How to fish?

Fly fishing is a very complex activity.
I’m not referring to the Physics of a cast, or of a drift, or an understanding of entomology.
What fascinates me, is the human spin on Fly-fishing.
How, we decide on which part of this discipline to embrace.
Some go for dry-fly fishing as their personal crusade.
Eschewing all other styles…
A few pick up indicator fishing, knowing they will catch more fish.
(And they’re right…)
Even fewer numbers of people choose streamer fishing as their cause celeb.
When asked about how, or why they choose a particular activity, folks can get very defensive…
I too went through phases with all three types of fly fishing.
Not bound by fixation, (And schooled by the Truckee river.) I now fish the style most effective at any time.
Sure, I love to see fish rise to my dry, but if there are no fish rising, why bother fishing a dry?
Still, you see guys show up, bent on making them rise.
Counter productive, to catching fish..but don’t tell them…(Our current, high-flows and cold temps retard rises.)
The bobber fishing style is so repugnant to the dry guys, they totally sneer at the activity.
Obviously, it being a lower form….
The bobber guys laugh, and go catch fish…
They have taken to heart the knowledge, that fish feed 80% of the time sub-surface. (On the T maybe 90%.)
That means a dry fly fisherman is a twenty %er… bound to a moral code of mostly getting skunked.
Although they are quite proud of this.
In my experience…the guys fishing a bobber all the time, forget to practice throwing a dry.
They know there are fish rising, but they’d have to change their set-up, and that takes too long…
Besides, there are always more fish below, than above….
The streamer fisherman knows that little fish eat little bugs, and “real” fish chow the biggest thing they can get.
I fish this way often, and call it size selective fishing. (No worries about matching the bugs either…….)
A streamer as big as your hand, will not be eaten by a little fish.
(Although you will see them try from time to time.)
But when the water is at wintertime temps, good luck trying to get them to chase streamers.
To have game, we need to be able to change styles as conditions dictate.
This is the heart (and art) of fly fishing as I see it.
Cultivating different techniques makes you better able to fish successfully in changing conditions.
And since change is constant, it makes sense to learn all the styles, and practice them.
If you do, I guarantee you’ll catch more fish….
And, isn’t that the goal? Or is it…..?

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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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One Response to How to fish?

  1. fishontoo says:

    Jim this might be my favorite post of yours to date! One with game is one that also comes prepared…pre-tie some nymph rigs, rig up and carry multiple rods rigged up so you are ready for each game as well! I often nymph up a run and swing back down with a streamer setup or vice versa. IF your goal is to catch fish, give them what they want, not what you want them to eat…exactly right! Keep blogging the gospel, some of us really appreciate it and find inspiration from your experience(s). See you on the water 🙂

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