You need to catch fish! The more fish you catch, the better fisherman you will become. Experience and knowledge are powerful tools. You can only learn so much by just fishing. At some point you need to learn, on your own, how to catch fish.
Catching fish is not just reeling them in. You need to think about presentation, gear, skills, and the process of hooking, playing, netting and dealing with a fish that you caught. The act of catching fish becomes more routine, repetitious, and remembered.
There is no point going fishing if you do not take something home with you. This may not be fish! Instead take home some new tricks, tips, and techniques. If you see an angler catching fish, ask what they are using. Most fishermen are good sports, and willing to share information.
Modern spin tackle is better today, than what older fishermen used decades ago. For a small investment, you can outfit yourself with everything you may need. Spin fishing, is harder than fly fishing. Spinning rods are shorter, reels are more complicated, and lines seem to have a mind all their own.
Fly fishing has been around a long time. The basic casting is easier with a longer rod or “lever”. Setting the hook is quicker. Longer rods catch bigger fish. You can get a better, more natural, presentation with a fly rod with a light leader, than with a spinning rod and a sinker.
To improve my fly fishing skills, and catch a trout dinner, I often fish with flies on stocked “Put and Take” streams. The gentle and precise presentation allows me to catch a limit, and not use any bait. Using a small strike indicator will help you see the bites.
Try using different flies, that attract trout, but no one else is using. I do not use worm or egg flies. Try using bead heads, streamers, and more traditional patterns. On this day, a stonefly hatch was coming off. A size 18 stonefly imitation was the trick. It seemed like every trout in the river was eating dry flies. The other fishermen were casting metal, worms, Power bait, corn, and the kitchen sink with no luck.
Not only did I catch trout, I started to keep just the Golden Trout. These albino Rainbow trout are stocked to enhance the fishing. They are hard to catch and do not reproduce. “Golden’s”, or “Palominos” fight hard, and are fun. On this day, I caught several Goldens, and was trying to keep a limit of 5 for dinner. I released many other trout, and smaller Goldens, while trying for the “Limit of Gold”. Suddenly, a 15” Rainbow sipped in the stonefly. After a great battle, I netted him and finished my limit. Oh Well!
The other nearby anglers never caught a fish and had no clue what I was doing. You can also use flies on a short spinning rod, but it is way harder to cast and set the hook. Once you think you are a “Great Fisherman”, mentor a kid or new angler.
Fish More and Fish More Often! Challenging yourself to catch more fish in different ways, makes you a better fisherman. Fishing is a wonderful thing to share!
Catch a Big One!!!
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com.