Widely acclaimed for initiating the Fly Fishing Merit Badge for the Boy Scouts of America, Dr. Sousa wrote his latest book by drawing on a deep understanding of fish behavior: He has a Ph.D. in fisheries sciences and has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 30 years. Combining this knowledge with decades old time‐tested techniques, he understands fish habitat like few others.
“If you got all of the best fly fishermen in the same room and asked them about their best flies, there would be a lot of commonality among them, and most of their favorite flies are in my group of 24,” Dr. Sousa said in a statement. “Knowing about these 24 commonly available flies is a big help, but this knowledge is only the first part of the puzzle. My book also teaches the most effective way to fish these flies, where fish are likely to be and reveals why fish can’t resist them, unlocking many mysteries of fly fishing.”
Dr. Sousa says he is motivated to promote fly fishing as a recreational activity because he believes it greatly improves a person’s quality of life, most notably by reducing stress, but notes that some people find fly fishing mysterious and intimidating. He hopes his books will dispel the mystery, and that people give fly fishing a try.
“Fly fishing is not a passive sport that requires you to wait for something to happen,” he says. “It’s active. By changing flies, changing location or depth, casting to a well chosen spot or using the right technique, you provoke a fish into believing your fly is real food. ”
Robert J. Sousa, Ph.D., grew up in Bristol, RI and has been fly fishing for at least 50 years, throughout the U.S. as well as South America, the Caribbean, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. In addition to his career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and renown for initiating the Fly Fishing Merit Badge for the Boy Scouts of America, he is a Certified Angling Instructor by the International Game Fishing Association.