Re: What am i doing wrong
I have been at this for 7 years now, and even at this point the formula is the same as it was when I started: Keep having fun! Read something, talk to someone, tie something, practice something, and then take your new information and skills out to the river. MOST of us are not fishing for fish, but relaxation, connectedness with nature, ourselves, and God. Just an aside but I like the old SIMMS ad; A picture of a beautiful serene sunrise over a stream with the faint sihlouette of a fly-fisherman, the caption read "NOT ALL CHURCHES HAVE PEWS". I think they stole the idea (loosely) from an Emily Dickenson poem.
The best thing to do (which I did not, and now very much regret) is to find a fishing partner who is more experienced then yourself. I was not introduced to the sport by anyone, but decided on my own to start fly fishing for trout. In southern Missouri this is not a common practice so there were very few trout fly-fisherman, and none that I could find to partner with. It is especially tough when you are a fair distance from "good trout water". I was informed in my Missouri trout book about many "good trout water" that were in hindsight pathetic little stocking points that were fished out by put and take hillbillies the week they were released. My situation is not much better here in Northeastern OH, except for the steelhead market I am 2 hours away from trout, and 4-6 hours away from really good trout water.
So be it a paid guide, or the much cheaper option a fishing partner your learning curve spikes considerably with a teacher/mentor. I wasted 2 seasons trekking all over Missouri and only caught 3 trout! That was when I was given some advice at the fly shop at Bass Pro Shops to go to the White River Arkansas. It was one of the most memorable days of my life, none of them were more than 8" rainbows and did not fight much on the 6wt Bass Pro Shops rod that I got suckered into buying; guy said it was the ultimate trout rod.
I know what it is like now when I take some of my friends who are interested in the sport; it is really simple for them to catch a trout with me standing over their shoulder, picking their fly, fixing their cast etc. I have taken 4 of my friends first time fly-fishing and they have all caught trout in the first hour! I am by no means a guru, but just shows the necessity of having the right information first about where to fish, and then how to fish when you get there.
So do your homework, find a river that is GUARANTEED to have alot of trout. Alot of websites, books will suggest rivers that are good, but look for one that gives you a fish count per mile; For example in a 2006 survey the Ausable MI boasts anywhere from 7000-15000 trout per mile. When you do the math, you are casting to or over 3 or 4 trout per cast. The Ausable is an exemplary fishery, but even a river that claims 1000-2000 trout per mile gives you a good chance. You do not (at this point in your career) want to be in the situation of fishing sparsely populated streams. That can be a challenge for later adventures.
---------- Post added at 06:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:24 AM ----------
You might want to look up Diver Dan, he posts on this forum he is from the Land of 10,000 lakes and seems to be pretty experienced. He might be able to point you the right way, or if things work out, even fish with you sometime.