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Do You Invest in Learning Days On The Water?

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March 20, 2012

Do You Invest in Learning Days On The Water?

By Kirk Deeter

I often write blog posts here on Fly Talk about how to slow down and spot fish, or how to slow down and work on your cast, and so forth. And I'm interested to read the comments like, "Well, that's all good, but when I have my scant, sacred time on the river or lake, I'm really focused on fishing and catching fish, and I can't waste the time worrying about things like how to spot fish, or how to throw nice loops when I cast," and so forth.

I totally understand all of that. Fishing time is sacred, and must be spent doing what matters most to you. And, no doubt, success is measured by fish hooked and landed (some of which undoubtedly end up in the creel or cooler). All of which is cool in my book.

But I would propose to you who feel this way that fly fishing is a marathon, not a sprint. There are, hopefully, many other days down the road (or river) when taking a little extra time to observe, hone, and practice will come in handy and lead to more positive results.

To me, saying, "I'm too busy with my valued time on the water to worry about things like perfecting a roll cast, or learning how to spot fish" is tantamount to a golfer saying, "I'm too busy playing the course to worry about how I actually swing my clubs, or how to dial in the putting stroke."  And I'm sorry, but, while I respect your enthusiasm to get after it, I think you're making a big mistake.

The practice, and the mechanics, are what makes good fishing (or golf, for that matter) possible. Those guys who get paid high dollars to play golf for a living aren't "naturals," and they aren't lucky. They spend hours, and hours on the practice range, creating a rhythm.

I think that's true for the best fly fishers I know as well. They spend hours, just sitting on the bank, watching fish behave. Sometimes, they'll dedicate days on the water, simply watching fish, nary making a cast.

Do you dedicate days to watching and learning or is it all about plowing ahead?

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with making every moment, and every cast, count. What I am saying, however, is that making every moment count, as an angler, doesn't necessarily involve making casts.

Comments (32)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

You have to be totally into flyfishing to accept the enjoyable aspect of observation time spent assisting you in solving the riddle as to where fish are located, and what they might be taking. You can't have the mindset of "I'll bring along my spinning gear, or can of worms just in case I need them." That mindset doesn't allow you to get to that growth stage in fly fishing. My point all along, and posters on this thread attack that notion, but it is a fact...been there with anglers, done that myself.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Sayfu, your idea that you must be a dedicated fly guy to be good at it is crap. It equates to you saying because I drive a manual transmission I won't be a good fly fisher. You will never be a good fly fisher with your "bar-days", you should be out in the cold honing your craft.
I don't let the observation go to the wayside when I'm fishing, and rarely will I close up and not take in other things while fishing, they are all learning days IMO. If you are satisfied and you think you have all the pieces of the puzzle, then you're grinding it out and not learning. I can't say I hit the river with the mindset of sitting back and observing, but I never let observation take a backseat to the rest.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

No Koldkut..You observe earth worms squirming around in the mud, and decide that's what the fish are feeding on. Great observation, but it will keep you in the "mediocre" catagory as a fly angler. Nothing wrong with being there either, just were you are destine to remain...mediocre at best as a fly angler.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I'm okay with mediocre, if you saw me fish, you might think differently, but whatever.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bassman06 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

With the three bodies of water that I fish, the new river, a lake and a reservoir I have to examine what's around very briefly. The new river is impossible to catch unless you spot. With the lake and reservoir, I have to try each lure I have, but the best that work are natural swim baits. There's my two cents today, and the two above me aren't making any sense today with that argument.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fezzant wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I don't spend entire days as "learning" days. I do make sure that every time I go out, I spend at least some time working on my cast as opposed to actively fishing. Same with watching the water, spotting fish, and looking for bugs.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Every time on the river is a learning experience and thats one of the reasons fly fishing in so great. I am always learning something through observation. My sessions 95% of the time begin from a vantage point where i can view the area that I want to fish. I usually take 20 minutes to sit and observe what is going on rather than rushing in and just fishing. I also take note and plan the most effective way to attack the water. I then tie on and proceed with my plan.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

