If you want space, if you want to find your own water, it’s there for you. Be an explorer. Fish offbeat times and offbeat locations. Fish bad weather and rough conditions. Find your water, and find space.
There are no flying fish in Montana, not in Pennsylvania, and not anywhere. Norman Maclean’s line in A River Runs Through It sums this up:
“One reason Paul caught more fish than anyone else was that he had his flies in the water more than anyone else. “Brother,” he would say, “there are no flying fish in Montana. Out here, you can’t catch fish with your flies in the air.”
And yet, anglers everywhere love the false cast. I daresay most fly fishers spend more time setting up their fly for the next drift than actually drifting it — exactly Paul’s point.
The most effective anglers are the most efficient. So they spend double, triple or a lot more time with their fly FISHING the water instead of casting in the air above it. And inevitably, these anglers catch more trout — a lot more trout . . .
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 Troutbitten video series, Streamers on the Mono Rig continues with Episode Two, covering the unique possibilities and the demands of casting.
Fishing streamers on the Mono Rig offers anglers ultimate control over the direction and action of their flies — all the way through the drift. And while small streamers may need nothing more than a nymphing-style cast, mid-sized and full-sized streamers require a few changes in casting to get the most from the technique . . .
In short, turnover gives us freedom to choose what happens with the line that’s tethered to the fly. How does the tippet and leader land? With contact or with slack? And where does it land? In the seam and partnered with the fly, or in an adjacent current? By having mastery of turnover, we dictate the positioning of not just the fly, but the leader itself. And nothing could be more important . . .
Find water you can fish close up, and work on deadly accurate casting. You’ll find that, when fishing shorter, you can fish harder. Instead of hoping a trout eats or wishing for a strike, the kind of precision possible at short range lets you make something happen with intention . . .
This is the direct advantage of knowing your weights. Fly changes become more deliberate and less experimental. Efficiency improves, as does your confidence to read water and the ability to fish it well.
Knowing your weights and measures is about understanding how to balance the elements of your fishing rig. It’s a give and take. But it’s up to you to first know what is being balanced. It’s the design of the leader, the weight of the flies, material resistance and distance. Put numbers to these things, and know your stats . . .
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 . . .