Fly Fishing Tips to Help You Catch More Trout
As a professional fly fishing guide who teaches people how to fly fish for trout, I have learned a few things that will help any angler become more successful. Novices and experts can all benefit from picking up some pointers that will make a day on the water that much more enjoyable. The following fly fishing tips are easy to accomplish, are non-technical and will help you hook more trout and have more stories to share with your fishing buddies.
1. Get Up Earlier, Walk Further and Stay Out Later
This piece of advice sounds simple but it works. Fly fishing, like many things, can be very dependent on being in the right place at the right time. Mornings and evenings generally fish better so invest in a headlamp and beat the late risers to the best spots by hiking in before first light. Bring a backpack along so you can carry in water, food and gear. This allows you to stay for the evening hatch, far from the easily accessed spots near roads and trailheads. Generally, most people will not invest in walking more than a few minutes and instead concentrate near roadside parking areas. This gives more ambitious hiking anglers the chance to arrive first or stay out late for the hour of power just before dark.
2. Read Everything You Can
The experience gained from on-stream learning is irreplaceable but everyone can always use more information, tips and techniques. There is a plethora of books, magazines (both print and online), videos and Internet resources such as blogs, available to anglers these days. I cannot begin to add up the number of times I have used information gathered this way to help me land more fish, better understand a hatch, choose a fly or best of all, find new destinations to go fly fishing.
3. Use the Heaviest Tippet or Leader Possible
Some anglers may consider landing a large trout on very light tippet sporting, but actually you will lose more fish and flies using fine leaders with a light breaking strength. My goal is to use the heaviest tippet possible, without negatively affecting presentation and drift, even when fishing very small flies. Large trout can be landed without the worry of breaking your tippet, flies are recovered from rocks and trees and less time is spent retying flies and building leaders.
4. Use More Weight
More trout are caught using nymphs fished with weight under an indicator than any other method. While this type of fishing may not be as visually stimulating as dry fly fishing, or as exciting as streamer fishing, it does result in many trout in your net. The most successful nymph fishermen are the ones who are willing to lose a few flies to rocks because they consistently put on enough split shot weights to continually bounce their flies off the bottom. This is where trout do the majority of their feeding, so adding weight can be a better solution than changing flies or moving to a new spot.
5. Fish the “Off Season”
It is hard to argue against fly fishing during the glory days of summer when insect hatches are strong and the trout are feeding aggressively. Pressure can be heavier with more anglers on the water, and finding solitude can be a challenge on well known trout streams. The solution is to fish the “off season”. While fly fishing for trout is a year-round affair, with good fishing possible any month of the year, there is certainly more competition during summer. Fall, winter, and spring result in less people out there and even famous streams can be devoid of fly fishermen. One of my favorite times to hit the water is in late winter when we get a warmer day with heavy snow and little or no wind. On these days, the ski slopes are crowded with powder hounds and I have the river to myself.
6. Hire a Guide
A final item that all anglers should consider is to hire a professional guide. Fly fishing guides can help novices learn the basics while teaching experts how to improve their skills by employing new tactics. For more fly fishing tips, book a Jans guided fly fishing tour.
Becoming a better caster, mending properly and educating yourself on insects hatches are all tips that will help everyone become a better fly fisherman. Sometimes, however, it is simple things like the ideas described above that are just as important.
Brody Henderson, Content Writer