fessant...I don't either. Good point. I've got to the stage where I know what to expect, and can process of eliminate by fishing, and observing. What is tough when you are in the early stages of developing as an angler is to be able to fish, and observe. A classic example are many "sports" that hire guides, and have little experience at fly fishing. Their observation skills are nill. I can take them down through some beautiful scenery, and they seldom see any of it. Fish can rise around them, and you ask them "did you see that fish come up?"..seldom do they see it. Takes time to allocate your time effectively, and know what to look for. And I sure do not have to always be right in my observations. I take it personally when at the days end someone at the ramp might say, "did you see those certain bugs coming off in the riffle around 1 O'clock?" or something like that, and I did not. I have always sacrifed observation time for fishing time. I attempt to fill in the blanks by reading, conversing with flyshop personel, other anglers as to what has been going on rather than sacrificing fishing time. It can be done to a great extent.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

bassman06, I think you're right.....I need to spend more time observing the blog post rather than running my trap.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

bassman...We are talkin fly fishin. Deeter has always been on the fly fishing blog. Koldkut, and I are talking about improving skills as a fly angler. Kinda unusual for Deeter to be posting on a general fishing blog I think, but I guess he does the same thing on the fly fishing blog. He's attempted to convert us to worms over there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bassman06 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Koldkut, thank you. However, I think that a saying that my dad says works perfectly: details will eat your lunch! But I forgive you. Sayfu, I think Mr. Deeter will excuse this bass man coming into a fly fishing world. But still, a caster can talk with a fly angler. Even a pup can run with the big dogs and I certainly can!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Back in the dark days of my fly fishing career I worried about things like this. I worried about my cast, my fly, the water temperature, hatches, cloud cover and if my rod was adequate. But after almost 50 years on the water I have finally learned that fishing is fishing. You can't screw it up no matter how hard your try.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

It's a learning experience every time I fish. I don't spend entire outings on a learning adventure but I always try to take note to the suttle changes and activities of the fish and other wildlife around me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

buckhunter...Yes you can. You can be a journalist disguised as a fly angler and denagrade fly angling with all kinds of general fishing stuff. When I go to a flyfishing blog anywhere in cyberspace they are committed to flyfishing..I would bet on that. But on F & S ?? Who knows, anything goes.

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wade Neubauer wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I remember when I first started fly fishing I would always bring my spinning gear just incase and I would always revert back to it when I didn't catch a fish in the first few casts. Now I only bring my fly rod as a way to force myself to get better. I can't run back to the car and grab my panther martins. Instead I take the time and watch the water, I watch what bugs are buzzing around the bank. I do the little things that are the building blocks to being a sucessful fly fisher. I met Mr. Deeter this spring in madison for a presentation, I've read the little red book of fly fishing many times. People like him are the reason beginners stay commited and keep trying. I know I'm missing fish that I could be hooking up with with spinners. But I compare it to rifle and bow hunting. You could kill a lot of deer with a rifle in hand for 3 months, but I would trade them for one awesome up close encounter with a bow!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Do I have days when I'm not intent on catching fish where I learn things? Yes, but I don't dedicate any of my time to taking anything too seriously. My skills are adequate for enjoying my time on the water. Fishing is about fun and enjoyment (thank you buckhunter), and not about being an elite and exclusive fly angler (nobody likes you, Sayfu). It's not even about catching a ton of fish, whether that's via skills, luck, or dumb/hungry fish. Anyone being honest knows that a rank amateur can catch a boatload of fish (more than an elitist sometimes) and have a good time.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Breakfast Stout wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I think I was lucky enough to skip over the inches, pounds, and number of fish phase of fly fishing. I've always been more concerned with enjoying my time fishing which often includes sitting and watching. My introduction into the sport came at a time when I lost my older brother and a couple of my uncles and a good friend's grandfather were kind enough to take me and teach me how to cast a fly rod. Within a year of myself learning I had my father, three little brothers, and a soon to be sister in law all casting a fly rod and enjoying fishing together. So the sport has never been just about catching fish for me. Its been about catching and keeping time shared on the water and around the camp with loved ones.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

A+ for you Buckhunter.
I briefly wasted time worrying about what others thought of my "style" or experience level, might have been all of a day or 2.
I have yet to hear a complaint from a fish that my drift wasn't just right.
as to observation time, I can't say I spend hours and hours just watching, but I try to stay slow and take it all in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Up tick for you too Shane.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

