Fly Fishers Playbook   17 comments

The book has been doing very well.  It’s been in the top ten fly fishing product sales (as high as number 1) for the last year and some change.  I’ve been blessed with great reviews from Tim at Combat Fly Fishing, Dan at The Fly Fish Guy, and Kirk at Trout Magazine.  Many others have given me great reviews for which I am thankful.

The book can be purchased through several outlets like Amazon or Barnes and Noble to name a few.  I no longer have a website to send you to because I let that lapse as I have some things in the works…..Stay tuned.   Pick up a copy, and let me know what you think!

Also, I’m currently cranking out another book, hope to hit the shelves in late 2017!






Posted November 13, 2012 by flyfishersplaybook

17 responses to “Fly Fishers Playbook

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  1. Red if you are going to do video instruction I got a great app for my phone that you can draw on to show your angels a stuff. the app is coaches eye. Not sure if it would work for you or not. The blog idea is a good one.

  2. Duane, I am trying to order 2 copies of your book but it won’t let me order but one. I want one for a buddy and would rather get them both in the same envelope and not pay two shipping charges if I have to order one at at time. Can you help?


  3. Duane,

    In your book you describe the 5 foot length (note: river depth 3 feet) between the indicator and the drop fly. However, in your U-tube video you contradict yourself by stating the 5 foot gap is between the indicator and the split shot. I’m confused. Can you clarify?

    By the way… The book is great!

    Mike Chapman
    Durango, CO

    • Hey Mike, thanks for the comment. Although not critical to success it is important to have the distance to the weight not the first bug. In the 2nd edition of the Playbook coming out in December, I really clarify it’s importance. I love it when folks pay attention, and again, appreciate the comment.

  4. Duane, I’m finishing your book. It’s pithy and valuable. I’m looking forward to trying your approaches, and have already applied your nymphing rig, which worked well. That said, It would be a lot easier to understand exactly what you are advising if I could see it demonstrated. One picture worth 1,000 words! When is the video coming out?

    • Hey Des. Glad you like the book. Unfortunately, my video project has stalled. I do have several videos re: the drift and other nymphing techniques on youtube. Just do a search, you’ll find them. Thanks and take care.

  5. Hi Duane. I’ve got your book on order book. I can’t wait. But I’ve already watched some of your youtube videos and listened to your Ask About Fly Fishing conversation. Thank you for both! Sounds like you’re a real pro. Do you have any plans for attending conferences in Salt Lake, Utah this year?

    Couple questions for when you might have time to reply…

    1. Indicators? How do you determine which type of indicator to use on different types of water? I’ve tried several, but I’m still trying to find a setup I like. I’ve found my setup is either way over kill or gets sunk almost right away. Is there anything you could recommend that would help (especially on yarn/poly yarn indicators)? And what color combination do you find works well for seeing your indicator?

    2. Setting? How do you set without having your line rip off the water, but without being so soft you miss? My problem is I don’t understand what I’m doing that either makes my set successful or a failure. Again, is there anything you could recommend that would help?

    Thank you Duane. Have a terrific day.



    • Hey Josh,

      Thanks for reaching out. Don’t have any plans to present in Utah, but that may change.

      Great questions, let’s tackle them one at a time. I usually run a poly macrame yarn/rubberband indicator. You can customize the size, color, and location quickly. I usually cut about an inch and a half of each color strand (2 strands), peel each strand apart, then put them side by side before attaching the rubberband. This way, I have pre-separated them, and have 2 distinct colors. I will either combine green and red or tan and black. You have to experiment with colors and trimming the finished indicator to suit your needs. I have a youtube out there somewhere re: yarn indicators. As for location on the leader, the rubberband yarn mix is quick to move and stays in place. I will use a plastic bobber in high or off color water conditions because spooking fish is more difficult in those conditions and the bobber can float a lot of weight.

      I assume you’re referring to a nymph set. It’s a downstream, low across the water set that needs to be a long enough motion to straighten out all of the line below the indicator. It’s like the throwing motion of skipping rocks on the water, only in reverse. The idea is to be quick and firm, but not violent. Again, it’s a practice thing, the more you do it the better you become. If you do set, and miss the fish, and if your line comes out of the water, simply go into a full cast and place it back on the water. My biggest recommendation is to set on everything. Imagine there is nothing but fish in the river, and every time you’re indicator does anything but float like a bubble, SET! I think I have a youtube of this too….somewhere.

      Dry-dropper, dry fly, and streamer sets are different and easier. Master the nymph set first and go from there.

      Hope I answered your questions, and that you enjoy the book.

      Fear No Water!

      • Thank you so much Duane. Your answers really made a lot of sense.

