings. He advises turning over rocks in the water to match the local insect life to the flies in your tackle box, ensuring a better match and higher success rate in catching fish.

40:43 – Spencer mentions using a big dry fly and an orange dubbing that he found among his grandfather’s fly-tying materials, which perfectly matches the October caddis. He often fishes a caddis emerger pattern, either off the back of an elk hair caddis dry fly or by nymphing it deep under a stonefly nymph to reach the bottom where fish are feeding.

43:40 – The Untangled podcast began as a Q&A-based show driven by listener questions. He mentions his recent episodes, including topics like fly rods, waders, and trout behavior, and a notable episode where I gave my top 5 lessons from his 600 episodes.

46:45 – Spencer curates news stories and writes gear columns at MidCurrent, including reviews and guides on selecting the right equipment. He recently wrote about the BOA versus traditional laces for wading boots.

He also delves into the challenges of providing unbiased gear reviews. Spencer acknowledges the difficulty of maintaining transparency, especially when he has personal relationships with gear manufacturers. Despite these relationships, Spencer asserts that he does not sugarcoat his reviews. He emphasizes the importance of honest evaluations, especially when products are expensive.

49:48 – We dig into fly rods. Spencer owns 13 Winston fly rods. He prefers a more progressive, medium-fast action fly rod. They had the guys from Winston in the podcast recently.

He also elaborates on his role as a reviewer, emphasizing the importance of providing comprehensive information to anglers. He recounts his meticulous effort in reviewing the Orvis Helios, discussing its impressive claims, and his interactions with Orvis rod designer Shawn Combs to verify them.

53:18 – Spencer recalls an episode he did with Tim Rajeff of Echo wherein he talked about the key factors in rod design—weight, speed, and durability. Spencer acknowledges that while the Orvis Helios is exceptionally impressive and should be considered by those seeking the best rod on the market, its long-term durability is yet to be fully determined.

54:56 – Spencer expresses his enthusiasm for Skwala, notably their Backeddy wader and hoodies, praising their comfort and quality. He also highlights the new Thomas & Thomas Avant II fly rod, dispelling the misconception that gear reviewers get to keep all the equipment they review. Most of the time, they receive loaner rods to test and return.

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Spencer also commends Douglas for their fly rods, particularly their new DXF series. Additionally, he notes other gear, such as Korkers’ new Wade Lite boots, Simms’ G4Z waders, and Scientific Anglers’ saltwater fly lines.

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59:16 – For the rest of the year, Spencer reveals that they will be concluding their beginner fly fishing masterclass series by August. Following this, they will embark on a new project, a bug masterclass, which will provide in-depth information on various insects relevant to fly fishing. Additionally, Spencer discusses the release of new eBooks, including one about choosing the right fly for different fishing situations.

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You can find Spencer’s works on Instagram @venturesflyco and @midcurrent.

Facebook at Ventures Fly Co.

Visit their website at

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Resources Noted in the Show

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Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 573 – The Subtle Art of Fly Casting Mastery with Tim Rajeff – Echo Fly Rod, Rod Technology, Double Haul


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

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Conclusion with Spencer Durrant on Choosing the Perfect Trout Fly

With candid gear assessments and a wealth of fishing knowledge, Spencer is a valuable resource for anglers of every skill level. Whether he’s unraveling trout fly secrets or unveiling the latest equipment, his passion for the sport is infectious. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced angler, Spencer offers the perfect bait for a fun fishing experience. Best of luck out there, anglers!