There is no complaint about ANYONE's style of choice. You guys are spinning the subject like a liberal politico. It is about a fly fishing thread that should stick to flyfishing to improve one's skills that wants to learn to flyfish, and not try to generalize flyfishing on a flyfishing thread. Pretty soon Deeter will have "Smelly Jelly" drippin of the back of one of his fly photos. Fly fishing isn't felt to be "better, or Holier than though" by me, or anyone else that I know of. They just like to stick to the subject matter. I made the mistake of thinking this was on the fly fishing blog because I saw Deeter as the author.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Sayfu, This is Fieldandstream.com, not Flyfishonlyatallcost.com. We get good tips, meet interesting people, hear of exotic places, learn a lot of the trade, learn of conservation, products, get great photography and share friendly banter with our host.

Your expectations will not change the format of this blog no different than a guy ordering a martini at a biker bar is going to change the bar.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnm98765 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I often head out to the river at times or under conditions where I really don't expect to catch anything, but go to practice casting or just because I haven't fished for a while and just need to get out there. It's still usually a lot of fun and I've learned a lot about where the fish hang out in the middle of the day or in low water/hot temps, the structure of the river, and improved my casting a lot. And, when I do catch a fish at 2pm on a 90 degree day, it's a pretty good feeling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnm98765 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Sayfu, it's Field and Stream's blog and they can do whatever they feel like doing with it. If it isn't up to your standards, start your own blog. There are a lot of blogs and websites I don't like, and you know how I handle it? I don't read them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

First. I'd like to say that this is FlyTalk, not SpinTalk or BaitTalk. It is a by-product of Field and Stream, just a snippet. If I want to learn about those methods I'll check out that type of segment. I also believe that any kind of fishing will improve your attitude regarding...fishing. The question is: Study before fishing. It's difficult when you have only 48 hours to fish one particular river and you've traveled 4 hours to enjoy the water. But, it only takes 5 mins, at each section of the river, to study once you've acquired the skills of "finding fish" and "reading the water." It's the inicial learning process that takes more time. That rock you've been staring at, thinking is a 20" bow, now becomes a large rock hidden under some weeds once you get the knack. Instead of bickering I'd like to get more knowledge from Koldcut, Buckhunter, Sayfu and the rest of you. That's why I'm here... to study and learn... It's a never ending process. Kumbiya!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

buckhunter. And your point is? You can get your jollies off wherever you want on F & S...but a fly fisherman should expect to get his jollies of on the fly fishing blog talking about flyfishing! Get it? If I were a spin fisherman, and turned to the spin fishing blog, I wouldn't expect a fly angler to be on there talking about "emergers"..get it?

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

And flutter..that is my intention also. I expect that if YOU come on the fly fishing blog you are interested in flyfishing, not have Deeter tell you that if your fly doesn't work pull out your can of worms like he did awhile back. And then have Koldkut, or Buckhunter respond like I'm an elitist, and accept that approach. I've been on a lot of flyfishing blogs, and have exchanged some great info, and learned a lot myself, but this is about the lowest standards of flyfishing performance I have ever witnessed anywhere!..unbelievable. Even some of the tips have been bogus, yet acceptable by these guys.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Sayfu, Your too funny man! For someone who hates this site as much as you say you do I think your on here more than anyone else!?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjwarr3 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Normally not one to post a lot but as a fan of hand-tied flies, buzz-baits, worms and homemade bloodbait I think we all need to remember that we are all fisherman. Just because a guy with "bass" in his username posts a comment on a fly fishing blog doesn't mean we should get all bent out of shape, Sayfu. This may be a fly-fishing blog but F&S doesn't check your felt boots at the door. Deeter asked for our input, as the F&S community, that doesn't mean someone's opinion is worth more than the others.

