A challenge I apply to myself, is to get it right, the first time I try something..
Fly fishing has been disappointment in that respect…..
If I had a dollar for every mistake I’ve made on the water, I’d have a nice down payment on a house. Maybe two…
Couldn’t figure how to make a poll on the subject, but would hope that some of the fishier guys/girls here would comment on their learning curve.
I did a forum search on mistakes and didn’t see the topic…
Beginners are sometimes too hard on themselves, and getting frustrated is not conducive to learning.
Get a teacher/mentor as soon as you can to prevent many common pit falls….
But there is another side to this mistake thing as well.
A fair number of helpful discoveries come from mistakes.
One example among many…
Fishing a float tube during my first Damsel fly hatch many years ago…..
Sitting off-shore casting, casting, casting (not catching), for enough time that my bladder filled. Went to shore for relief. I figured I’d make a cast from shore for the heck of it. Started sticking fish…….
Turns out Damsels swim towards shore, not away from it. Sigh…
Just wanted the beginners to know that the opportunity to make mistakes never ends out there, and they can be some of the best instruction there is..
Now, I think of it as a free lesson…..
Just remember, anybody who seems to be a fish hero now, went through many mistakes on the way…….
And the ones who hesitate to make mistakes or avoid change, won’t continue to improve, they’ll just fish from habit.
If you want get better….don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

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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4 Responses to Mistakes…..

  1. vincebeeton says:

    Nice angle on this subject! One of the mistakes I make is trying to get ‘technique’ just right. However, it can be at the expense of actually fishing well. I might keep fishing with the same fly, overfish the same stretch of water (the fish all left on my fish crappy cast), or fish the same drift depth because the thought and effort of changing seems like its too much effort and time. What’s the balance Jim?

  2. A bad cast might just spook your fish of the day, or the whole pool……call it a mistake.
    What now? I might rest the hole for a while, while having a beer.
    More likely I’ll come back later.
    But sometimes I fish that same whole in a different way just to see if they’ll still play anyway.
    Being aware of our tendencies is the best way to avoid our mistakes….

  3. fishontoo says:

    Love this idea. For me, I learned almost completely on trial and error. I had nothing in the way of mentors and never could really afford a guide for the first decade of fly fishing. I lived in Oregon mostly and fished a lot of relatively low pressure water. Technically, I got very good over a long period of time. However,my learning curve has gotten a ton steeper moving to California lol. Having to up my game to learn a ton more about entimology and many other things that weren’t necessary to have great success on my Oregon waters. Down here, the fish have major game and if I was going to continue to have great success catching quality and quantity down here, I had to step up mine in a way I would not have imagined. The Truckee has been an outstanding teacher…more mistakes than I would care to admit have sent me searching for answers and learning more than I ever knew before…and still likely catching a few less than I did regularly in Oregon lol. Many mistakes here and in other high pressure fisheries, aren’t really mistakes in other places/waters…at least not mistakes you pay for, and those are the ones you learn the most from.

    I will say this, I am a creature of habit…and in fly fishing in particular that is often my biggest mistake. Case in point: one of my favorite runs on the T I fished almost every time I came up. Somewhere along the way, it failed to be a great spot any longer. I almost don’t even fish it anymore(and don’t know the last time I pulled more than one out of that run). My deduction is that those fish are freakin’ smart enough to not hold in the same water if they keep getting hooked. At least not in the numbers that used to regularly hold there. Hard lesson learned.

    It’s fun, the game. Every time I feel like I am getting ahead of the curve though, the fish seem to say “not so fast my friend.” 😉

  4. I call that pressure sensitive..they will move after being hooked a few times, to a place less likely to have that result.
    The fish are not always in the same water for a variety of reasons; flows temps, bug activity…..
    But if you fish the same water the same way, you are just training fish…….
    Training them know how we do it…..
    I switch from dries to nymphing to streamers and back.
    Change it up, and keep them guessing……

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