Introduction and Next Steps Questions
First off I want to introduce myself here. I'm a new fly fisherman as of this year and new to the sport of fishing in general (always disliked lake fishing). I've spent most of my years becoming an accomplished whitetail hunter (archery) and was recently introduced to this great sport as trade for showing a friend the ropes in the whitetail world. Needless to say I'm now addicted to fly fishing for trout.
This may be a little long winded but I'm looking for advise on where it would be best to turn my next efforts to and general comments. As I mentioned I just began fly fishing this spring opener. I fish the drift-less region of Wisconsin and Minnesota (mostly Minnesota). I've been sticking to smaller unpopulated streams as I enjoy my solitude but really like the challenge of tight spots with the unknown ahead of me. Casting came very natural for me for some reason and I caught a trout my first day out although it took all day (Hendrickson Nymph), all luck. The next day I caught a trout on my first dry fly, elk hair caddis. I was generally catching between 1-3 fish each day with 1 being more of my average. One day I bumped into another fly fisherman who was very kind in information, but commented that he had a good day and caught 30 or 40 trout. Clearly I still have more work to do. I progressed from using pre-made leaders out of the package to learning to tie on tippet and customizing them slightly for the stream I am fishing which immediately seemed to help as I think I was trying to extend the life of my leaders and fishing too short/thick.
I am now catching 5-7 trout on a good day, mostly on nymphs but if I see a trout rise or multiple in an area I'll switch to whatever I have in my fly box that looks similar to insects I see landing on the water and I've had good luck with that for drys. If the trout are not rising or jumping I can never seem to catch anything on a dry. On the nymph side I have only really had excellent luck with Hare's Ear BH Nymphs, #16-#20. I had one excellent outting with #18 Red Serendipity where I caught my largest trout to date, a nice fat 14" brown. I have a fair variety of patterns and plenty of things that guys in the fly shops have recommended but it never seems like they work out. (Beetles, ants, copper johns, etc.) I usually go straight for a hare's ear until I catch a fish and if I catch enough then I get more brave and try different things.
Bottom line is that I am having a blast but would welcome any opinions are advise here. Thanks and looking forward to discussion here.