Thanks F&S for keeping us constantly learning, growing and challenging ourselves and each other in the outdoors.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charlie Woodman wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Do you dedicate days to watching and learning or is it all about plowing ahead? That was the question. I certainly do. Every year i tie a couple different patterns and cut off the hook. Then i head out to a local spot and throw just for practice and to get into shape. When I hit the river or pond i spend at least 10 minutes just watching the water. i usually pick up a few rocks along the bank to get some idea of whats in the water. I am not one to spend time trying to locate a single fish but if I see repeated surface action i sure pay attention. Last year i was watching from a rock and saw four or five caddis emerge right next to the edge of the stream. I headed down stream to a good spot for fishing emergers. I tied on an #18 and drifted it on just 10 feet of line. Four fish in 20 minutes including a nice 24 inch salmon. The other guys there weren't having much luck at all and two guys just stepped out of the water and watched. Observation pays off and is worth the effort but time in the water is still the most important for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

If you do choose to have a learning day on the water, it is best accompanied by a flask and good cigar.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Amen to that buckhunter!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from badsmerf wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Time spent observing is great. I do it when I approach a fishable section or it I spot trout ahead of me. I observe when I go on hikes with my wife, but those are not for the purposes of watching fish. If I was alone, no way could I just spend hours watching without trying to get in there and get dirty.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Back in the dark days of my fly fishing career I worried about things like this. I worried about my cast, my fly, the water temperature, hatches, cloud cover and if my rod was adequate. But after almost 50 years on the water I have finally learned that fishing is fishing. You can't screw it up no matter how hard your try.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Do I have days when I'm not intent on catching fish where I learn things? Yes, but I don't dedicate any of my time to taking anything too seriously. My skills are adequate for enjoying my time on the water. Fishing is about fun and enjoyment (thank you buckhunter), and not about being an elite and exclusive fly angler (nobody likes you, Sayfu). It's not even about catching a ton of fish, whether that's via skills, luck, or dumb/hungry fish. Anyone being honest knows that a rank amateur can catch a boatload of fish (more than an elitist sometimes) and have a good time.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Sayfu, This is Fieldandstream.com, not Flyfishonlyatallcost.com. We get good tips, meet interesting people, hear of exotic places, learn a lot of the trade, learn of conservation, products, get great photography and share friendly banter with our host.

Your expectations will not change the format of this blog no different than a guy ordering a martini at a biker bar is going to change the bar.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Sayfu, your idea that you must be a dedicated fly guy to be good at it is crap. It equates to you saying because I drive a manual transmission I won't be a good fly fisher. You will never be a good fly fisher with your "bar-days", you should be out in the cold honing your craft.
I don't let the observation go to the wayside when I'm fishing, and rarely will I close up and not take in other things while fishing, they are all learning days IMO. If you are satisfied and you think you have all the pieces of the puzzle, then you're grinding it out and not learning. I can't say I hit the river with the mindset of sitting back and observing, but I never let observation take a backseat to the rest.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from fezzant wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I don't spend entire days as "learning" days. I do make sure that every time I go out, I spend at least some time working on my cast as opposed to actively fishing. Same with watching the water, spotting fish, and looking for bugs.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnm98765 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Sayfu, it's Field and Stream's blog and they can do whatever they feel like doing with it. If it isn't up to your standards, start your own blog. There are a lot of blogs and websites I don't like, and you know how I handle it? I don't read them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Sayfu, Your too funny man! For someone who hates this site as much as you say you do I think your on here more than anyone else!?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

If you do choose to have a learning day on the water, it is best accompanied by a flask and good cigar.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

You have to be totally into flyfishing to accept the enjoyable aspect of observation time spent assisting you in solving the riddle as to where fish are located, and what they might be taking. You can't have the mindset of "I'll bring along my spinning gear, or can of worms just in case I need them." That mindset doesn't allow you to get to that growth stage in fly fishing. My point all along, and posters on this thread attack that notion, but it is a fact...been there with anglers, done that myself.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

fessant...I don't either. Good point. I've got to the stage where I know what to expect, and can process of eliminate by fishing, and observing. What is tough when you are in the early stages of developing as an angler is to be able to fish, and observe. A classic example are many "sports" that hire guides, and have little experience at fly fishing. Their observation skills are nill. I can take them down through some beautiful scenery, and they seldom see any of it. Fish can rise around them, and you ask them "did you see that fish come up?"..seldom do they see it. Takes time to allocate your time effectively, and know what to look for. And I sure do not have to always be right in my observations. I take it personally when at the days end someone at the ramp might say, "did you see those certain bugs coming off in the riffle around 1 O'clock?" or something like that, and I did not. I have always sacrifed observation time for fishing time. I attempt to fill in the blanks by reading, conversing with flyshop personel, other anglers as to what has been going on rather than sacrificing fishing time. It can be done to a great extent.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

bassman06, I think you're right.....I need to spend more time observing the blog post rather than running my trap.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

