Category Archives: Fishing

The Biggest Mistakes of Fly Fishing

  1. DSC_0124Flies. One of the first mistakes you can make when fly fishing is choosing the wrong flies. While it is important to try to match the hatch, it is also important to keep trying different flies until you find the right one. It’s best to cast for a few minutes, if after a few minutes you haven’t received a bite its time to change flies. This can be very difficult if you cannot see anything hatching. That is why one of the best things that you can do is stop at a local fly shop and ask what fish are hitting on, or you can read updated fishing reports from the area.
  2.  Line Mistakes. a) Mending the line is so important when fly fishing. Mending the line helps the fly to drift naturally down the river and keeps the fly line from spooking the fish. It is also important to mend the line gently. If you pull up too hard then the fly bounces or moves in an unnatural motion. b) Setting the drag wrong. If a fish gets on the line and you do not have the drag set appropriately the fish will get off. Either the drag will be too loose and the fish will take too much or the drag won’t be set at all the fish will snap off the line due to sheer force.
  3. Back Cast
    Back Cast

    Bad Casting. Casting is detrimental to fly fishing. If your cast does not straighten out onto the water or slaps the water too violently, then your cast has failed. If you cast too often your cast is failing. It is important to let the cast drift and then re-cast again. This is especially important in a big open river. If you are fishing a narrow stream with a lot of undergrowth and a small area. It is understandable that you will have to make more casts to hit the water correctly. Try to make every cast count and remember to pause on your back cast. It may feel awkward, but if you watch your line on your back cast you will see exactly how long of a pause you need rather than guessing and erring on a cast.

  4. When you go. The day and time of day plays a large part in when you should go fly fishing. It is important to do your research and find out what times of day there are hatches, as well as monitor the temperature of the water. Trout prefer colder water. If it is late July and 100 degrees and you are fishing a small stream, that water has warmed up and the fish will be lethargic. It is best to fish early in the morning and at dusk in the hottest summer months. However, I have seen fish go crazy at a mid afternoon grasshopper frenzy. Just be sure to watch the hatch and get out fishing early enough to enjoy the cooler water.
  5. Small open stream
    Small open stream

    Not being Stealthy. Fish get spooked. If you are able to fish over a mound or are able to fish from a location that gives you a low profile, you have a better chance at catching a fish since the fish cannot see you. This is especially important in those small streams in an open field. Try to fish far enough from the bank so that the fish will not see you as well as making sure your shadow is not unnaturally over the water. This little stuff really does make a difference.

If you can avoid these mistakes, you are already on your way to being a better fisherman or woman. Of course there are plenty of mistakes that can happen on the river, but these are 5 that are easy to avoid and learn from.

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How to Be the Worst Fly Fisher on the River

This post seems a little silly, nonetheless it will teach you to do the opposite of what it says. Everyone has experienced those moments on the river with other fishermen and women where we question why they are being so inconsiderate of people around them and the beautiful environment that encompasses them.

Here is how to be one of the worst fly fishers on the river:

 

  1. River Jammer

The challenging sport of Fly-fishing.To be a river jammer means that you are a fisherman who chooses to fish right next to, too close to, or in-between a set of people fishing. This is the easiest thing to choose not to do. Fly fisherman’s etiquette says to give everyone their own space and try to find your own place to fish. Personally, I find it most amazing when I can look on all sides of me and there is not another person on the river, but I am also a realist and know that this cannot happen at rivers such as the San Juan.  If you are capable always try to avoid other people on the river and find your own place to fish. It is a much more rewarding experience for all people involved.

2. Litterbug

You know who you are. When you cut your tippet off or leader off, are you throwing it in the water or stuffing it in a pocket in your vest? Even 3 inches of scraggly old tippet in the water is litter in that eco system. Stick it in your vest and throw it out in a trashcan. ALWAYS pack back in whatever you unpacked, water bottles, beer cans, granola bar wrappers, napkins, anything!

3. Party Pooper

If you are on a fishing excursion with a friend or family member and you get tired of fishing, don’t be a poop. Be prepared and bring a book or something to do so that you can wait for your fellow fisher person. I always try to be very good about this, especially when I was younger I would get tired a lot quicker than my dad. I would sit and watch or bring a book to read in the car, but I never tried to rush him. He deserved to have his fishing day the same as I now expect when he is catching nothing and I am catching everything (hee- hee).

4. Kid Bringer

imagesIf you are bringing your kids out on the river, teach them to respect the river the same way you do. Don’t let them throw rocks in the water while people are fishing around them. Don’t let them run around where they could endanger themselves on someone’s backcast. Also if they or you catch a fish, teach them how to handle it properly.

5. Bad Knot-Tier

While you can’t always get the perfect knot and there will be plenty of times when the line simply breaks, it is important to be confident in your knots before you head out on the river on your own. First, it is good for you, you will catch fish and not get utterly frustrated. Second, good for the fish. I can’t imagine having a fly stuck in my lip with tippet trailing off the end. I get it! Tt has happened to me plenty of times, but to be a good fly fisher you need to be able to tie good knots!

6. Mean Ol’ Grouch

images-1Don’t be the Grinch of fishing. When people walk by and ask how the fishing is going do not ignore them. If people ask what you are using don’t lie or ignore them, the fish are going to bite regardless most of the time. Fishing has always been a friendly and arms-wide-open sport for me and that is why I love it so much. Fly fishing is a community sport, share your secrets to continue growth of our beautiful community.

7. Be Accepting

Men should accept women into the fly fishing world and not act as though the sport is exclusively for men. Women do not condemn or hate on men because they happen to be the majority in this sport. Work together, teach children and continue to grow this community of fly fishing.

8. Fish Killer

This is probably the most serious. Keep your hands wet when handling fish. Keep them wet as much as you can. Pinch down the barbs on the hooks. If you fought a fish for a long time and they are stressed and exhausted set them loose as soon as possible.

9. KEEP KEEP KEEP

caughtbyfishinnetcatchandre_800If you eat trout and only catch what you are going to eat, good for you, but in protected waters it is imperative to catch and release. If you want to keep fish, go fish the bait waters. There is a reason that there are protected waters and bait waters, follow the rules.

10. Quitter

Don’t quit just because you didn’t catch a fish on your fist time fly fishing. Never give up. Practicing every chance you get will make you so much better. Take a casting or beginners class if you need to, but don’t quit because it is challenging. The challenge is what makes it worth it.

There you have it, those are ten ways to be a horrible fly fisher. Take my advice and avoid those ten things in order to become a good fly fisher person.

As always feel free to contact me via the comments, my twitter or instagram @kylieflygirl, or e-mail kylie@flyfishingflygirl.com

Thanks for reading and I wish you all tight lines!