As a guide, I see a wide variety of approaches to fishing.
Some folks haven’t ever fished, or don’t fish very often, and just want a fish…..
Others fish some, but only one style (Dry fly perhaps…).
Others fish a lot, but only one style. (maybe a nympher…)
Many of us will try to make them eat, the way we want them to. ( Read Streamer guy…)
Those that “seriously fish”, will adjust to whatever style is working.
Sure it’s great to see them come up and eat your dry.
But if there are no noses breaking the surface, why force it?
If fish are rising everywhere, dredging under a bobber may not be the best approach….
Go with it….

Next….. “Over there syndrome”.
The fish are often at your feet. Fish close first!
No need to charge straight into the water.
Most every day, we see fishermen standing where they should be fishing. (Sometimes as soon as I turn my back.)
You learn to stay out of the water as much as possible.
Also statistically, the farther away you fish, the harder it is to hook up, let alone land’em.

Hole fixation……
If you haven’t had a grab on a fishy spot, after fifty casts, move on…..
We tend to cover water, as fast as possible on the T.
Read the water, fish surgically, move on…

No seine?
One of the best ways to get blanked, is ignore the constantly changing bug menu.
Sure a Royal Humpy works well many times…..
But seriously, if you don’t check what is happening, you are just going through the motions…..
And calling it flyfishing….
Bring a seine and use it. You don’t need to know Latin…..
Little kids can pick out flies from a box held next to the net.
Get with it…..

Although good gear makes a difference….it does not substitute for skill.
I have people who are insecure about their rod quality for instance.
So, we find out what their gear can do.
Usually it will do more than they think.
Sometimes, their problem is the gear…later they may fish my rig and see the light.
Then, you have guys who spend a ton of money, and hope that it will help.
It may not.
If possible, practice before you go on your trip. Or, you will practice during your trip…..
Fish can be tough critics….
Your guide will thank you, and you will do better, with less effort..

Fishing the way we do back home…..
Be open to new tricks…..
Sometimes guiding a guy who “knows how to fish” can be worse than a beginner.
The beginner is likely to listen….
The husband/wife trip spells this out.
The wife catches fish even though it’s her first time. No ego in the way.
Husband ends up blanking, because he knows….
When fishing the T, check your ego at the door.
View this as a chance to pick up a trick that may work well on your home water.

Getting a drift…..
This is the crux whether fishing dries, or wet.
The fly must move like the local bugs do.
The guys who dryfly fish most, have the hardest time getting a bobber drift.
The bobber drifts much slower than surface bubbles if done correctly.
This is the trick to learn, to catch more fish here.
Presentation is key whether fishing surface/subsurface.
It only takes one drift, if done right.

Seasonally speaking…
During Winter the high-noon time is good.
In Summer, it’s early and late.
Generally roll out mid-morn, and spend the heat of the day fishing, for worst results…..
After the morning session, take a break and go have lunch, or take a siesta.
Then come back and fish till dark.

To me, Flyfishing is about understanding what fish really want, and letting them have it……
It’s not about forcing them to do it your way.
Although, that’s fun when it works…..

The above tips are not just mine, most guides make the same observations.
Year in, year out, things repeat.
What’s fun for me, is seeing someone work through this maze of pitfalls, pratfalls, and info overload.
And get to see them fool fish on their own.
My favorite thing are E-mails from clients, with pics of them catching fish…..on purpose, not by accident.

About Bigflyguideservice

Full time fly fishing guide on the Truckee River and other California state waters. Smaller stream techniques as well as switch rod instruction. 40 years experience fly fishing. Catch and release only.
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