Podcast: Fly Fishing with Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes



This week, I have a very special guest for my interview—Brittany Howard, the frontwoman for the wildly popular band Alabama Shakes, who last year released a solo album, Jaime, which explores a wide range of musical styles.  Brittany has performed with Sir Paul McCartney and at the Obama White House, and her albums with Alabama Shakes have won four Grammy Awards. Her first love is music, but her second love is fishing, and she is a passionate fly fisher. Unlike some celebrities who have taken up fly fishing because it’s a “thing,” Brittany has the soul of an angler and has been fishing all her life. She ties her own flies, modifies her kayak for fly fishing, and when she is on tour she always prioritizes sneaking away to do some fishing. She’s the real deal and a great storyteller, and I know you’ll enjoy her tales of fishing on the road and her encounters with gender and racial bias while fly fishing. And as a special treat at the end of the podcast, we’ve included one of my favorite songs, “Future People.” Listen to the podcast below.



This week, the Fly Box is on a separate download, and you can listen at the top of the page. We have some great questions, and some helpful tips from listeners, including:

  • A suggestion from a listener on the benefit of bootfoot waders for cold weather fishing.
  • Can I catch shoal bass on a fly rod?
  • My 8-weight rod is not quite up to the task of surf fishing. Can I put a 9-weight line on my rod?
  • Why do some rods come with aluminum tubes and others with nylon-covered cases?
  • A suggestion from a listener that maybe I missed the point when asked about how I organize my fly-tying materials.
  • What is the best line for my 7-foot, 3-weight glass rod?
  • A suggestion from a listener on why some anglers fishing a Euro technique for steelhead lose fish on the jump.
  • Can I tie a Pat’s Rubber Legs with dubbing instead of chenille?
  • I got a bunch of pheasant feathers from a hunter friend in a plastic bag and they stink. Can I salvage them?
  • Where should I half-hitch my bead head nymphs—behind the bead or in front of it?
  • I decided to take the plunge and buy good quality hackle capes. I have brown, grizzly, light ginger, medium dun, and cream. What other colors might I need?
  • Why are some wild trout streams with spawning fish open year-round and others closed?
  • How do I avoid getting hooked on the river?
  • How should I do the naked nymphing technique?
Photos courtesy Brittany Howard.

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