Bob Wyatt, an angling veteran, offers five valuable tips to help you level up your fly fishing. Whether you're new to the sport or a seasoned pro, these insights will help you to have more success on the water.
1. Use a good outfit.
It's not just a matter of price but unless you get real joy out of not spending money, a cheap outfit will not give you the pleasure a really good one will. And the pleasure of a good outfit is not imaginary its physical. Save up trade up whatever but there is so much really good tackle available these days that fishing with a poor fly rod and reel just makes no sense.
2. Have more than one outfit.
There are few things worse than being undergunned or overgunned for the fishing you want to do. Unless you fish only one water, and fish with the same methods every time, you are going to need at least one more outfit. You wouldn’t play golf with one club. So, get serious, and double, or triple your fun. When its time to fish the big cone head streamer, or the tiny dry fly, its great to have the appropriate fly rod for the job.
3. Don’t fish too light.
Fighting a big fish on a tippet that’s too light is nothing to brag about. Sure it takes some deft handling to keep from breaking off but the extra time it takes to land it is a sure fire way to kill a fish. Trout are not as leader shy as they are cracked up to be and leader material these days is twice as strong for its diameter as it was twenty years ago. Work on your line management skills to avoid drag and line shadow instead, and get the fish in the net while it’s still kicking.
4. Practice your casting.
Be the best you can be. When it comes to fly fishing, most of our failures are due to poor casting skills. Practice makes perfect. Make those fancy presentation mends and accuracy casts second nature, so you don’t even think about it. Practice for distance, and work on your double haul, but don’t turn every practice lesson into a pissing contest. Button off on the power. Get out the hula hoops and get the fly in the middle.
5. Fish like a Heron.
Charging up the river to get to the best pool first is a good way to miss a lot of good fishing. Lakes and streams have far more fish in them that are visible, and trout, especially big trout, are very sensitive to movement. Fish like a heron. Dead slow and stop. You’ll see more of what’s going on in and around the water, enjoy your time on the water, and even more importantly, catch more (and larger) fish.
Bob Wyatt is a recognised angler, author and artist. You can buy Bobs most recent book 'What Trout Want: The Educated Trout and Other Myths' on Amazon here.