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 . . .
A top-tier river trout is a beast. The inherent nature of a river, with the endless obstacles, rocks, tree parts, current breaks, high gradient runs and undercut banks challenges the angler at every bend. So when you finally hook up with a Whiskey, a new game begins. It’s a match up between trout and fisherman. Who will win that fight?
Bringing a trout to the net requires a series of accurate calculations, thoughtful moves and a good dose of luck. But with a few guiding principles and a bit of experience, you can minimize the luck required and get a good handle on the outcome. One of the best of those principles, is to keep ’em down . . .
Of all the reasons why I fly fish for trout, two captivating things keep me coming back: refining a system, and breaking it all apart.
Go into any new exploration with a clear head and without expectations. Remove your prejudices and forget your preferences. Achieve this, and you may well be surprised by what you find with a fly rod in your hand. Ignore this, or fail in the attempt, and you’ll likely learn nothing. Worse yet, you may learn the wrong thing.
Let the river teach. Let time be the gauge. Let the fish have their say. Forgo conclusions and look instead for certainty in trends. Test honestly and without bias — always . . .
If you fish hard and pay attention to the details, you’ll often catch, miss or turn enough trout to learn something. At the heart of the puzzle is an eternal question: What do the trout want?
The best days start by learning what most trout in the river are doing. So, gather data toward those questions, and then branch off from there.
The way you move on the water, the way you carry gear and how you adapt, has a big impact on your experience out there. Yes, we all enjoy the scenery and solitude. We love the sites and sounds of a river. But when that novelty dulls a bit, the process of solving problems and seeing the results of our solutions is what keeps us in the game for a lifetime . . .
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.