Pro Tips: The 7 Deadly Sins of Fly Fishing Author

mcnerney

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Here is a great article published by the Orvis Fly Fishing Blog, that was written by Dan Parson (aka parsond) who is a fly fishing guide out of Green River, WY that works for Solitary Anglesr.


Pro Tips: The 7 Deadly Sins of Fly Fishing - Orvis News

I've known Dan casually for several years. Last June I volunteered to help out with the Green River TU Chapter's Women's Day. They had around 45 women sign up and had secured 16 drift boats to float the Green River. So 32 gals got to float, the rest took fly casting lessons and fly tying lessons at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. The day of the event was June 2 and the Green River was at 7,000 CFS. I usually avoid fishing down there in high water but I really wanted to help out the TU Chapter. When I got down there the first thing I did was seek out Dan and get some advice on what to use. At the assigned start we all gather in the headquarters conference room and are paired up with the ladies that we will be floating with. Almost everyone has never fly fished before. So before we launch I give my two gals a quick lesson on fly casting (from a boat) and off we go. The mistake I made is that I didn't demonstrate setting the hook. My gals had several opportunities but failed to set the hook in a timely manner. Lesson learned, I will know better next year. After the float, we all gathered back at the headquarters for a final wrap up meeting. As I pulled in, Dan pulled in right behind me. His two beginners had landed 27 trout. I asked Dan how he got his two gals to set the hook, he said "you make them". LOL!

Here is a trip report that I did, scroll down below the fourth photo of my Clackacraft, all the photos below that are of fish that Dan's two beginners landed, pretty awesome day. Just goes to show you what a good fly fishing guide can do for his clients.
Green River, WY Float
 
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srock

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LOL. Well I think I could add a lot more sins, maybe not all deadly, but bad enough to wound your fishing. Here are some that come to mind.

1. Not knowing the basics, ie. How to tie knots, checking tippets, etc.
2. Not willing to learn or try new techniques. Becoming rigid.
3. Thinking you know more than the dumb guide, who is mainly there as a transport system.
4. Using the wrong equipment for a given situation. Using a 4 wt rod for steelhead is plain stupid.
5. Unwilling to upgrade equipment to make your fishing better and more enjoyable. This is a tough one. I have friends who can afford better equipment ranging from waders to rods but are just plain cheap. If they then have a problem, such as leaky waders, that can ruin the trip for everyone else. You don’t have to spend $$$ to have decent, workable equipment.

I could add to the list but what do others think. 12 deadly sins and counting. SR
 

sweetandsalt

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I'm friendly to nymphers though I elect not to blind fish and say "thank you" to rowers who strive not to disturb my fish. I met a skilled and productive fly fisher who told me he had sold his Sage and bought 4 Cabelas outfits and he was happy...his technique did not, however, involve precision.

I did sin though. I had waded our as far as I could and was making long presentations to a far side bank feeder. While re-dressing my fly a guided drift boat came around the bend and dropped anchor...in front of the riser. Hello, I politely said, that happens to be the fish I'm trying to catch. The guide looked at me and said, "You can't cast this far". So, here is my sin, I responded that "lets test that theory with my next cast targeted at your hat". That was not nice and I would not have done it but he cursed me as he pulled anchor and I told his quite clients, "Don't hire this man again". And he put the fish down.

Dillon later chastised me opining I'd been too harshly confrontational. He was correct, I should have just waded ashore, sat on the bank until his nymphing clients gave up on trying to catch that fish, then once it began to feed again, I could have waded back out into position.
 

karstopo

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Very good, all of them. Good share. Maybe all of them can potentially creep into the psyche. One thing that I like about fishing is that it continually challenges one to be a better human being or at least display better behavior. Who really is completely immune to competition, excessive pride, and the us versus them or us greater than them mentality?
 

hatidua

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Holding fish way out at arms length to exaggerate size should be #1 on the list. Sweet baby jesus that is getting frightfully old.
 

mcnerney

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I get what you're saying, but this thread isn't about holding your fish out to make it look bigger. Seems like everyone is doing it nowadays, you or I can't do much about that. Please take the time to read through the link that I posted (I'm guessing you didn't take the time to read through the link, you just saw the photo and it set you off), this thread is all about the bad behavior we all experience on the river now days, not about posting photos.
 

myt1

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I'm friendly to nymphers though I elect not to blind fish and say "thank you" to rowers who strive not to disturb my fish. I met a skilled and productive fly fisher who told me he had sold his Sage and bought 4 Cabelas outfits and he was happy...his technique did not, however, involve precision.

I did sin though. I had waded our as far as I could and was making long presentations to a far side bank feeder. While re-dressing my fly a guided drift boat came around the bend and dropped anchor...in front of the riser. Hello, I politely said, that happens to be the fish I'm trying to catch. The guide looked at me and said, "You can't cast this far". So, here is my sin, I responded that "lets test that theory with my next cast targeted at your hat". That was not nice and I would not have done it but he cursed me as he pulled anchor and I told his quite clients, "Don't hire this man again". And he put the fish down.

Dillon later chastised me opining I'd been too harshly confrontational. He was correct, I should have just waded ashore, sat on the bank until his nymphing clients gave up on trying to catch that fish, then once it began to feed again, I could have waded back out into position.
I keep forgetting that it takes no skill to fish, and catch, fish you can't see.

