The 7 Best Fly Fishing Dogs

“Hey Mr. Whiskers, wanna go on a fishing trip?” – Said no one… There’s a reason we call them “man’s best friend.” A dog is more faithful than most animals including us humans. We learn so many things from a pup’s behavior, personality, demeanor, resiliency, and most importantly, the willingness to provide their family members with unconditional love and loyalty down to their very last breath. These are the reasons why dogs can be the best fishing companions; however, some dogs may be a better than others for fishing trips. Here is a list of 7 dogs you want on the river!

  1. Labrador
Photo by Sue Moodie and Kyle Moodie Dog:(Mix) named Moose

As a fisherman’s friend, the Labrador will wait for fish to rise with you and contains great stamina for long trips. This species is an all-around dog that is prepared for sport. They have an instinct to love water and are known for being the “original fishermen friend.” They were actually originally bred to help retrieve fish and pull fishing lines to shore!

2. Australian Shepherd

Photo by Sue Moodie and Kyle Moodie Dog: Zoe

The Australian Shepherd is definitely a popular dog chosen for a fishing partner. This dog is wired to be busy and wants to be a part of whatever you are doing. They will be inseparable from you at times and will be as patient as the angler. Each flip of the cast, both the angler and canine watch the drift until something takes. Easily one of the most obedient dogs when trained properly; they are incredible companions.

Photo by Sue Moodie and Kyle Moodie Dog: Zoe

3. Malamute

Photo by Alexandra Cunningham Dog: Teeko

You want a dog with tolerance when fishing. The Malamute is the type of dog that shares this patience. They are also a total brute of a species… North American settlers didn’t have these dogs around just for pets… They are sled dogs and can stand the cold, icy days fishing with their crazy owners.

Photo by Alexandra Cunningham Dog: Teeko

4. Golden Retriever

Photo by Alexandra Cunningham (owner: Bobby Haupt Gear: Telluride Outside) Dog: Bandit

Yes, you can’t have a list without the “classic family companion”, the Golden Retriever. They are well mannered, which will allow you to take them fishing. Did I mention they love water? So be careful they don’t spook the fish! Air Bud was the OG pup athlete that led to this choice. The species is known for its intelligence, obedience, energy, and can be trained to sit with fishing gear…  Just don’t count on them protecting you from bears or mountain lions.

5. Vizsla (Pointer)

Photo by Daniel Roberts and Doug Roberts

The “V” in Vizsla stands for Velcro. They have to stand next to you wherever you position yourself… So, make sure you are in a safe area that the dog won’t get swept away! The Hungarian dog breed is a fair swimmer and is a terrific outdoors pooch. Vizslas are also known for hunting and will reach up to 40 mph on pursuit, but it won’t need that insane speed for fishing!

6. Brittany spaniel

Photo by Daniel Roberts Dog: Winston

The good ole Brittany Spaniel… A conveniently-sized pooch that you can take on any water vessel with you. They absolutely love the great outdoors; however, this species can be sensitive and will randomly pee out of excitement (who doesn’t though?) … They respond best in a quieter environment, so the peaceful streams are perfect for these guys. You don’t have to worry about them being an issue on the water either, they are loyal and wish to please its owner.

Photo by Daniel Roberts Dog: Winston

7. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Photo by @jyrkiholopainen and @fellasflyfishing Dog: Mimi

Often mistaken for a smaller Golden Retriever, the Nova Scotia is known for being alert and curious of its surroundings. This is probably why it’s a solid watch dog and natural hunter as well. Just be careful of their scream! Yes, they scream when excited which may turn your peaceful, quiet day on the river into an eardrum burst. Overall, they are an awesome sport dog and truly versatile.


Header Photo by Clay McClure.


This article was written by Flylords Team Member, Collin Terchanik.

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