How to Fly Fish: Setting the Hook and Fighting the Fish

Welcome to another installment of “Ask an Orvis Fly-Fishing Instructor,” with me, Peter Kutzer. In this episode, I demonstrate how to correctly set the hook when you’re fishing for trout and other small fish and when you’re stripping a fly for saltwater species or freshwater big game. The way you set the hook makes a huge difference in your success rate, so knowing the correct motion for a given situation is important. Many a flats angler has been ridiculed by his guide for losing a fish to a “trout set.” Next, we move on to fish-fighting technique. Although the classic fly-fishing pose involves the rod tip held high above the angler’s head, this is actually an inefficient use of the fly rod’s power. Instead of fighting a fish off the tip of the rod, you want to bend the butt section. Phil Monahan and I use the scale on a BogaGrip to demonstrate how much more force you can generate by fighting “off the butt section.”

13 Responses to “How to Fly Fish: Setting the Hook and Fighting the Fish”

  1. Henrik Davidsen says:

    Thank you for´╗┐ some great videos ­čÖé

  2. POWARENJA says:

    Thanks´╗┐ for the video. This one is great. I think alot of people need to learn to set the hook.

  3. Hoot182 says:

    verry helpful, thanks´╗┐ for another great video

  4. hurtgrunt says:

    i´╗┐ always got taught to keep my rod tip high when fighting fish. oh well….

  5. NapoleanXV says:


  6. bluefishbrad says:

    nice video´╗┐

  7. farcozeee says:

    amazing´╗┐ and simple

  8. Jeff MWilkins says:

    you won’t do that much fishing light tippets for trout in spring creeks and tailwaters. Not a good´╗┐ tip for beginners because the low rod points the rod tip right at the fish, fish takes off, angler fails to give line, fish breaks off. In the East using 5-7X is common, particularly during late summer and autumn.

  9. methevas2 says:

    Your awesome I subscribed´╗┐ ­čśŤ

  10. Garnet Ashe says:

    WOW! nice work! this is great! ever wanted to learn but not been able to get out and you want face to face interaction while you learn? Skype fly fishing lessons are available! visit flystiles d o t com. we teach it in colleges and we´╗┐ are most known for teaching over Skype

  11. Michael Nielsen says:

    Awesome tips!!! I will use´╗┐ them next I’m out fly fishing. Thank you for the video. Hope to see many more like it

  12. musicislife8181 says:

    why do you have that loop of line hanging off´╗┐ your reel?

  13. TheSlyguy123 says:

    Wow great vid. just trying to figure out on which rod and reel to get´╗┐ for starting out fly fishing. How hard can it be? LOL It actually looks pretty complicated. I have been fishing with just a regular spin caster for 30 years. Any input would be great! Keep up the great work on your vids!

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