DIY fly fishing refers to heading out on a fly fishing adventure to a new or familiar location without booking guides. All the research, preparation and execution will be up to you and your assembled fly fishing crew! Now, these experiences can occur anywhere fish are looking to eat a fly and isn’t just limited to exotic fisheries. No matter where your intended destination is, doing it yourself and still getting on fish is a reward worth the challenge!
It’s a Bonding Experience
All of the best fishing experiences have begun with a similar question, “Hey dude, should we go try to fish (insert fishing destination here)?” Usually, this question is raised somewhere between beer 2 and 3, but the response is usually the same, “Let’s plan it!” This is really all it takes to get started on the DIY fishing trip of your dreams, the planning and adventure itself, is a bonding experience, and no matter the ups-and-downs of the process, you and your fishing buddies will be closer than ever and be ready to take on the next fly fishing adventure head-on!
Each Fish is Your Own
Each fish you land on a DIY adventure without a guide is better than the last. Not only did you make that fish happen, but you also did it without someone instructing you exactly how to do it over your shoulder. Every fish you land on your own is another testament to your fishing acumen and abilities. You won’t forget the first fish you hook and you definitely won’t forget your last. And if you’re having trouble, you can bet that it won’t be too difficult to book a guide for a half-day if you put in the prep work and have a few phone numbers on hand.
Build Self-Sufficiency on the Water
While fishing without a guide, you have to make all the decisions. You picked the spot, plucked your fly out of your box, selected the leader and made the right cast. You may find yourself challenged, fish might not be behaving as they usually do, or perhaps you arrived to a spot too early in the tide, but trust yourself and your experience and you can make it happen. You know they say “Necessity is the mother of innovation” for a reason. As we said above, each fish will feel better than the last and as each fish comes to hand, your confidence will build. You made that fish happen and you can do it again! The fishing confidence that DIY trips deliver is measurable, each time you greet new water will be better than the last and so will your overall confidence on the water.
It’s an Adventure
Every step of the planning process and execution of your trip is an adventure. Every new piece of water is a new challenge for you and your crew. Because everything will be new, you and your buddies will have plenty of stories to share around the dinner table at the end of the day.
Allows You to Control Your Schedule
Planning the trip yourself will allow you to pick your schedule. If you have other non-fishy people around perhaps you need to schedule in something other than fishing or maybe part of your trip revolves around family. DIY is all about getting out when you can, learning, and of course, catching fish. Without being attached to a set fishing schedule or committed to hours on the water, you can fish as you please and feel no remorse for taking some time to relax.
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!