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Link: What I wish I knew about fly fishing when I started

By Troutnut on February 13th, 2017, 9:53 am
I was contacted recently by a site called Epic Wilderness with a simple but interesting question for an article they're putting together: What are the 3 most important things you wish you knew when you started fly fishing? I skipped some of the fundamentals I wish I'd known, and instead I gave some tips related to how my scientific research on salmonid feeding behavior has improved my understanding of fly fishing.

You can read my responses and those of 45 other fly fishing writers, fly shop owners/guides, and others were compiled into the Epic Wilderness Fly Fishing Tips Expert Roundup. The site did a nice job putting them together.

I'm curious to see how the other members of the Troutnut forum would have answered that question. What would be the top three things you wish you had learned earlier?

Most recent comments on this post (latest on top)

IasgairFebruary 27th, 2017, 3:36 pm

Posts: 28
Mine is fairly simple:

1. How this was going to affect my life.

2. How to read the water, but it didn't take too long after I started to catch fish on my own.

3. This one hasn't happened yet, but it's when it will finaly end. Because I only have two fears, and one of them is no longer being able to fly fish the way I like.
AdirmanFebruary 26th, 2017, 4:43 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 334
Mine would be:

1)Understanding and operating your equipment, including rigging, tying and fly selection and usage.
2)Proper casting and presentation
3)Effectively "fishing out" all of your casts. After reading Bergman many years ago, I learned how crucial that is. Many times Ive casted a fly, not overly satisfied with my placement and drift, yet fished it out anyway and ended up with a fish. Less casting, more fishing is the key!!
WiflyfisherFebruary 16th, 2017, 6:59 pm

Posts: 586
When I started at 12 years old many years ago i would say:

1) Confidence in my flies I tied

2) Understanding where trout live and feed

3) Observing instead of just jumping in and start casting

John S.
Jmd123February 14th, 2017, 8:32 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2077
Guys, it's called Bipolar Disorder these days...but I have a better diagnosis:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

As for addictions, there are much worse ones, trust me, I know. And fly fishing actually works in at least 5 different ways as an antidepressant, by elevating serotonin levels. Safer than LSD and doesn't cause ED like Prozac does...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PaulRobertsFebruary 14th, 2017, 7:22 am

Posts: 1743

The addictive consequences

Allan, in a city park here there is a big bronze statue of an older fisherman with a youngster sitting on his lap, the two sharing fishing talk. Sweet statue. One day as I passed the statue on my way to fish the ponds there, a mom and her young son were looking at the statue. I was lugging on my back an enormous float tube with rod holders, anchor system, sonar, obsessively organized tackle boxes, and a fistful of rods. I stopped, caught her eye, and said... "Oh man, don't get him started!"

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