Fly-fishing is a specialized form of fishing that combines skill and artistry. Because it is so rich with tradition, it is a passion for millions of people. The beauty of the water, the solitude, and the skills that the sport requires have made fly-fishing very important in the lives of many notable people.


  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in fly-fishing activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards. Name and explain five safety practices you should always follow while fly-fishing.
    2. Discuss the prevention of and treatment for health concerns that could occur while fly-fishing, including cuts and scratches, puncture wounds, insect bites, hypothermia, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and sunburn.
    3. Explain how to remove a hook that has lodged in your arm.
  2. Demonstrate how to match a fly rod, line, and leader to achieve a balanced system. Discuss several types of fly lines, and explain how and when each would be used. Review with your counselor how to care for this equipment.
  3. Demonstrate how to tie proper knots to prepare a fly rod for fishing:
    1. Tie a backing to a fly reel spool using the arbor knot.
    2. Attach backing to fly line using the nail knot.
    3. Attach a leader to fly line using the needle knot, nail knot, or a loop-to-loop connection.
    4. Add a tippet to a leader using a loop-to-loop connection or blood knot.
    5. Tie a fly onto the terminal end of the leader using the improved clinch knot.
  4. Explain how and when each of the following types of flies is used: dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers, bass bugs, poppers, and saltwater flies. Tell what each one imitates. Tie at least two types of the flies mentioned in this requirement.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to cast a fly 30 feet consistently and accurately using both overhead and roll cast techniques.
  6. Go to a suitable fishing location and observe what fish may be eating both above and beneath the water's surface. Explain the importance of matching the hatch.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Explain the importance of practicing Leave No Trace techniques. Discuss the positive effects of Leave No Trace on fly-fishing resources.
    2. Discuss the meaning and importance of catch and release. Describe how to properly release a fish safely to the water.
  8. Obtain and review a copy of the regulations affecting game fishing where you live or where you plan to fish. Explain why they were adopted and what is accomplished by following them.
  9. Discuss what good outdoor sportsmanlike behavior is and how it relates to anglers. Tell how the Outdoor Code of the Boy Scouts of America relates to a fishing enthusiast, including the aspects of littering, trespassing, courteous behavior, and obeying fishing regulations.
  10. Catch at least one fish and identify it. If local fishing and health regulations allow, clean and cook a fish you have caught. Otherwise, acquire a fish and cook it.


Scouting Resources

Boy Scout Handbook; Conservation Handbook; Fieldbook; Deck of First Aid; Emergency First Aid pocket guide; Be Prepared First Aid Book; Freshwater Fishes pocket guide; Camping, Cooking, Fish and Wildlife Management, and Fishing merit badge pamphlets


  • Alley, Robert H. 40 Best Trout Flies. Frank Amato Publications, 1997.
  • Best, A. K. A. K. Best's Fly Box. The Lyons Press, 2006.
  • Hughes, Dave. Essential Trout Flies. Stackpole Books, 2000.
  • Hughes, Dave. Trout Flies: The Tier's Reference. Stackpole Books, 1999.
  • Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Fishing (Outdoor Skills and Ethics Series). Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, 2004.
  • Leiser, Eric. The Complete Book of Fly Tying. Knopf, 1977.
  • Lord, Macaulay. The L. L. Bean Fly-Casting Handbook. The Lyons Press, 2000.
  • Martin, Darrell. Micropatterns: Tying and Fishing the Small Fly. The Lyons Press, 1999.
  • McKim, John F. Fly Tying: Adventures in Fur, Feathers, and Fun. Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1998.
  • McNally, Tom, and Tom Beecham. The Complete Book of Fly Fishing. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, 1997.
  • Morris, Skip. Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple. Frank Amato Publications, 2002.
  • Rosenbauer, Tom. The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide. The Lyons Press, 1998.
  • Rutter, Michael. Fly Fishing Made Easy: A Manual for Beginners With Tips for the Experienced. Globe Pequot Press, 2006.
  • Shook, Michael D. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fly Fishing. Alpha Books, 2005.
  • Sousa, Robert J. Learn to Fly-Fish in 24 Hours. McGraw-Hill, 2006.
  • Talleur, Dick. Modern Fly-Tying Materials. The Lyons Press, 1995.
  • Whitlock, Dave. The L. L. Bean Fly-Fishing Handbook. The Lyons Press, 2006.
  • Wulff, Joan. Joan Wulff's Fly Casting Techniques. The Lyons Press, 1994.