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pie314 11-02-2010 08:49 PM

What am i doing wrong
I am relativly new to this sport of fly fishing and i am wondering if its even worth it any more. I have spent a lot of my hard earned money on 2 rods and reels and other fishing gear. I have spent countless hours on streams rivers and lakes trying to catch something. Read books and spent hours researching the art of fly fishing trying to gain an edge and some knowledge. But its just seems like i am spinning my weels. I have been very unsucsessfull all summer long. Ive tried trout streams and some of the "best" lakes here in the land of 10,000 lakes. I see all of these people on this forum posting their photos of all of the fish they catch all the time and they are always going to these awesome streams with huge trout. I have no streams by me with trout, and even the streams that are over 2 hours away hold very small size and numbers of stocked fish. Im lucky to even see a fish sometimes. I just dont know what to do. Is it time to hang it up?? or is this just how it is when you start out in this sport?

Vans 11-02-2010 09:18 PM

Re: What am i doing wrong
I too am new to fly fishing. I would suggest something that i did. If you havent already, take a lesson from a certified instructor. If you are self taught, perhaps there is something in the mechanics of your cast that you are not seeing and it is spooking the fish. If your presentation is wrong, you are not going to be very successful. Maybe you are not reading the water right? This too an instructor can help you with. A book an impart a lot of knowledge but without someone who has that knowledge helping and watching it can be difficult to get it from the book to your arm properly.

I am usually a figure it out on my own kind of guy but with fly fishing i figured it was a cheap investment to get some professional instruction. This isnt a cheap hobby and to get geared up and then just hang it up without catching anything would be a huge waste. If you see this through to when you are catching fish, it will be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. To some it becomes a religion and after just my brief stint at it i can certainly see how it becomes such.

I live in Oregon and am lucky to live in a place with some of the best trout water in the country. You however live in the land of 10,000 lakes. I am jealous. I have always wanted to catch a pike or musky. If trout water is a long ways away, fish for what is close at hand. Bass? Pike? Carp? Carp get huge and can really put on a fight to remember. Musky get enormous and from what i have read are a thrill to catch.

Keep at it and get a lesson then perhaps go out with a guide who can put you on some fish. Some hands on with a person whose job it is to help people catch fish will really help with learning to read where fish lay.

I havent had a huge amount of success in this, my first season casting flies, however, i know i am well and truly hooked. Keep at it pie, you wont regret it.

wovenstonefly 11-02-2010 09:22 PM

Re: What am i doing wrong
Hell no dont give it up. If your starting up on your own It's probably worth it to track down a shop that teaches a class or a guide who is willing to teach and help you learn. It takes a little time to figure things out. Then you need to keep getting out. There is no replacement for time on the water.

If you want to catch big fish you need to fish were big fish are. there is the occasional fluke fish that is way bigger than any other fish in the area but you could fish years and years before you luck into one, if you ever do. but you can have a lot of fun fishing small creeks of lakes for smaller fish. Take Hardyreels for example. He lives in Alaska, home to all 5 pacific salmon and trophy trout and still likes to take the light rod up small over hung creeks in search of smaller fish.

You can fly fish for all sorts of fish other than trout too. Some of the first fish I ever caught on a fly rod were bluegill. This year I started fishing for tiger musky, Bass, and Wipers (striped bass/white bass hybrid) I caught the tiger musky but haven't caught the other two. I think part of the fun is trying to figure out new species, If it swims you can catch it on a fly rod. Don't get too discouraged if you dont have immediate success.I love steelhead fishing more than breathing but I have had a lot of multiple day trips where I caught nothing, the highlight of the trip was a single grab that I missed. It's all part of the game and what makes this sport so fun.


MoscaPescador 11-02-2010 09:50 PM

Re: What am i doing wrong
Allen and Vans offered some good advice about getting instruction. Professional help is can pay off big time.

