Hal Janssen, one of the big-time stillwater gurus, shares his life story of fly fishing for over 60 years. We dig into his book, Stillwater Fly Fishing Secrets, which he describes as the complete book on stillwater fly fishing.

Hal tells the story of when he hooked on a dead girl’s body while fishing in Santa Cruz river – it’s creepy but a little bit funny the way he tells it.

We also hear about some of his other cool hobbies like wood carving and pinstriping.


Click below and listen to the Podcast about Stillwater Fly Fishing Secrets with Hal Janssen:

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


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Stillwater Fly Fishing Secrets Show Notes with Hal Janssen

05:00 – Hal is also known as the pin striper – he restores classic cars and boats

13:15 – We dig into his book, Stillwater Fly Fishing Secrets

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14:00 – Hal fished with a lot of popular names in fly fishing like Dave Whitlock, Ed Rice, Polly Rosborough, etc.

17:30 – We talk about float tubes

22:00 – Tip: If you’re fishing stillwater, it’s important that you wear the lightest outfit possible because you’re fishing with leaders that 6x and 7x (more explanation why in the podcast)


25:30 – Hal uses fiberglass rods exclusively

27:00 – Hal explains why he never uses an indicator

32:00 – Hal tells us why he doesn’t want to write a book about steelhead

34:40 – Hal doesn’t use barbless hooks, he just pushes the barb in to make it barbless

36:10 – Hal tells the story of when he hooked on a dead body while fishing in the Santa Cruz river

43:00 – Hal is into fish wood-carving lately

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45:45 – We talk about Joe Brooks – Joe was on the podcast in episode 071

49:00 – Hal has a signature called the Chihuahua

51:30 – Hal has a gold Jaguar (1967)

57:20 – Joan Wulff was on the podcast at episode 100 – she shared some relationship advice there

58:30 – The Marabou Leech is Hal’s favorite fly for trout – he designed this pattern

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Photo by FlyFishingTheSierra.com

1:10:15 – He uses a Thompson and a Dynaking vise


You can connect with Hal at HalJanssen.net


Resources Noted in the Show

Stillwater Fly Fishing Secrets

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Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 071 – Joe Brooks Podcast – Salt Water Fly Fishing, American Sportsman, Babe Ruth, Alcoholism

WFS 160 – The Dave Whitlock Podcast – Terrestrials, White River, Passion


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below