        I listened to your discussion on Ask About Fly Fishing again and I didn’t quite understand a couple things.

        1. You said that people get confused in thinking that split shot is for taking the flies to the bottom. And then followed up by saying it is only for slowing the flies down. I think I must be one of those people because I don’t follow that. Ha. So why do we use split shot, and what is taking the flies down?

        2. In your videos I see you holding your fly rod at shoulder level, and often slightly higher, but how does that work with the idea of a fishes window? Does it still work ok to hold your fly rod that high as long as your rod is parallel to the water? Or do I need to be more aware of how high I keep my rod?

        Thank you Duane.

        Sent from my iPhone


      • Hey Josh,

        The weight puts mass on the leader which slows it down, and in turn, puts the flies down quickly. Whether it’s weighted flies or added split, weight slows down a drift. In many cases (depending on water depth), the weight then begins to ride and bounce on the bottom. If the water is deeper than the distance from the weight to the indicator and the weight and flies are suspended, additional weight still slows it down. It’s a neat experiment, try it sometime.

        As for the fish seeing the fly rod, if you set-up correctly, and again this comes from experience, the chances of fish spooking from the fly rod becomes minimal. A nice roll cast from a high fly rod position helps in a couple ways: 1- There is substantially less movement during the cast, leading to less disruption, and 2- It can be a very accurate and gentle presentation, again causing less disruption.

        When sneaking up on fish or walking the bank looking for fish, the rod is held low. Upon sighting the fish or deciding to work an area, get in proper position as out of sight as possible, then begin minimal casting. There are some good books and articles out there that explain how fish see.

        Thanks for the questions!

      • Hi Duane. Thank you for all your information. I’m almost through your book and it’s just great.

        I have two questions,

        1. Do you have any recommendations on how to practice my casting stroke with your Nymphing rig setup? I practice a lot on my lawn, but it has only been for tight loops and dry flies.

        2. My wife and I were considering a vacation trip near Grand Lake. I don’t know the area very well, but is that an area you’ve guided at before and might be willing to guide me for a half day? And if so, how much does a half day cost with you?

        Many thanks!


        Sent from my iPhone


      • Hey Josh,

        A good way I have my clients practice nymph casting is to tie on an indicator (thingamabobber) about 10″ from the flyline butt. Usually begin with simple roll casts and then work on tempo for larger more open loops suited for nymph casting. Most often, all we need is a good roll cast.

        Grand Lake is about 1.5 hours from the Eagle River where I guide. I have guided closer to you but don’t have access to those permits now.

        Most our half day trips run around $295 for 1 or 2 anglers. I don’t know many guides in the Grand lake area, but there are a few that specialize on the Frazer River near there. Have fun.

      • Hi Duane,

        Hope you’re doing well. Not sure if I’m supposed to let you know, but I think we’re all setup for our guide trip. The date is scheduled for September 29th, 2017 @ 8:00AM. I’m really looking forward to it.

        I’m going to do my best to get out there and practice some before our trip, but I realized I have a couple questions I’m not sure how to handle.

        1. When I create my yarn indicator, how big do I make it? Do I want to make it big enough to float my line underwater if, and when, my split shot straightens out? Or is that a bad idea and not what I’m supposed to do? Like will that not let me detect strikes? (I hope I explained that correctly.)

        2. How do I get my split shot off my line when I want to change weight or reduce weight? Getting it on seems pretty equate, but can’t figure out a good way to get it off.

        Have a terrific evening Duane. Looking forward to the trip.



        Sent from my iPhone


      • Hi Josh,

        The yarn indicator should be large enough to create a hinge on the leader and hold up whatever you’re drifting under it. Depends also on the number of fibers in the yarn and how well you dress it with floatant. I try to make mine just big enough to handle the weight. In smaller/shallow water it will be smaller. I have a youtube video that shows a bit of what we’re talking about. You want the leader under (when it straightens out) your indicator and the yarn indicator will detect strikes no matter the size as long as you can see it. Hope I answered your question, not real sure what you’re asking.

        As for the weight, simple latch onto one half of the split shot with your hemostats and use your thumbnail on your other hand to separate the weight. Don’t pinch it on too hard when you first attach it. Also, you can buy the weights that have small tabs on them to help remove the weight.

        Feel free to ask your question again if I missed it!


      • Hi Duane. I read over my question, and even I got confused. Sorry about that.

        I did a quick illustration of what I’m trying to ask. I think you’ve answered it, but just wanted to double check. If nothing else, doing the drawing I think has answered a lot of my confusion. But just in case, here is the illustration I created. Does this look right in that as the river bottom changes the indicator will still float the rig? Is that the right idea?

        Sent from my iPhone


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