Joining a fly fishing club can be another option for you. You can take advantage of its instructional programs. Many clubs have mentors who can help you get better. Plus you will have access to people who wouldn't mind going on trips with you.


Ard 11-02-2010 11:04 PM

You are doing nothing wrong by trying to learn something;

When I first started trying to use a fly rod for fishing things did not go well. I wanted desperately to be like the late Lee Wulff but I was about as far from that as a 13 / 14 year old boy could be. I had no one to teach me and my father had recently died of Hodgkin's disease. You could say that the quality of my outdoor life was not real good. I tried to tie flies because I had received a kit as a gift but they were not very good and I could not cast very well so.................

I continued to use spinners and bait in order to catch fish but the desire to cast and to catch fish like that guy on The American Sportsman TV show never went away. I alternated from the spinning gear to the fly rod whenever I felt lucky and once in a while some poor trout would hit at my fly. More often than not I would try to set the hook like I was trying to rip the fish in half and either break the line or miss the fish. Finally at the age of 23 I got serious. I did what you are doing, I read, I tied, I practiced and I never cast a lure or bait to a trout again. It started slow like a train leaving the station but year after year my skills grew until I became the best fisherman that I could be. I studied everything I could about my passion both in the university class room and on the water and I still study.

The things in my experience that were really worth having have never been easy for me to attain but sticking with this hobby / passion, what ever it is has proven to have been worth while. A human being should be able to examine their existence and realize that they have became good at something, at least one thing that gives them both pleasure and a sense of pride. Perhaps becoming as good of a fly fisherman as you can be will be one of your things but I warn you, it was not easy for me for the first decade.

Any time you feel like discussing a particular problem you are having please feel free to contact me.


charged 11-02-2010 11:49 PM

Re: What am i doing wrong
Ah, If your still having fun don't give it up. I also still don't even have a full year under my belt.

As a beginner earlier this year, I practiced for nearly a month over my lawn, "Hell..... I still lawn cast for fun."

It took me several weeks on the water before I even caught my first fish. Now that I have just 1/2 a clew in what I'm doing, I haven't been skunked in months. (that record may just be do too my stubbornness to leave before I catch, But I'm now confident I will catch) Where have you been fishing?

mcnerney 11-03-2010 08:40 AM

Re: What am i doing wrong
Click on this link to see if there is a Trout Unlimited Chapter near you. If not check with your local fly shop to see if there is a fly fishing club in your area. If not take a lesson or two from your local fly shop. You might also ask the local fly shop if there would be someone in your area that would like to become a mentor to you. Fishing along side someone that has been fly fishing for a number of years would be of great assistance in your learning. I agree if what the others have said, if trout are not in your area, go after species that are close at hand. Good luck and don't be shy about asking questions on the forum, we have a wonderful group of folks that are more than willing to provide help.


tyler185 11-03-2010 09:05 AM

Re: What am i doing wrong
It took me 2 years of trying it on and off to get it down and catch my first fish. Ever since then I have loved it and have had a ton of success. I didnt have anyone to teach me which would have helped a ton but I stuck with it and Im sure glad I did.

Its alright to take a break from it at times too. That's what I did when it got frustrating for me. The sport is supposed to be fun so when I was getting frustrated I would just stop for a couple of days and then try again.

Jimmie 11-03-2010 10:05 AM

Re: What am i doing wrong
Two years, and I'm still on your side of the learning curve. IMO, that's what makes this sport so great. Right now I'm attempting to learn how to "hook em". I miss too many hook-ups.
Those big trout waters are a good reason to plan a trip, IMO.

kfisher99 11-03-2010 10:46 AM

Re: What am i doing wrong
I started fly fishing by going with a few guides on various rivers that are near my house and have completely different species/fishing styles. I asked them a million questions all day long and it really propelled me along the learning curve very quickly, now I am self-sufficient on most of the waters near me and do pretty well each outting. Just ask questions and never stop!

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