It's a learning experience every time I fish. I don't spend entire outings on a learning adventure but I always try to take note to the suttle changes and activities of the fish and other wildlife around me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Breakfast Stout wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I think I was lucky enough to skip over the inches, pounds, and number of fish phase of fly fishing. I've always been more concerned with enjoying my time fishing which often includes sitting and watching. My introduction into the sport came at a time when I lost my older brother and a couple of my uncles and a good friend's grandfather were kind enough to take me and teach me how to cast a fly rod. Within a year of myself learning I had my father, three little brothers, and a soon to be sister in law all casting a fly rod and enjoying fishing together. So the sport has never been just about catching fish for me. Its been about catching and keeping time shared on the water and around the camp with loved ones.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

A+ for you Buckhunter.
I briefly wasted time worrying about what others thought of my "style" or experience level, might have been all of a day or 2.
I have yet to hear a complaint from a fish that my drift wasn't just right.
as to observation time, I can't say I spend hours and hours just watching, but I try to stay slow and take it all in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjwarr3 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Normally not one to post a lot but as a fan of hand-tied flies, buzz-baits, worms and homemade bloodbait I think we all need to remember that we are all fisherman. Just because a guy with "bass" in his username posts a comment on a fly fishing blog doesn't mean we should get all bent out of shape, Sayfu. This may be a fly-fishing blog but F&S doesn't check your felt boots at the door. Deeter asked for our input, as the F&S community, that doesn't mean someone's opinion is worth more than the others.

Thanks F&S for keeping us constantly learning, growing and challenging ourselves and each other in the outdoors.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I'm okay with mediocre, if you saw me fish, you might think differently, but whatever.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bassman06 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

With the three bodies of water that I fish, the new river, a lake and a reservoir I have to examine what's around very briefly. The new river is impossible to catch unless you spot. With the lake and reservoir, I have to try each lure I have, but the best that work are natural swim baits. There's my two cents today, and the two above me aren't making any sense today with that argument.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Every time on the river is a learning experience and thats one of the reasons fly fishing in so great. I am always learning something through observation. My sessions 95% of the time begin from a vantage point where i can view the area that I want to fish. I usually take 20 minutes to sit and observe what is going on rather than rushing in and just fishing. I also take note and plan the most effective way to attack the water. I then tie on and proceed with my plan.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

bassman...We are talkin fly fishin. Deeter has always been on the fly fishing blog. Koldkut, and I are talking about improving skills as a fly angler. Kinda unusual for Deeter to be posting on a general fishing blog I think, but I guess he does the same thing on the fly fishing blog. He's attempted to convert us to worms over there.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bassman06 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Koldkut, thank you. However, I think that a saying that my dad says works perfectly: details will eat your lunch! But I forgive you. Sayfu, I think Mr. Deeter will excuse this bass man coming into a fly fishing world. But still, a caster can talk with a fly angler. Even a pup can run with the big dogs and I certainly can!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wade Neubauer wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I remember when I first started fly fishing I would always bring my spinning gear just incase and I would always revert back to it when I didn't catch a fish in the first few casts. Now I only bring my fly rod as a way to force myself to get better. I can't run back to the car and grab my panther martins. Instead I take the time and watch the water, I watch what bugs are buzzing around the bank. I do the little things that are the building blocks to being a sucessful fly fisher. I met Mr. Deeter this spring in madison for a presentation, I've read the little red book of fly fishing many times. People like him are the reason beginners stay commited and keep trying. I know I'm missing fish that I could be hooking up with with spinners. But I compare it to rifle and bow hunting. You could kill a lot of deer with a rifle in hand for 3 months, but I would trade them for one awesome up close encounter with a bow!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Up tick for you too Shane.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnm98765 wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

