Quite often, new anglers can get caught up in product reviews or making sure they have the “right” equipment. While there is a place and time to focus on these technical questions, this post lays out six simple but essential pieces of advice for anyone looking to grow their passion in the sport.
1) Keep it Simple
This is the most overlooked piece of advice for the new fisherman. Often, new anglers will overpay for rod and reel combos because they believe cost dictates performance. All anglers develop personal preferences in equipment as they spend time on the water and will inevitably upgrade their arsenal. Avoid limiting your experience by breaking the bank on gear that doesn’t suit your needs. As you experiment with new locations, techniques, and flies, you’ll eventually find the rod, reel and gear that works for you. And trust us, you’ll have plenty of time to spend all your money on fly fishing gear in the future!
2) Fish with a Guide
These guys fish more than most of us could ever dream. There’s no better way to accelerate your knowledge of the sport than by fishing with the best. Not only will guides help you live out a dream fishing trip, but they’ll give life-long advice you can bring home to fine tune your technique or even impress your friends.
3) Shake it Up
You’ll always develop your own preferences for flies but stay innovative. Often some of the most rewarding fishing trips occur when you change up what you’re tossing. Too often we’ve gone on trips with our “standard” set of gear only to end up skunked. Many anglers can fish typical flies with fairly consistent luck, but the best can evolve their technique under various conditions. Fish preferences change, can you find the next best fly?
4) We’re Talking About Practice???
Crawl before you walk, before you run. As with anything in life, you won’t become an expert angler overnight. Fly-fishing is an art, fine-tune your craft whenever you have the opportunity. You don’t need water to practice your cast, just some open space, and an imagination.
We all develop our go-to locations but we recommend you keep it fresh. We often notice a lot of anglers hitting up the same locations, which can lead to crowdedness and overfishing. Some of the best fishing is done in remote locations you wouldn’t think to find fish. Remember, this sport isn’t just about catching fish, it’s about seeing what’s out there. Start with the internet, but remember, nothing beats getting out in person to find new locations, especially when it comes to surf fly fishing where shifting sandbars constantly change fish migration patterns.
6) Stay Engaged
Sour weather shouldn’t put a damper on your experience. Find 3-5 of your favorite blogs and participate. Anglers that stay engaged during the cold winter months often develop new techniques to try out when the weather finally turns. Get out of the house and find those new locations you wouldn’t have thought to explore in the winter…trust us, it’ll make the weather somewhat bearable and keep you out of the bar.
Although simple, the above points are often overlooked. Fly discussions can quickly turn into product reviews. Remember to take a step back and reflect on why we enjoy this sport so much.
Your turn. What basic advice do our readers recommend? Leave comments below.