First I should state, I include myself in this this category….
As humans, we have chased fish for a millennia.
We have all seen movies and read books, and watched others fish, to the point we “know” how to fish.
I’ve put this list together after many years of watching/guiding/fishing.
I’m convinced that your stats will improve if you avoid the common errors.
1. “Blind leading the blind”. As fishermen, we often walk next to the water on a fisher’s trail.
Already we are starting to follow the patterns of others, and inform the fish…..
Stop well back and watch, for best results.
2. “Duh, Spook”……We tend to walk right up to the water, and wave the rod around. Stay low, drop a knee and try a side arm cast or roll cast….use structure..bushes, rocks etc….Ninjas catch more fish….
My new motto……Don’t fish like Brad! Stay off the tops of rocks while casting. Strictly Hollywood……
3. “Wade Mania”. We wear waders, so we wade….often standing where we should be fishing.
Often to the wader tops….This is a major/common mistake. Try not wading…….
4. “Over-there syndrome” is what I call this boo-boo.
Why does the far side always look better? Probably because you can’t wade or cast to it……let alone get a drift…
Many times, the fish is within a rod length….FISH CLOSE FIRST!!!!!
5. “Pool fixation”…..Statistically, your first drift is the most important.
2-3 more is OK. But 200 more drifts are not likely to help. Keep moving!!!!
6. “Favorite fly” fixation, I know it’s fun to fish a classic pattern, but heavily fished fish like local bugs….I used to fish a Royal Humpy….everywhere.
7. “Over cast”….Never false cast over a fish, and a pickup-put-down cast is best. The more movement, on or above the water, the fewer the fish…….we learned to do umpteen false casts from the Brits…..romance doesn’t catch fish.
8. “Auto mend”….Learn to mend according to what’s needed, not just up-stream every time……I believe mending is the most important skill to learn, not the cast…..the bug must drift perfectly…….
9. “The auto set”, when we set vertically on a dry-fly it’s OK.
But setting like a dry on other styles, (Bobber or streamer) we tend to pull the fly away from them, as well as pulling them up from slower water on the bottom, to fast surface water. Advantage fish….
Sweep set down-stream, and pull at a low angle, and then change to the opposite low angle as the fish adapts to the line of force.
If the fish is directly down stream a strip-set is best. A vertical rod set will just take the fly about 9 feet away from that fish.
10. “Playing them from here”…we tend to hold our ground and pull them back to us, this will only raise your odds of a fly whistling past your head…and another remote release…..Move with them, upstream or down…but just don’t follow them around till they are exhausted, take them where you want them to go……which is shallow water…..which they hate….
11. “Habit fishing”. If you catch a fish in a stretch of water, don’t fish it every time, or the same way, you are just training fish…
Vary your style….Spread the pressure around.
These are (among/the) most common mistakes made by fishers……including me.
Understand what the fish don’t like, don’t show them any of that stuff, and I predict your stats will go up.