I often head out to the river at times or under conditions where I really don't expect to catch anything, but go to practice casting or just because I haven't fished for a while and just need to get out there. It's still usually a lot of fun and I've learned a lot about where the fish hang out in the middle of the day or in low water/hot temps, the structure of the river, and improved my casting a lot. And, when I do catch a fish at 2pm on a 90 degree day, it's a pretty good feeling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

First. I'd like to say that this is FlyTalk, not SpinTalk or BaitTalk. It is a by-product of Field and Stream, just a snippet. If I want to learn about those methods I'll check out that type of segment. I also believe that any kind of fishing will improve your attitude regarding...fishing. The question is: Study before fishing. It's difficult when you have only 48 hours to fish one particular river and you've traveled 4 hours to enjoy the water. But, it only takes 5 mins, at each section of the river, to study once you've acquired the skills of "finding fish" and "reading the water." It's the inicial learning process that takes more time. That rock you've been staring at, thinking is a 20" bow, now becomes a large rock hidden under some weeds once you get the knack. Instead of bickering I'd like to get more knowledge from Koldcut, Buckhunter, Sayfu and the rest of you. That's why I'm here... to study and learn... It's a never ending process. Kumbiya!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charlie Woodman wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Do you dedicate days to watching and learning or is it all about plowing ahead? That was the question. I certainly do. Every year i tie a couple different patterns and cut off the hook. Then i head out to a local spot and throw just for practice and to get into shape. When I hit the river or pond i spend at least 10 minutes just watching the water. i usually pick up a few rocks along the bank to get some idea of whats in the water. I am not one to spend time trying to locate a single fish but if I see repeated surface action i sure pay attention. Last year i was watching from a rock and saw four or five caddis emerge right next to the edge of the stream. I headed down stream to a good spot for fishing emergers. I tied on an #18 and drifted it on just 10 feet of line. Four fish in 20 minutes including a nice 24 inch salmon. The other guys there weren't having much luck at all and two guys just stepped out of the water and watched. Observation pays off and is worth the effort but time in the water is still the most important for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Amen to that buckhunter!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from badsmerf wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

Time spent observing is great. I do it when I approach a fishable section or it I spot trout ahead of me. I observe when I go on hikes with my wife, but those are not for the purposes of watching fish. If I was alone, no way could I just spend hours watching without trying to get in there and get dirty.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

No Koldkut..You observe earth worms squirming around in the mud, and decide that's what the fish are feeding on. Great observation, but it will keep you in the "mediocre" catagory as a fly angler. Nothing wrong with being there either, just were you are destine to remain...mediocre at best as a fly angler.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

buckhunter. And your point is? You can get your jollies off wherever you want on F & S...but a fly fisherman should expect to get his jollies of on the fly fishing blog talking about flyfishing! Get it? If I were a spin fisherman, and turned to the spin fishing blog, I wouldn't expect a fly angler to be on there talking about "emergers"..get it?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

There is no complaint about ANYONE's style of choice. You guys are spinning the subject like a liberal politico. It is about a fly fishing thread that should stick to flyfishing to improve one's skills that wants to learn to flyfish, and not try to generalize flyfishing on a flyfishing thread. Pretty soon Deeter will have "Smelly Jelly" drippin of the back of one of his fly photos. Fly fishing isn't felt to be "better, or Holier than though" by me, or anyone else that I know of. They just like to stick to the subject matter. I made the mistake of thinking this was on the fly fishing blog because I saw Deeter as the author.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

And flutter..that is my intention also. I expect that if YOU come on the fly fishing blog you are interested in flyfishing, not have Deeter tell you that if your fly doesn't work pull out your can of worms like he did awhile back. And then have Koldkut, or Buckhunter respond like I'm an elitist, and accept that approach. I've been on a lot of flyfishing blogs, and have exchanged some great info, and learned a lot myself, but this is about the lowest standards of flyfishing performance I have ever witnessed anywhere!..unbelievable. Even some of the tips have been bogus, yet acceptable by these guys.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago

buckhunter...Yes you can. You can be a journalist disguised as a fly angler and denagrade fly angling with all kinds of general fishing stuff. When I go to a flyfishing blog anywhere in cyberspace they are committed to flyfishing..I would bet on that. But on F & S ?? Who knows, anything goes.

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