Jim's 7 Tips to Improve Your Fly Fishing
1. Fish More – I know it’s hard to do that. Life gets in the way. The more days, weeks, months and years on the water equals a better fly fisherman.
So fish when you can and don't wait for that perfect day because there is no such thing. Fishing in all kinds of different water and weather conditions can be challenging and very rewarding.
2. Use longer leaders – This is a very common mistake among not only beginners but others have been fishing for a few years. I often use a 9ft 4x RIO leader. For nymph fishing I attach a 3ft piece of 4x tippet and tie on the first fly. Then attached a 2ft piece of fluorocarbon tippet and tie on the second nymph. The hook size determines the size of the tippet.
Why longer leaders? Everything that touches the water creates drag. When fishing nymphs try to only have your leader on the water. An easy way to achieve that is by simply lifting up your fly rod which will lift fly line off the water helping to eliminate drag.
3. Strike Indicators – They suspend your fly in the water column and help prevent the fly from hanging up on the bottom of the stream — and you will detect more strikes and catch more fish. As you move up and down the stream remember to move the strike indicator as the depth of stream changes.
Keep in mind the that water on the surface is moving faster than the water on the bottom of the stream. Your flies need to be on the bottom and in contact with your strike indicator. When the indicator is moving slower than the bubbles on the surface, you know the flies are where the fish are and you will catch more fish.
4. Weight – Most fly fishermen don't use enough weight and aren't fishing deep enough. As the saying goes “You are one split shot away from catching fish.” By not fishing enough weight flies are drifting over the fish and not in the fish zone.
I use small Blackbird split shot in sizes BB1- BB4. Sometimes just adding one more split shot can make a big difference in the presentation of your flies.
5. Casting Lessons – The average fly fisherman has already invested hundreds of dollars in equipment that they don't know how to use properly. Why not spend a few more dollars for casting lessons.
Learn all of the various types of casts that will help you in different situations on the water. Such as the roll cast, drop cast, curve cast and slack cast just to name a few.
By becoming a better fly caster you will tangle less often, catch more fish, and have a more enjoyable time on the water.
6. Knot tying – Most anglers struggle with knot tying. I'm convinced if you become a good knot tier over a course of a season you will catch more fish. You can't catch fish when the flies are in your hand.
For tying a tippet to your fly I like the Eugene knot or you can use a clinch or improved clinch knot. When adding tippet material to your leader you can use a blood knot or surgeon knot.
7. Fish the four seasons – Spring offers most of the major hatches and dry fly fishing opportunities. It's also when most fly fishermen are on the water.
By summer we will see lower water and warming water temperatures. Early morning starts on the water are now the order, smaller flies and the start of what I think is some of the best dry fly fishing of the year.
Fall has a lot to offer that most fly fishermen don't realize. Crisp early morning nymph fishing and as the day warms up hatches of brown caddis, blue winged olives, flying ants, and rising trout. It’s a great time to be on the stream.
Winter – Well winter is winter and when it cooperates it can offer a few good hours on the water. And on a bright sunny day you might find blue winged olives and early black stones with rising trout and some dry fly action.
These are just a few tips to improve your fly fishing and some common mistakes I see fly fishermen do throughout the season.
Fish more and fish hard. I’ll see you out there.
Well, what did you think? Care to ask a question or leave a comment? If you're reading this from a browser, please scroll down to Comments. We'd love to hear from you.
Down By the River By Andrew Weiner
One beautiful autumn day, Art sets out with his mother and grandfather for a fishing trip. Fishing days are Art's favorite. He loves learning the ropes from Grandpa – the different kinds of flies and tackle and the trout that frequent their river. He especially likes Grandpa's stories.
Down By The River is a beautiful book; fun and informative, lovely to look at. If you have children and you want to spark an interest in fly fishing, this book should be on your book shelf. Illustrated by April Chu. Suggested Retail: $17.99. It's available from The Rogue Angler
It's not too early to put it on a Christmas List!
Susie 1st Fish on a Fly Rod!
If you're called our office, or placed an online order, or sent an email, there is a good chance that Susie took the call, answered the email, or filled the order. We've taken her fishing a couple times this year, but this week she caught her first trout with a fly rod. Congratulations, Susie!