Tyler Potts is a 25 years old electrician from the great state of Pennsylvania and a proud Postfly Tribe Ambassador, when he’s not at his day job you can find him on just about any creek he can get his feet wet in, especially if that creek is home to the state’s wild brown and native brook trout populations. When the fishing conditions are lackluster, Tyler takes the chance to refill his fly boxes at his tying desk. He takes great pride that almost every fly he throws has been tied with his own hands and swears by the relaxing benefits of whipping up a few flies in the evening.
Tyler got his start fly fishing when a good fishing buddy convinced him to put down the spin rod and chase Smallmouth Bass on the fly. He quickly fell in love with swinging flies and stripping streamers and hasn’t looked back once. Tyler’s hands-down, favorite fish to target is the trout, “They’re beautiful, live in pretty rad places, and are tough to trick. That’s pretty hard to top,” Tyler shared. As the conversation moved to his favorite tactics, Tyler went on to talk about how zebra midges are his tried and true trick to getting big trout on the fly saying, “Big flies don’t always mean big fish! Often times, small ones do.” His key tip is to success is running a midge as the second fly in a 2 fly rig behind either a streamer or a flashy attractor fly, and to hold on.
Now don’t get him wrong, like most PA fly anglers, Tyler has fallen in love with the Steelhead that calls the Great Lakes home, making a few trips up for them every year. As the conversation moved towards rehashing old fishing stories, Tyler shared what an incredible experience it was for him to land his first King (Chinook) Salmon on a destination trip to Alaska. Saying that the salmon of the Great Lakes are nothing compared to the rush and screaming reels that only wild salmon are capable of. Not to mention, the scenery and fishing in Alaska sure beat most of the Great Lakes.
But to Tyler, fly fishing is much more than just catching fish, it’s a passion and an outlet for the stress of his daily life. His solution is to dive head first into the sport, “If I’m not fishing, hopefully, I’m tying, if I’m not tying, hopefully, I’m watching a video so I can tie a new pattern or fish a new technique or I’m reading a book to learn more.” For Tyler, its all about living and breathing the fly fishing lifestyle and constantly learning more about the sport.
His next great fly fishing challenge is right around the corner as he plans a few trips out of his comfort zone out to some of the great rivers of Montana and Idaho. But he’s more excited than daunted by the challenge, “Bigger water isn’t my specialty, but at least I’ll have 10 days to sling some bugs. Looking forward to the challenge and the legendary fish!”
Tyler has one piece of advice for any angler looking to make fly fishing a bigger part of their life, for him its a passion and according to him, “life without passion really isn’t much of a life at all. Spending time with friends and [family] on the water, making new friends out there, continuously learning, being outside, it’s so much more than just fishing.” So get out there and make 2019 your year of fly fishing.
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!