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​Good Habits are Hard to Break

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I’m a dry fly guy. I love everything about it. Seeing the rise in gin clear water, the anticipation, the take…..for me it is exhilarating. I got good at it too. Of course, that’s the method of fishing I did 75%-90% of the time. The more you do something, the better you get at it. I can’t think of a method of fishing I enjoy more…..except….I moved. I recently relocated from Spokane, WA to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

The Inland Northwest has some of the prettiest, clearest, mountains streams I have ever seen.

Inland Northwest River - North Fork CDA River Idaho

Eastern Pennsylvania is a different story. The rivers are predominantly not as clear and cold. The muddy up pretty readily with the weather patterns. 

North Branch Susquehanna River - Northeastern Pennsylvania  

What does this mean? 

The dry fly fishing isn’t nearly as productive.

A couple of years ago, I committed to myself to be a more complete fisherman. I dedicated myself to learning to nymph fish better and streamer fish better. I’m glad I did. I’d be fishless this year if I hadn’t. 

90% of a fish’s diet is subsurface. If you’re going to catch fish, just makes sense you present your offering where they are eating, does it not?

I think I was a bit spoiled in the Northwest. The dry fly fishing is stellar. However, we all go to habits and techniques that have been productive. It makes complete sense. 

Here’s the thing, the very methods you frequently use can be holding you back. If you’re a one trick pony, you’re not getting good at other methods. Here’s a couple of tips on rounding out your skill sets.

  1. You’re doing it right now. The RiverBum blog is a great source of information. The internet is a great source of information. There’s articles, YouTube videos, DVDs and books all over the place.


  2. Buy some books on the topic you’re interested in. I have a whole library of books. When I moved here to Pennsylvania, the first thing I did was buy a bunch of books on fishing the area. It’s been quite helpful.


  3. Hire a guide. These folks fish for a living. Every time I go with a guide I always try to learn something. On a recent trip, prior to booking, I told the outfitter I wanted to streamer fish. I don’t do it nearly as much as I would like and I wanted a guide who was skilled in streamer fishing and could give me a few pointers. There’s nothing wrong with this approach when booking. The outfitter wants you to get the most out of your experience, so they are going to pair you up with someone they think will match well with what you’re looking to get out of the trip.


  4. Just do it. You’re fishing. You’re not auditioning for TV. I learned to fly fish the hard way, I started out self-taught. Do your research and just get out there and do it. You’ll learn through trial and error. Just like anything else, the more you do something the better you’ll get at it.


Get out of your comfort zone, you’ll be glad you did. Until next time…..

Tight Lines and Screaming Drags

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