What Would You Tell Your Younger Self About Fly Fishing?

dswice

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My how time flies! The older I get the faster the years seem to slip by and I now realize there are a finite number of fishing days and fishing trips in my future. I'm thankful for my grandfather, as a fishing mentor, who began taking me fishing at age 2. We used cane poles, bobbers, and earth worms, and enjoyed many happy hours on the creeks and ponds near his Carolina farm. A bobber dancing up and down still excites me. Fishing has been a strong passion my entire life. However, I came to fly fishing in later years. If I could go back and talk to my younger self, one thing I would certainly say is, "Don't wait to get into fly fishing. While you've got good health, strength, and energy, find a mentor and learn. It will take you places and teach you things you'll benefit from and enjoy the rest of your life." Now, one of my greatest joys is teaching my college-age son the basics of our sport and seeing his enthusiasm grow. What about you? If you could go back and talk to your younger self about fly fishing, what would you say?
 

cooutlaw

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My top dozen things might look something like this-

1) Learn fish behavior and entomology first, to cast second, and to tie knots third, and to tie flies fourth. Then worry about filling in the gaps as time goes on. 2) Don't ever consider making it a career - you'll eventually lose enjoyment for whatever becomes your work to sustain you. 3) Focus on enjoying the individual moments and don't worry about the days - we have potential for a lot more special moments in life than days. 4) Use gear that works best for you...regardless of cost....expensive is sometimes, but not always, better. 5) Color outside the lines - think outside the box - experiment - test new ideas - innovate - fish for joy of learning and experience new things. 6) Walk further. 7) Never not make a last cast. 8) Do not ever judge the success of your day by the number of fish netted. 9) Weather is in no way your friend, nor indicative of your success as an angler. 10) It's only fishing - enjoy it, but do not allow it to consume you. It's part of life but not all of life, never underestimate, nor overestimate, it's importance. Fishing is one of the medicines needed to recharge your mind, soul, and heart. Don't become an addict. 11) It takes a lifetime to become an expert angler....don't rush it. 12) Fish do not wear watches...fish whenever you can.
 
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coug

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To self going to school in Bellingham in 80's, and working in Yellowstone summers to paid for said school:

Hey slick, quick chucking gear on the Noocksack during the school year for steelhead, get down to the Skagit and check out those two-hand rods. And during summer, instead of being a complete hack with a fly rod in the Park, take a lesson so you avoid setting those problems with casting mechanics to muscle memory.
 

Bigfly

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After guiding for over 20 years, I'd say....hey kid. "Don't fish like the other guy."
Took me a long time to realize many fishers fish poorly, and enjoy it that way (Edit...I did...)
They will argue all day in defence of their approach, then blame fish/bugs/water/luck for lack of success. (Mostly dry fly guys [see previous post] ).
I suggest one cast, one drift, one fish as a better angle of attack.
Dont listen to those who fish for fun or relaxation. Get serious!
Learn your craft...

Ignore the fishers that flogg the water to no effect, the fish do....
Two hundred drifts through a hole with the same bug, and never changing your setting, isn't fishing it's wishing. As well as being the definition of insanity.
(Although it may be relaxing...).
Listen carefully, let the water tell you how to fish.
Fish on the fishes schedule, not yours.
Move to some hard water, fish it year round, and master it.
Little fish have a little to teach..... large fish have lots to teach.
Forget fame and fortune, photos (and guiding).
Just go fish, because life is short.....

Jim
 
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half fast

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A few things I would explain....

- It happens that much of the literature and traditions of fly fishing involves cold water species, especially trout. This does not mean that pursuing other species with a fly rod is somehow inferior. It merely means that some of the most talented writers didn't live in your area. If they had, Robert Traver might just as easily have written "Bass Madness" or "Bonefish Magic."

- Don't become too enamored with high end, high dollar gear. It's nice, sure, but you can get to the same place in a Ford F150 that you can in a Rolls Royce. Sometimes it's even fun to out-fish the well-heeled angler when you're using low-dollar gear. When it comes to casting distance and accuracy, the rod is worth about 10%, the line about 20%, and your personal skill about 70%. Heck, Joan Wulff could use no rod at all and still toss a line better than I ever will.

- Catching bass on poppers is a blast, but you'll catch more of them on streamers.

- Fish out every cast. It's amazing how many fish seem to strike at your "mistakes."

- Don't feel like you have to learn a dozen knots. Just get very good at tying a Uni knot and use it for everything. One knot to rule the lines, one knot to find them, one knot to bring the lines, and in the water bind them.

- Learn to tie flies before arthritis and far-sightedness make it difficult.

- Avoid arguments with alligators and water moccasins.
 
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okaloosa

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You want to be good ? Fish every day.
And read books, ignore what's on the internet
I have to respectfully disagree about the internet. There are so many valuable educational videos on the internet of great use to the novice and experienced alike.
I wish I had such a resource in the 1960's when there was so little available. I would rather watch a video that read a book about fishing techniques any day. Youtube can be a gold mine of information. Of course, I still maintain the best resource is hiring a guide who really knows the fishery you want to master.
 

eastfly66

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Old me: Spend as much time as you can on the water now because this thing called the internet is going to come along and ruin everything you value about this pastime and there will be people everywhere.

Young me: How many more people Old Man ?

Old me: As many as the stars.
 

Browtine

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Keep a journal. Write a few remarks, take a picture or press a fly in the book. Learn and re-learn from both success and failure. There is no substitute for time on the water, memories wane and journals can create a wonderful remembrance.
 

smilingduck

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First 10 years are tough after that it gets a little easier. Walk as far away from the parking lot as you can! Enjoy yourself!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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