Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Outfished?- From the Taos News

Why is it that one of your fishing buddies always seems to catch more fish than the rest of the gang?  Is it because he read “Fly Fishing for Dummies” more times than you did?  Or maybe he stayed up late the night before your fishing trip reading online forums about the life cycle of the mayfly?  Maybe it’s because his fly rod costs more than yours?
Or maybe it’s none of these things at all.  The truth is that after seeing thousands of people catch- and not catch- I can’t quite explain why some folks are just “fishier” than others. But I have a few theories.
I personally believe that fishing, and fly fishing in particular, is a culmination of thousands’ of small details that eventually leads to a fish grabbing the end of your line.  Fishing truly has no right answers.  No two situations ever happen the same way twice.  Good fishermen understand this, and they don’t fish by the rules.  They use their intuition and instincts to guide them.  
Why does a particular spot on the river look good?  Why do you sometimes just know that a fish is behind that rock?  I believe that a fisherman’s brain has a subconscious catalog of every cast he has ever made -a database of information that calculates the likelihood of a fish taking your fly in a particular spot.   This database crunches the numbers and responds to the fisherman- what we call a “gut feeling.”  The longer one fishes, the larger the database becomes.  Anglers that know where fish will be feeding spend more of their time casting in good water, which of course leads to more hook ups.
There are other factors as well.  Great fishermen spend more time with their flies in the water.  They cast better and more accurately.  They tie knots and rig faster.  And in many cases they wade a river better and faster.  All factors add up to more drifts in front of fish, while other fishermen are spending the majority of their day re-rigging, undoing tangles and looking cluelessly into their fly boxes.
While most great fisherman seem to be born with a certain ability to out fish you, it will behoove you to spend some time practicing your casting and especially your knots.  This will increase the amount of time you spend with the fly in the water and decrease the amount of time you spend mumbling obscenities under your breath.  And if you still get out-fished, try buying a more expensive fly rod.

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