More in Sports
River Valley Outdoors
I often hear anglers complain about certain fish that get repetitively hooked with the same fly – they say the fish learn to avoid specific flies that have been used too often.
Maybe that statement could be true – hooking a fish with the same fly a number of times might modify its behavior. But when I look back to any day of fishing in my past, I don’t ever remember trying to catch the same fish over and over again.
In my experience, I’d rather catch several different fish – instead of hooking the same one several times.
So my easy answer to this often-heard statement would be to use several different flies if an angler thinks the fish are becoming educated and refusing his or her selection of flies. If fish don’t seem to be attacking a certain fly, give up on it and try something different.
Another simple answer, one that most anglers already know, would be to change fishing locations. It seems like an easy solution, but I often see anglers toss their lures or flies into the same piece of water repeatedly – without a single bite.
One day I fished a very long stretch of the Androscoggin River and noticed a fellow casting in the same spot for about 45 minutes. When I finally got up to his anchored craft, he mentioned that the fishing was terribly slow and that he hadn’t caught a single fish.
I didn’t have the nerve to tell him that I had been having a wonderful day of fishing on the river, with numerous fish landed. I also didn’t want to point out the obvious – lift the anchor and move to another spot if the fishing is so lousy under that one tree you’ve been casting to for the last three-quarters of an hour.
Some anglers are just a little slower to catch on…take my inability to learn how to cast a fly line properly. I struggled for years with wind knots, tangled lines, and a big lack of fish with a fly rod. Once I watched a video clip of my sad casting performance at an LL Bean fly fishing school, my terrible old habits disappeared.
This “casting-to-the-same-spot-error,” mentioned above, doesn’t just happen to slow and inexperienced anglers. I see experienced anglers on occasion throw a line out to a fishy-looking spot, realize that the fly isn’t going to give an excellent drift, rip that line off the water, and then recast to the same, exact spot.
More than likely, any fish in the stirred up spot of water are long gone. Once a super-looking fishing spot has been riled by a cast that’s gone bad, why recast to the same location?
An effective way to avoid recasting to stirred-up water goes something like this...
If I do a sloppy casting job and rile up one location, I simply lift the line off the water and recast to another location. I’ll hit several different spots with my fly before returning to the previously riled water.
If I take my time casting to the different locations, it won’t be less than five minutes before I return to the original spot of water that I almost ruined with the first sloppy cast. Hopefully, when I return to the original hotspot with an ideal presentation, a big, fat fish will be there waiting to attack my offering.
And that’s what fishing is – hoping. It’s not called catching. So I “hope” to catch a fish every time I lay a line on the water.