I sat down with Joe Humphreys, one of the great fly fishing personalities of the 20th century. Joe shares his life in fly fishing, wrestling and teaching both young and old.

You’ll get a perspective on the history of fly fishing from Joe today and from his movie Live the Stream. You’ll here Joe tell the story of how he caught the largest trout on the fly in the state of PA. Plus he’ll describe night fishing and some great tips if you ever find yourself out in the evening.


Click below to listen to the Joe Humphreys Interview:

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Show Notes with Joe Humphreys

01:27 – Live the Stream is the new movie based on Joe’s life.

20:00 – George Harvey was one of Joe’s early mentors in fly fishing

38:45 – George Daniel was on the podcast in episode 55 where we talked about Joe’s style including the occasion slap around to get you fired up.

45:00 – Orvis Helios Rod was recommended by Joe as one of his present day goto sticks.

45:30 – Cortland 9′ for a 5 weight and a 10′ rod are two of Joe’s present day rods.


You can see the movie at LivetheStreamFilm.com.


Highlights from the Podcast


Night Fly Fishing Tips

  • Joe covers his experience night fishing and some experience fishing the Truckee River in the night even though it was illegal.
  • The key to night fishing is knowing the water during the day time first.  You’ll then be ready to go for the evening.  Understanding where to drift the fly and knowing your water is critical.
  • Fish have excellent eyesight at night but the main thing to focus on is slowing down the entire process.  Make sure the fish can see your offering.
  • The dry fly game at night is also doable.  Joe talks about a Green Drake hatch one night where he had trouble raising a fish.  He got down on his belly and snuck up to the fish.  He noticed that the spent flies were not taken but movement was the key.


Wrestling and Fly Fishing

  • We talk about the similarities between wrestling and fly fishing.  Patience is one thing they both have in common.  Joe wrestled in the Navy and at Penn State University.
  • George Daniel noted that Joe at times would mentally slap him around to fire him up.


Fly Casting Basics

  • The basics are all about fly fishing.  Understanding when to stop the rod for a tuck cast and how you can feel the weight of the rod are two examples.
  • Joe describes how to stop a tailing loop by pushing your thumb down on the handle.  This takes the weights over the rod tip and is part of the drilling basics.
  • We answer the question about casting into the wind.  You should drift the rod further forward and make sure to use your wrist.  Make sure the back two fingers pull.  Joe notes that his normal casting is mostly wrist.  When you have a short casting stroke you don’t need to lock your wrist.
  • The key to distance casting is waiting for the line to load on the rod.  We talk about climbing the angle and stopping the rod high for a long cast.


Penn State Fly Fishing School

  • There is an endowment at Penn State for the Fly Fishing program.  This assures that the program will continue.
  • We talk about how Joe Humphries took over the Penn State fly fishing program from George Harvey.


Live the Stream Movie

Live The Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys – Official Trailer from Nomadic Studio on Vimeo.


joe humphries

Conclusion with Joe Humphreys

Joe tells a great story about the state record brown trout caught on Fishing Creek in Pennsylvania.  Joe shares some great tips on fishing wet flies, nymphs and dry flies.  A really cool conversation with one of the all time fly fishing mentors of all time.