Lessons Learned [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Lessons Learned

10-30-2000, 11:34 AM
Well, as much as I hate to admit it, it's that time of year to reflect on the season as it passes on to greener pastures. I think we all learned a lot this year, and as we learned we had a hell of a season along the way. I learn something every time I step into the water, but this year was especially gratifying because of the degree of collaboration and team spirit we had as we took on new venues and figured them out as a group.

One of the things that really struck me this year was the profound impact of current on fish behavior. Of course I knew things about the way fish act with respect to current, for instance the castless presentation on the Wacky west jetty last year. The stripers were set up in such a way that I could catch fish after fish without so much as a cast, only needed to "dap" the fly and slide it over some rocks before WHAM! another one on. Casting around the area produced only an occasional fish despite the ability to see them all around the area.

But this year, as we became the first group to shuttle to fish South Monomoy from shore (according to Rip Ryder), the lesson of current and fish behavior was emphasized like never before. Depending on our schedule, we could have several hours of idle fishing interrupted by an hour of incredible madhouse fishing with big fish readily available even on 90 degree mid-day high sun conditions. The current, and a certain current, was the key.

That lesson was known to me in several other locales including Brewster Flats and Bass Hole, river mouths, etc. - and I fished these places that way, but the lesson never hit home quite as dramatically as the Tip Rip. I've already applied the knowledge to several other areas with success, even on incoming tide rips in different locales.

Any such lessons for you?

i'm so outta here
10-30-2000, 05:54 PM
I've learned the importance of confidence in fishing. I began the year still worried that my casting needed improvement and that I couldn't catch fish before I got better at that.

But I soon figured out that a cast only needs to be so good and the real trick is to pay attention to what I'm doing on the retrieve. Early on in the season, I'd say about nine times out of ten I was hurrying through a succession of hasty strips whose sole purpose was so I could get another cast off sooner. Needless to say my fly spent a lot of time in the air and seldom where it could do any good. <gee, wonder why no fish, Al?>.

But about mid Spring I just gave up trying to perfect my casting and focussed on the fishing. Keeping constant contact with the fly (or at least striving for that) made a world of difference for me this year.

Current definitely helped hammer this point home to me. The gentle pull of a good swimming fly in swift current has a special feel to it. For me, it was a reminder that hey, I'm supposed to be making the puppet do a little dance for these critters. Pay attention!

It worked out Ok. It's been a great season. Here's to a short winter and a killer Spring migration.

10-31-2000, 04:25 AM
I had a very good chance this season to observe bass on a flat this season from a high bank of tidal river . The bass would appear about a half hour from dead high from a deep holding channel and take up stations right next to the under cut banks. This would last for about one and a ˇhalf hours into the dropping tide. Then they would go back to the deep channel.What I learned is how small the window is and that timing is so important.

10-31-2000, 08:52 AM
The rewards of disiminating fishing expertise to other who are either new or want to advance their skill level in fly fishing fraternity. Very rewarding to see the delight of children, families and friends enjoy the sport from their eyes. Making new friends and sharing ideas. Watching them catch fish, when I'm not.


10-31-2000, 10:57 AM
#37- Cover the food when you leave camp.

Still thinking about this years many fishing lessons.


10-31-2000, 03:00 PM
Don't bring bananas.

10-31-2000, 06:56 PM
Don't eat YELLOW SNOW!

11-01-2000, 08:37 AM
1. Don't wade too deep on the flats - you'll scare the fish.

2. A crab fly works great blind casted and drifted in deeper currents as well as scitching on the bottom.

3. Go sparse - very sparse - young man for flats fish.

4. SI tip rip is one heck of a long kayak trip to make in big waves!

5. Ask your passengers if they are carrying bannanas BEFORE you start the trip.

6. Spanish macks have line cutting teeth.

7. The Yankee Fleet does not allow fly fishing from their boats.

8. Silly, funny, outrageous, and even stupid looking flys can still catch fish - even big ones.

9. I already knew this but... I am blessed to be associated and accepted by what I am sure is one of the greatest groups of fisherfolk in the world.

Nathan Smith
11-01-2000, 10:17 AM
1. See that next sand bar out there at Monomoy. You know that one that all the fish must be around, DON'T GO.

2. Always bring a few of each type of bait immiation. If you bring one and it starts to work and then you lose it you will hate yourself. If they are feeding on something you don't have you will also hate your self.

3. Two words: Sun block

11-03-2000, 10:58 AM
Lot's of lessons learned, as would be expected given my position on the shallow slope at the bottom of the learning curve. I need to sort them out and decide what I learned in principle (lots) and what I translated into practice (probably little).

One lesson stands out for me. Normally reclusive, seeking space and solitude, I found fishing with other humanoids pleasant, entertaining and educational. Thanks to all.

Fred A

11-03-2000, 11:17 AM
My lessons for the year are:

Combining buying, moving, and reroofing a home with a pregnant wife and a young son severely cuts into fishing time.

With my fishing severely restricted I spent the odd hour at a time that I could get out fishing close to home and found that an adult dragon fly pattern gets a lot of hits from sunfish. The task for next year is to tie the pattern so that it hooks more than 10% of the fish that hit it.

My four year old thinks that flies look cool. Juro, thanks for the suggestion to have him use flies. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and opportunities to get him into fish with it.