There are problems in the fly fishing industry. And this episode is for highlighting some of the worst. Because it’s fair to call balls and strikes, and because it helps to acknowledge that things could be better and try to make a change.
Making adjustments is the key to consistent fly fishing. It’s what long-term anglers love about this game. It’s how we solve the daily puzzles. And many of those adjustments are based on our thought processes around weights and measures.
It matters. And the easiest place to start is to know your distances. Tackle that first . . .
If there’s one thing in nymph fishing that gets far too much credit, it’s the induced take, in all forms. From Frank Sawyer’s slight movement up and out of a pure dead drift, to the Leisenring lift, nymphing anglers everywhere are enamored with ways to twitch, jig, swing and lift the nymph.
An excellent dead drift is your baseline presentation. The induced take is a variation. And do not forget that a good induced take begins with a great dead drift. That is what is so often missed . . .
Only a small percentage of anglers have the necessary accuracy to tackle the tough situations. And big trout seem to know where to hide from average anglers.
In fact, accuracy is the most important skill an angler can learn. The simple ability to throw a fly in exactly the same place, over and over, with subtle, nuanced differences in the tippet each time, is the most valuable skill for any fisherman . . .
The key to a good carrying system is efficiency. Carry lots of gear or be a minimalist. But however you carry your gear, make sure it works for you. Think it through. And then change something if the system is holding you back, if it’s getting in your way or taking you out of rhythm. A carrying system should be designed around the way you fish, and not the other way around. Think about that. Don’t change the way you fish to suit a poorly chosen pack.
My vest is the most important piece of gear that I own. Because it holds everything that I work with. And having things laid out with a purpose keeps me efficient and ready to adapt.
Every angler draws their own lines for what fly fishing is. And this episode is not just for talking through what fly fishing might be and where each of us might draw the lines. Instead, we’d like to acknowledge the absurdity of the lines themselves — the decisions we make about what is fly fishing and what is not . . .
How many times have I assumed that no trout would eat, when all I needed was a different target? How many trout did I pass earlier this morning because I was complacent about my drifts? “Good enough” was my mindset. “Close enough” were my terms, but the trout were on a different page . . .