I keep forgetting that reading water and discerning where fish might be holding, again, because you can't see them, is a useless skill.

Why can't I get it through my think skull that the only true fly fisherman are dry fly fisherman, particularly when they are constantly reminding me of that fact.

Geez, sweetandsalt, could you have been any more arrogant?
 

rodneyshishido

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I think the trout in the picture is beautiful. Great color and you can see a lot of detail. I disagree with those who comment about holding the fish out to exaggerate size. The quality of the fish is not always about size. If size is all that matters, then you are in the same category as trophy hunters. Sorry if I offend anyone. I love fly fishing and there is so much more to the sport than "catching the big one".
 

karstopo

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When I hear the phrase “blind fish”, it’s usually from someone that disdains structure fishing. There’s nothing blind about fishing structure and it involves hitting a target and controlling the fly line just as much as sight fishing. I enjoy both fishing sighted fish and fishing structure and they both incorporate important and difficult skills to try and master in each.

I think this all falls under the elitism sin.
 

al_a

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I agree with most of the list. But I'm "guilty" often of counting the fish I catch, though not as much as I once did. I used to keep a detailed fishing log, and it was very interesting to count the fish I caught and log them, and then read back a few years in my log books and see how the fishing then compared to the fishing later or earlier, and especially to see how the actual number of fish I caught compared to my memory of a particular trip.

And the only reason I'm not more often confrontational when it comes to idiots doing idiotic things on the river is because I'm afraid they'll pull out a gun and shoot me.
 

sweetandsalt

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I keep forgetting that it takes no skill to fish, and catch, fish you can't see.

I keep forgetting that reading water and discerning where fish might be holding, again, because you can't see them, is a useless skill.

Why can't I get it through my think skull that the only true fly fisherman are dry fly fisherman, particularly when they are constantly reminding me of that fact.

Geez, sweetandsalt, could you have been any more arrogant?
In the spirit of this thread about poor choices in behavior, I'll respond thusly. I illustrated my bad response to a supposedly professional guide's actions and demeanor. He may have been wrong but that did not justify me being confrontational, that rendered me being wrong as well.

His sports, rigged with bobber and weight outfits could not present to the fish in question which was rising beneath a matt of vegetation under an alder deadfall in a foot of water. Not a skill issue, a physical characteristic of their chosen technique issue. Read through my thousands of posts and quote where I have opined that dead drifting a nymph lacks skill or impeccable focus. You won't find it because for decades I regularly drifted carefully tied nymph and pupae imitations through the endless seams and pockets of the Madison and other great nymphing habitats. Like any seasoned angler, I'm keenly aware of structure on and below surface and as many habitat fine points as I can discern.

I can no longer effectively wade big freestones like the Madison but even there I weaned myself off catching a lot of fish in favor of picking pockets with elk hair caddis flies. I'm not a "purist" or "traditionalist" turning my snobby nose up at lower class bottom dunkers but I am a visual person and enjoy the techniques of unweighted casting and compound surface presentations. Occasionally, that involves a nymphal stage imitation of some mayfly weighted only by being tied on a heavier wire wet fly hook cast and dead drifted to a visually nymphing trout on a gravel bar or shallow bank. We all know trout take the majority of their prey subsurface but to paraphrase the great Lee Wulff; deeper feeding trout and salmon deserve their watery sanctuary, it is up to us to bring them to the surface. Unlike when a young man, numbers have long ceased to mater to me, quality of experience in nature is my thing. I don't want to catch all the fish just the specific ones that challenge and intrigue me.

If this is "arrogant" well then I'm guilty of that too. And, unlike sometimes surface feeding tout, in the salt my flies are wet. Still, my preference is casting to visibly feeding, surface busting, sighted cruising fish where I can cast a floating line with a single organism imitating fly.
 

falcon53

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When I fish with a friend on water that I know well and they don't I act like a informal guide. I show them the nice lies, where to position, successful patterns I have used etc. I want them to do well and I usually watch them fish for a while before I go up or downstream. I am certainly not a expert but I know my area rivers quite well and I will even help others I don't know if I meet another fisher on the river. Many people helped me out when I was starting out and I can still use good advice. One rainy day of the Delaware the water was "paved" with Cornuta duns and many fish were rising. However the fish were taking a Iso that was also coming off (although less frequently). I caught 6 fish in succession and another fly fisher asked me what I was using. He was using the olive with no success. See those slashing rises ... and I gave him a fly and he started hooking up. Back at the parking lot he walked up and thanked me saying he never had a better day fly fishing. I went to Lydia's and he bought me a beer. Watching him catch fish was fun. I felt good helping the Gent and he felt great having success.

A bud who is younger takes me on his drift boat several times a year. I always give him the first shot at rising fish. He does the rowing and I pay the shuttle. I get my share of chances in the course of the day. I also like watching him cast / fish as he is very good. I'm happy to be in the boat.

If I have a nice day and happen to catch a few nice fish that's all I need. I even leave rising fish after I duped enough fish and move on to something more challenging. Someone can slip in behind me a get a few. Good for them!

Most people on the Upper Delaware are very considerate.
 
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