Fishing Habits Holding You Back
Occasionally I'll talk with someone who loves fishing only one place or one time of year or day because that is a place or time where or when they are confident and more successful with a certain technique that they have developed. One of the great things about fly fishing is that it can bring satisfaction in so many ways and, when someone is satisfied with this scenario, I am pleased right along with them. However, some people in this situation only fish one place or time but really wish that they could fish lots of places and times and enjoy success. Here are a few tips for developing all around skills.
1. Research techniques, rigs, and flies. Sometimes an article, a DVD, or a chapter from a book can bring those "ah ha" moments. There's also a wealth of info on the internet, like our repository of RiverBum tips on our blog, The Ripple. In researching and studying these sources of info you'll often learn or notice something and won't be able to wait to get on the water to try it out. Approach fly fishing research like you would approach school or professional development and you'll have a higher likelihood of success.
2. Hire a guide to fish where or when you'd like to learn more. The kind of specific knowledge that guides develop and can teach you come from years of studying their craft and the locations they fish. These skills and knowledge can't be acquired in any other way than by a guide imparting it to you on the water. Sometimes it just takes doing things a little bit differently, or fishing a size smaller fly, or approaching from a different angle, and, all of a sudden, you'll have it.
3. Last but not least, experiment and practice. I actually learned to fish this way, basically by trial, error, and occasional success. I remember not being able to catch a single fish on what is now practically my home river for the first 5 or so trips I went there. I kept trying new things and eventually I started to get it and I started to catch fish. Make sure to try things that you aren't comfortable doing, whether it is a new rig, new kinds of flies, or new techniques. You'll be surprised how many fish you can catch doing things that seem out of the ordinary and then you'll also surprise yourself with how fast a little practice and success can help you hone your new skills.
If you feel like you're in a bit of a fly fishing rut then try these things to break out of it. You'll be a more rounded and, best of all, a more successful angler.