7 Tips That Will Make You a Better Fly Fisher
Written by Alec Greg
No matter how long you’ve been fly fishing, there is always something new to learn. An avid fly fisher will always be on the lookout for another style, technique, or fishery to try out. Fly fishers are a unique breed who like spending a day on the river just for the experience of it.
If you are a beginner fly fisherman, you’ll soon realize that it is impossible to catch every fish in the river, every time.
Here are 7 Tips That Will Make You a Better Fly Fisher:
1. Develop a good casting technique.
You’ll be amazed at how many anglers have a bad casting technique. It is nothing to be ashamed of though, even some experienced fishermen don’t cast too well. It’s never too late to learn. You can easily iron out any flaws with a good instructor or a professional angler.
You’ll soon learn that the trick is in your wrist! Aim for accuracy rather than the distance. Let the rod work for you. All fly-fishing rods are designed to carry the weight of your line and lure. Let it do the work. With time, your casting will become fluid and become second nature.
2. Tread lightly.
Fish can hear sounds and sense movement. Your prey will get spooked if you rush headlong into the river. It is important to survey the water with care. Tread with extreme caution, keep a low profile, use slow and deliberate movements until you reach casting distance. Don’t allow your shadow to fall on the water. For a fish, a shadow is a looming predator!
3. Fish with the most irresistible lure.
The best way to find what lure to use is to scout the water for bugs. The most abundant ones may probably be what the trout are eating. It may not always work but it’s your best bet. Try and match the lure with the bugs that the trout are feeding upon.
The trout mostly feed on bugs under the water and not on it. It will be great if you know what larvae or nymphs exist in the sub-surface. This will go a long way in helping you select the kind of lure. If you don’t get too many bites, change the lure until the bite rate improves.
4. Learn how to fight the fish.
Since most fishermen use barb-less hooks (and rightly so), you need to learn how to keep your fish hooked. The key is keeping a tight line. Meaning there should be constant tension in your line until you bag the fish.
If the fish swims in one direction, you should point your rod in the opposite direction. Any loss of tension in the line will result in your fish slipping away.
5. Get your timing right.
If you hit the waters at the right time, you’ll have a better chance of hooking a fish. Many pros reckon late June through September is the best time to fish. Winter is best avoided as the fish become sluggish due to the cold.
In summer, it is best to fish in the morning or in the evening. The fish become sluggish at the noon due to the heat and the bright sunlight makes them skittish.
6. Fish the banks first.
Many novice anglers cast as far as possible in large water bodies. Some large fish lurk in the shallower depths of the banks to avoid the current. Fish the banks first before going for that exciting long cast. Often, a short cast may turn out to be more productive. Moreover, it is much easier to set the hook!
7. Enjoy fishing.
Many a fly fisher, including the experienced ones, will have an off day. If you are not into it for the joy of fishing, it will become tedious for you if you come back empty-handed. You can minimize the ones that have gotten away by using a less stiff rod and improving upon how you play your fish. Keep your rod at an angle of 45 ℃ . This will ensure that you are playing the fish with the entire rod
rather than its tip. But despite everything, there’ll be some days when you hardly catch anything. Don’t let that deter you. Enjoy the fishing experience and come back another day to pit your skills against the fish.