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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)

David82ndMay 25th, 2017, 3:11 am
Upstate,New York

Posts: 63
One other big thing to me is I do not stress or start my day in the river that I must catch fish , " perhaps odd but Fly fishing is so much more to me then catching fish, My casting, how are my flys holding up ? , matching hatches, just being in nature and seeing that mink on shore , or that eagle flying above me ... it's a passion ,an addiction lol.
David82ndMay 24th, 2017, 6:02 am
Upstate,New York

Posts: 63
Nice pointers, there's things I also wish I knew earlier , lol perhaps more then three , the big thing I still study is matching the proper fly/size for conditions ,I suppose this also is in the category of properly " matching the Hatch"
Next would be reading and observing the water, there are many things always going on that tell a story on the water.
Next would be not to be shy or embarrassed to " Ask" it's human nature in all of us to,feel awkward or think " I'll just figure it out ,eventually I decided to start asking , nobody will think less of you for asking that question that could make a big difference the rest of you're fishing years,
I'll ask how did you tie that?, how are you getting that cast off?, what kind of bug is this ? You get it lol.
WbranchApril 30th, 2017, 10:39 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
What I wish I knew about fly fishing when I started

Nothing. It was a gradual learning experience from which I gained much pleasure. Some days were tougher than others but that added to mystery and excitement of the pursuit.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutApril 30th, 2017, 12:35 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
TimCat, we're still working on the papers. One of them is in the peer review process and others are nearly ready.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
TimCatApril 29th, 2017, 11:13 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Nice pointers. One thing I wish I knew about when I started was the importance of matching leader and tippet diameters, lengths of leaders, and fly sizes. It really made a huge difference in my casting when I realized how to get these matchups correct.

Did any papers or articles come from your research from that Drift Model project yet? The videos you posted a while back were very interesting. I want to see/learn more!

"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless

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