I went on my first real fishing trip this week in Cody Wyoming, loads of fun and a great learning experience. As an incredibly clumsy newbie here are a couple of personal observations that may or may not be right.
The first thing I did was go into the local fishing store and find out what flies were working. The pictures on the wall and the excitement of the owner got me thinking that catching a fish that week was a guarantee. However when I hit the river I was left thinking "are there any fish in this river?" I am convinced that 90% of that was my own inexperience. Then my rod was crunched in the door of our van, and by the last day I was pretty down, and then I caught a nice Rainbow Trout, but just as I was about to take a picture it squirted out of my hand into the river...bummer. As I was driving back to the campground it hit me...the real pleasure is just being able to be out on the river with incredible scenery, catching a fish is simply an added bonus (for me). All of the anxiety of catching a fish almost ruined a great experience.
Second, listening to all of the podcasts, reading all of the articles, getting advice from all of the genius from others, means nothing until I got my feet and line wet, and did it for myself. NOW I understand what all of that means. As frustrating and embarrasing it was I would not trade the experience for anything.
Lastly, I stink at nymphing. But there is nothing that I want to learn how to do more.
I feel your pain when it comes to actually catching fish. This is my first season with a fly rod and have had but 1 good day and that was in the float tube. Just got back from 3 days fishing the N. Fork Yuba River and best I could do was 3 about the size of a Snickers bar
But as you said, all you have to do is stop fishing for a second, lift your head and take a look at where you are and realize how lucky you are to be fishing on a beautiful river when there is so much uglyness going on in this world of ours
I've been fly fishing for a few years now and only recently have felt real comfortable on the rivers in terms of fly fishing. But the scenery and beauty of the waters and it's surroundings have always captivated me and left me in awe. I love fly fishing and am so appreciative of the fact that you get better and better each time you go out, learn how to read the waters, and learn to apply new techniques. In terms of nymphing, I went out a few weeks ago dry casting most of the time and as I was about to stop thought of just trying out a prince with an indicator- Bang! 17" Brown and I thought- Nymphing is AWESOME! BUt I still love the take and the toss on a dry- I just love it! Hell, I love it all.
As frustrating and embarrasing it was I would not trade the experience for anything.
I know this feeling. After I had gained some experience with smallies and panfish, a friend began taking me to a great trout stream. The first two times we went, I quickly lost every fish I hooked (maybe 4 altogether). I went home, looked at my new reel, and discovered I had overloaded it, so that fish couldn't pull any line out. I fixed it, and promptly caught some trout.
You'll become comfortable before you know it, and the clumsy early outings will be completely worthwhile.
Thanks for the encouragement.
I went out camping last week and caught 2 fish nymphing, they were small-about the size of my hand- but they were trout, and a pretty good size brown trout on a dry fly. Can't wait to go again before winter.
a coworker/friend of mine went out with my regular fishing buddy (two-timer!), accompanied by a flyfishing guide we know for a story in our newspaper on flyfishing for wild trout in the yosemite high country. i guess i didn't grease my photo editor's palms enough that week. the reporter had only caught fish on conventional tackle and when looking at the stream they visited thought immediately to himself, there's no WAY fish can be in there. i know this area, it's one of my favorites, and is quite beautiful. frank, you may know of it.
when the reporter caught his first wild fish on a dry, the proverbial light bulb went off and he said, Now i know why you guys love this stuff so much!
if you're interested in seeing what the area looks like, check out the link and look for the article called Trial by Trout. it's in the sports section, subsection outdoors. i'm sharing this not as advertisement, just to share what one of my fave areas looks like (sorry if it requires registration, i don't recall) but it's an interesting read for beginners:
..the real pleasure is just being able to be out on the river with incredible scenery, catching a fish is simply an added bonus (for me).
I've fly fished for for something like 40 years.
It's the best excuse there is for splashin' around in a river while wearing rubber pants.
Flailing a fancy stick around over your head makes this sort of behavior acceptable
If it wasn't for all that expensive gear, we'd all be candidates for the rubber room
I think we have all felt your frustration at one time or another. As you learn more about fly fishing, reading water and what patterns to use when it will become more enjoyable, but like you said just being outdoors is more than half the fun.
I like fishing over at North Delaney lake (just west of Walden, CO), not because the fishing is always hot, but because of the beautiful mountains in the background, and occasionally I will catch a fish. They say half the fish in North Delaney is 20" or more, so when you do catch one its a thrill.
I've heard that East Newton Lake just north of Cody on hwy 120 has some very good fishing, but you will need a float tube or pontoon boat to get out where the fish are. This summer while on a road trip I stopped by there and spotted two nice size rainbows sipping BWO's off the surface. Those fish were over near the handicap dock, but the best fishing is on the opposite shore.