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Old 11-07-2008, 10:36 AM
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Default 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

Yesterday was my first solo fly fishing outing. Back in August I took a 1/2 day guided trip in Colorado which was my first time ever fly fishing. In October I attended a half day fly fishing school that was very informative, but didn't include any actual fishing. I went to the Llano river between Junction, TX and Mason, Tx. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day. Wet waded and caught my first ever fish on my own fly rod. I caught one small Guadalupe bass and 4 sunfish. They were small, but I caught some fish!

Some of the highlights of the day were:

- I waded up to an area with some small rapids and cast a white Llano bug into a pool at the base of the rapids. A Guadalupe bass hit hit the fly immediately when it hit the water and the bass lept out of the water. It was very cool. I didn't land the fish, but it was the first time I ever had that happen.
- I spotted a hatch and some fish rising and I worked my way to to a casting spot and was able to catch a fish exactly in the spot I was trying to fish. I was excited that I was actually able to recognize the situation and be able to catch a fish with some intentionality.
- I was able to watch some fish in a deeper pool (catfish and bass). It was cool to watch them even though I couldn't get them to take any of my offerings.
- Just being on the river on such a beautiful day. I much prefer to be on a river or stream as opposed to a lake.

Some things I learned/realizations I had:

- I know I spent way too much time covering the same areas and casting to the same spots. Need to learn to move on and cover more ground.
- While I did catch some fish with intentionality, I was pretty much flying blind when it came to what fly to select and how to fish it.
- I need to learn how to drift my fly better.
- I need to learn how to fish the flies for the situation better. For example, I could see some fish lounging in a deeper pool, I just couldn't get anything down to them and I didn't know how to do it.
- I need to spend some time with a guide or other knowledgable angler to learn more about how to fish.
- I realized that even though I have a long way to go and a lot to learn, I can do this. Fly fishing is challenging, but I can do it!

Overall, it was a great time and I am hooked. Looking forward to my next outing.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

Great story! I'm a bit of an addict myself. Sounds like you are on the right track and a bit o' trial and error through the years will smooth out any rough spots. Hope to hear some more success stories and remember, the fish can't help what size they are, it's not their fault! Big or small you still need to fool em'.
Snaggy
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

Sounds like you had a good time. The only way to have a bad time fly fishing, I think, would be to fall in...............which I haven't done yet.........so I may be wrong.
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

Quote:
Originally Posted by txbevo View Post
- I know I spent way too much time covering the same areas and casting to the same spots. Need to learn to move on and cover more ground.
This is something I wonder about with myself, but in the reverse direction. I tend to try to cover a lot of water and try to get a few good drifts in as many likely spots as possible, assuming that if I'm confident with my drift and my fly and nothing hits, I'll do better at another spot.

I remember reading once that for your first 8 casts in a spot, your chances of hooking a fish go down (as you're increasingly likely to notify them of your presence). After that, your chances start to increase, because you become less threatening after you've been there a while with nothing happening (assuming, of course, you haven't spooked them). I'm not entirely sure of the logic on that, but I do know I've caught fish after making more than 8 casts before.

I'm still working on finding a balance at how quickly to cover water (and also how quickly to chalk a given lack of success up to either wrong fly or wrong drift/approach, so I don't spend all day either tying new flies on or fishing a worthless one).
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

Hi txbevo,

I think you are doing great and taking some right steps. A guide in that situation would have been a big help.

When you can see fish and know they are deeper it is time to change technique. You need to have some sub surface flies that are weighted or have weighted eyes like a Clowser. Another thing you could have done was add a small split shot just above the tippet. This would have given you more depth. How much weight is determined by how deep the water is and how fast the currant is.

Other options would be a sink tip line or full sinking line again based on how deep the water is. The thing to learn is there is always many ways to accomplish the same results. Some of us learn one way and others learn another.

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Old 11-07-2008, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

Txbevo-
Congrats, sounds like you had a blast and really enjoyed reading your post.

Fishing to fish deep in pools can be tough sometimes. One way is to use a heavily weighted streamer like a marabou muddler or bugger (or a sink tip) from up stream, and casting well upstream to allow the fly to sink as it’s swept down to them, and mending and feeding line out if needed to try and get the fly deep enough to swing in front of them as you become tight and the fly starts to rise. Even if the presentation is a little off, fish will often move to it and whack it especially if it’s a meaty (big) fly. Other times you can bounce stuff off their noses and not get any love at all.

Reading is a poor substitute for actually getting out there, and you could probably learn a ton from a guide that's willing to explain things and answer a bazillion questions, especially if you book one and tell them you're more interested in the teaching then the catching, but here’s some stuff to look at, and maybe try a few of ‘em next time you’re on the water.

This is a pretty good article on mending line to get a good drift:
Fly Fishing, Fly Presentation, Mending - MidCurrent

This one may be helpful for a rematch with those fish at the bottom of that pool:
Fly Fishing, Swinging Wet Flies - MidCurrent

And here are some links on different ways to present
Dries ( a link to Part 2 is at bottom of article)
Dry Fly Presentations--Part 1 | Feature Article | Westfly

Wets (including nymphs), with a link to part 2 also at the bottom of the article
Wet Fly Presentations--Part 1 | Feature Article | Westfly

Good luck. Glad to hear every thing came together. And it's probably only a matter of time before you fall in.

peregrines
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

This is something I wonder about with myself, but in the reverse direction. I tend to try to cover a lot of water and try to get a few good drifts in as many likely spots as possible, assuming that if I'm confident with my drift and my fly and nothing hits, I'll do better at another spot.

Hi jcl,

I think the most important thing in fishing a spot is you do it completely until you learn the water. A person who fishes the same water all the time can pass up water that has never produced fish. This is one thing that will definitely speed you up.

On new water you have to developer some skill in reading the water and try to fish the most productive looking water. You should always fish close to shore first and not cast out to that beautiful seam in the middle of the river. If you cast far out first you will line any fish that is close to you and they will shut down or move away. Many feeding lanes in rivers are up close to the shoreline and you don't want to pass them up. After fishing close start with medium cast and then longer cast so you cover the spot completely.

One way that I keep moving is to cast close to shore, then further, then further until you have fished the likely water. Then take a step or two and try again. If you keep taking steps forward you will be presenting your fly from a different angle and it may make a difference in you presentation. The small steps will help keep you moving.

If you are fishing shallow water and you can see the fish that will really speed you up. You only have to fish the water where you see the fish. Now you will probably pass up some fish you don't see but if you see the fish your chances are much better to catch one.

Frank
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Old 11-07-2008, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

Thanks, Frank.
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: 1st Solo Fly Fishing Outing

Glad to hear another beginner having fun and becoming an addict!

2 books that I have found indispensable to help with the learning curve are:

Handbook of Hatches

Trout Rigs and Methods
Both by Dave Hughes


The first is detailed and easy to read all about bugs and flies.

The second is about fly fishing techniques, and what to do in certain situations, etc.

I refer to both of them all the time. And for the record I have no affiliation with this guy.
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