Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #1 – Fish More

by | Jul 31, 2017 | 0 comments

You should fish more. No, really. You should fish a lot more. Yeah, I know that family, work and the unfortunate surprises of life keep us away from the rivers we love.

When I meet young people, full of ambition and new excitement for the fly rod, I marvel at their dedication and eagerness. Many of them fish every day. (College — it’s a rough life, isn’t it?) I had a time like that in my own life. I fished 5-6 days a week for about eight years before my sons were born, and that’s when I really learned about trout. Of course, I thought my free time would never end. None of us are any good as seeing very far ahead, and we rarely understand the opportunities of the present.

I meet guys who tell me they’ll start fishing a lot when they retire. Honestly. . . they probably won’t. I’ve seen what usually happens when people retire, and so have you.

Some say they’ll fish more once life settles down. (I’m currently one of those guys).

Even more people tell me that they used to fish and miss it, but they don’t have the time.

A great friend once explained that he didn’t like to fish just a once in awhile. If he was going to fish again, he would be all in. I didn’t understand that ten years ago, but I do now.

Our fishing life is a rhythm. And it’s easy to get out of sync with all the extra things that come along with a fishing life. Keeping up with failing gear, filling fly boxes, patching waders and following the stream levels takes time. When fly fishing becomes a regular part of life, we do something to keep up with it every day. We do all the things. (Read: All the Things.) When we fall out of rhythm, we’re outside the cycle, and it’s hard to pick up and go fishing for a couple hours when you haven’t been out for three weeks. It’s much easier to say no.

I’ve often said that fishermen are looking for reasons not to fish. It’s easy to get into the habit of grasping onto the first reason why it’s inconvenient to fish today — I gotta mow the grass this evening. We want to think of ourselves as die-hard anglers, but oh well, life is getting in the way. Excuses are an easy out. I’m guilty of this. I catch myself staying home as darkness falls because I have to get up early. But maybe two hours of night fishing is a better choice before returning home to fall into bed.

Bottom line: if you want to learn anything about this game you have to fish more. If a trout stream isn’t close, find a river with willing fish and target a new species. Any time on the water is good time, and it keeps us in the rhythm of fishing.

So the first tip on the list of 50 is an easy one. Just fish more.

Photo by Ty Loomis


Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Acquire Your Target Before the Pickup

Acquire Your Target Before the Pickup

Accuracy. It’s an elementary casting principle, but it’s the hardest thing to deliver. Wild trout are unforgiving. So the errant cast that lands ten inches to the right of a shade line passes without interest. As river anglers, our task is a complicated one, because we must be accurate not only with the fly to the target, but also with the tippet. Wherever the leader lands, the fly follows. Accuracy holds a complexity that is not for the faint of heart. But here’s one tip that guarantees immediate improvement right away.

Be the Heron

Be the Heron

We can learn much about wading a river for trout by observing the heron. Take time to watch these compelling predators — these master hunters of the river. Because the lessons of incomparable stealth are unforgettable once you’ve seen them . . .

The Spooky Trout: Find Their Blind Spot

The Spooky Trout: Find Their Blind Spot

Understand that trout can’t turn their heads, and they don’t look behind themselves casually.

And from a fisherman’s perspective, as one who has spent decades accidentally scaring the fish I intended to catch, I assure you that the best way to approach a trout is from behind . . .

Part Two: What you’re missing by following FIPS competition rules — Leader Restrictions

Part Two: What you’re missing by following FIPS competition rules — Leader Restrictions

Leader length restrictions unnecessarily limit the common angler from taking full advantage of tight line systems. Such rules force the angler to compensate with different lines, rods and tactics. And none of it is as efficient as a long, pure Mono Rig that’s attached to a standard fly line on the reel. Here’s a deep dive on the limitations of using shorter leaders and comp or euro lines.

Are You Spooking Trout?

Are You Spooking Trout?

All trout continuously adapt to their surroundings — they learn what to expect, and they spook from the unexpected.

So, stealth on the water and understanding what spooks a trout is foundational knowledge in fly fishing. Trout are easily scared. Are you spooking fish?

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Pin It on Pinterest