A Few Simple Adjustments Can Be Night and Day for Fly Fishermen at Any Level
Fly Fishing Tips By Debbie Kay
Fly fishing is an art, with a long learning curve. When it comes to technique, knowledge of species, localized conditions and the perfect fly for the perfect fish, there’s a lifetime of information to be learned. However, there are several things that everyone from rookie to expert can use to immediately increase their success. While hardly new information, the tips on this list are often neglected or forgotten. These should all be no-brainers, but they are things that often get overlooked regardless of how much they can improve your fishing.
Change Your Leader
Fish response and catch rate will go down if you’ve neglected your leader and tippet for. A replacement takes a moment, but it can often make all the difference. This can be true for other parts as well – the leader just happens to be one of the most abused and worn out parts on regularly used gear.
Clean Your Line
Casting and presentation will both increase significantly if you clean your line after each use. If you haven’t cleaned it in awhile, you’ll be surprised what a difference it can make. If you’ve never cleaned fishing line before, it’s simple. Give it a good soak in water with a little dish soap, then wipe it down with a soft rag. The dried slime should come right off.
Sharpen Your Hooks
One of the best pieces of equipment for any angler is a hook sharpener. They can help ensure that you actually snag what you’re catching. Go through your gear and check all your hooks, especially any that have been used and put away uncleaned. Not all hooks can be salvaged. If you want to hold on to your fish when you snag them, don’t be afraid to toss unfixable hooks.
Bring Two Nets
Bring a small minnow net with you wherever you go. If you don’t already then it’s time to start. Pet stores sell them for almost nothing. You can catch live aquatic insects with them, and get a better idea of what fish will be biting in the area. For a couple bucks and fifteen minutes in the mud or vegetation, it’s a great way to do your research and get a real idea of what the fish are eating.
Do Stream Research
Whether you know the area you’re fishing or not, it pays to do your research. How are flows this year? What’s the hatch timing like? Early? Late? If you’re catching anadromous fish like salmon and steelhead, are they on time or late? Is it a banner year or are they scarce? All of this may change where you want to go.
Cast then Walk
Yes, it’s simple. However, fishers forget way too often. Cast before you enter the stream to avoid spooking the fish. Ready to move? Follow the same advice to avoid scaring a big one with your footfalls.
For More Fly Fishing Tips Ask an Expert
You can get fly fishing tips everywhere. Talk to a local master fisherman, hire a guide, or just buy a beer for the guy on the lake who’s catching fish when everybody else is turning up nothing. There is always more fly fishing tips to learn, and another technique to try. Next time you have the chance to learn from someone, take advantage of the opportunity. Even if you learn nothing new, you’ll have proof of all the wisdom you’ve already gained. Want to add any fly fishing tips we left out? Leave a comment or find us on Facebook and Twitter.