Everyone is a critic, and in the fly fishing world, everyone knows somebody that thinks they're an expert. Even guides and experts don't know everything there is to know about catching trout on a fly rod. There's always going to be some crazy advice floating around the industry that would make anyone with some sense laugh, but we've gathered up the best of the worst. Check them out below and be sure to take anyone's "great advice" with a grain of salt.
"Fly Choice Doesn't Matter"
In a way, sure, it doesn't matter if you're fly only kind of looks like a bug and even the perfect, anatomically correct fly patterns don't always catch fish, but that doesn't mean you should throw your careful selection on and tie on a San Juan Worm. (Although to be honest you could and would probably still catch a bunch of fish).
The truth is that it really depends on your local fishery. If the trout in your neck of the woods never get any pressure at all, from anglers or predators or anything, they just live in their own trout nirvana, then sure you could probably tie on anything that looks like food and get a bite. But if you're fishing anywhere that's seen even a little pressure, your fly choice matters. The right choice is a San Juan Worm...or a wooly bugger.
"Trout Can't See You"
Fish are always biting, you just need to figure out what they're biting on.
Those anglers that run up to the edge of the river and stand directly over a feeding fish are the same people that complain that the fish are too skittish or that trout are a pain in the butt. Well yea, they are when you scare them half to death before you even make a cast.
Any fish in clear water is going to be able to see a big, giant figure, dressed all funny, waving a stick in the air, and get skittish, especially if they're close enough to reach out and touch the fish with their fly rod. The more stealthy you are in your approach, trying to make sure your invisible to trout before you make a cast, will allow you to catch more fish day in and day out.
"Fish Won't Bite On Days When..."
Here's a question for you, do you ever just not feel like eating one day? Of course not; if someone presents you with a plate of tacos, you're probably going to eat them whether you just ate lunch or not.
Fish have to eat every day, so whether they're gorging themselves on hopper patterns or quietly slurping nymphs on rocks on the bottom of the water column, you can always find fish that will eat a fly. You might have to really work for it and spend a whole day figuring out the pattern for one fish, but you can do it.
"Guides Aren't Worth The Money"
Learn the secrets to spotting bad advice and you'll start hooking up more often.
Guides are valuable teachers, and sure, I know I said that they don't know everything at the very start of this article, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot you can learn from them. Fish for a single day with a competent guide and you're going to learn more about fly fishing than you'd understand after a year of fishing.
Not only will a guide constantly show you a better way to do everything, they'll also get you hooked up with fish no matter the conditions and you'll learn how those conditions will affect your target species. I get that guides can be expensive sometimes, especially if you're just starting out, but often times that's the fast track to becoming a better angler, and you really can't put a price on that.
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