Some Things I have Learned as a Newbie Fly Angler
I first cast a fly rod in August '08 and have been hooked/addicted/obsessed ever since. I have been fortunate to get to wet a fly and be on the water at least 100 times since that first excursion. As I look back, I thought I would share some things I have learned.
1)I am a fly addict. Every fly looks like a potential killer/slayer/can't miss fly to me. Seems like every fly I have ever caught a fish with has resulted in me buying at least a dozen more. Sometimes that one fish is the only one I ever caught with said fly (must have landed the fly directly on top of the fish and it had no alternative but to eat it that one time) and as a result I have a growing collection of flies that seem to do nothing but take up space in my fly boxes. With trout it seems to be more important to have a bigger collection to be able to match size and pattern to match the hatch. However, with warmwater species, especially sunfish/panfish, a few well selected patterns seem to always work and there is no need to carry a big selection of different flies. Though there is that new fly I saw on-line that looks like it would be a killer/slayer/can't miss, etc.... and on the cycle goes.
2)That sharp hook will hook something. It just isn't always a fish. I have hooked trees, bushes, weeds, branches, my clothes, my pack and just about everything else around me both in and out of the water. It seems like every time my hook comes into contact with something other than a fish it digs in. However, it seems that it will only hook a fish lip about half the time.
3) As a companion to #3, your fly line can and will get caught, snagged, coiled and hung up on anything remotely sticking up at least a micrometer. If you are fishing from the bank your fly line will always find its way under one or both of your feet thus resulting in an abbreviated cast just at the same time you see that lunker fish cruising just within casting range.
4)Fish are snobs. On more occassions than I can count, I have sight cast to fish and made what I thought was a perfect offering, only to have them swim up next to it and turn their nose up at it and swim away. All the time I am thinking "If I was a fish I would have eaten that.". Guess that is why I am not a fish.
It is kinda like golf. In golf you can hit that one perfect shot and it will keep you coming back. You can spend an entire day casting to snobby fish and watching refusal after refusal. You get that one tug on the end of your line and you know you will be back for more.