Of Sheep, Twitchers and Fly Fishers
Instant results, shortcuts and no effort required are what seemingly the majority of people desire these days no matter what they do.
Unfortunateley this increasingly applies to fly fishers, I call them “fly fishing sheep” or ”fly fishing twitchers”, those that read an article in one of the “comics” usually written by someone who has run out of things to say and writes an account of a days fishing on some ”fantastic” always day ticket water, strangely the conditions are always perfect and they usually catch loads of fish. Mr. Twitcher jumps in his car and is fishing there the following day or at the very least the following Saturday or his next day off. Mr. Sheep is also addicted to fly fishing forums, usually a load of rot, mostly written by people who don’t have the faintest clue about fly fishing and probably anything else for that matter, best advice, don’t go on them or at least get a frontal lobotomy before you do.
All the best fly fishers in my experience have “served an apprenticeship”, they have started often at an early age and gone out and figured things out for themselves, tried different waters, some good, some hopeless but it’s all part of the learning process and in my opinion and adds a huge chunk to the learning curve and is overall very enjoyable. This season I have fished two different Yorkshire Dales rivers that in 45 years of fly fishing I have never fished before, both days were great, not loads of fish but some, enough, I was taken back to my childhood. I guided a regular client on one of them without a problem, (obviously I told him that I had never fished there before and clearly I had some limited ”insider” information). The point is that a vast part of the enjoyment is doing exactly that, going into the unknown, exploring and figuring things out for yourself. It’s not a problem fishing new waters once you fully understand rivers and what trout want it’s actually very simple.
My old friend Bernard Benson and long time fishing buddy of Oliver Edwards used to say to me at some point every time we fished together ” I like fishing with you Steve”, “Why Bernard?”, I always asked and Bernard always answered ” Because your a thinking angler and I like thinking anglers”. So become a thinking angler, work things out for yourself, ask why did that happen, why was there a fish there, why is one pool better than another, why can’t I catch that fish, why did I catch that fish, what are they feeding on etc. etc.
What’s the best shortcut? – simple get yourself a good river guide for a day, and I mean a good river guide, (most are also ran’s), and he will teach you the fundamentals of fishing and reading a river correctly boosting your confidence and success rate then you can go out and do it for yourself. So what are you a “sheep” or a “thinking” angler?