Bad Fly Fishing Habits That Lose Your Trophy Fish
Leaping before you look
Don’t get me wrong, I get it. You’ve been thinking about catching that fat trout all week while sitting behind your computer desk, so when you finally are there, you want to just charge right in! By doing this you could be startling the fish that were right in front and could have been caught. Its easier said than done, but by taking a minute to study the river, you might be surprised how many fish you see that are right at your feet. It might take some practice learning how to spot fish, but once you do you will never look at the water the same again.
Setting your hook
Setting your hook is simply a motion made with a fishing rod in order to “set” a fish hook into the mouth of a fish once it has bitten a fishing lure or bait. Most of the time fish are not going to attack your flies and send your indicator darting under the surface. Obviously this can sometimes be the case, but the majority of the time this will not happen. The key here is to focus on your indicator and to start setting your hook on anything that seem unusual. This will result in a couple more fish throughout the day.
Standing where you should be fishing
The goal when fishing should be finding where feeding fish are. One of the most common areas for a feeding fish is in the shallows to take advantage of the hatching insects. This means that you’ll be perfectly fine casting from dry land. Time should be spent casting into shallow riffles, shelves, buckets, and rock gardens. There is not much need to be standing knee to waist deep in the middle of the river.
Try, try, and try again. This can be great advice for a lot of things, but not always for fishing. Your goal is to find the fish that are easiest to catch. This means working a spot that you feel confident feeding fish are at in the water. If your instincts were right you should have a fish within 10 minutes. If this is not the case, there is no reason to keep working that area. Covering more water and moving on will increase your chances of finding fish and exposing them to your flies.
Being sloppy with gear
It might seem simple, but even pros get sloppy when it comes to taking care of the gear. This could be as simple as Ignoring wind knots or having a sloppy reel. Two simple fixes that can cost you a trophy trout if you do not correct them every cast. I see sloppy reels happen all the time when the caster get in a hurry because they spotted a fish or just had a rough fight with a fish. This can lead to a binded or knotted line if a fish starts pulling. Wind knots are also very common problem that can cause a break in the line if not fixed immediately. If you find wind knots, chafing, nicks, or anything other than a perfect leader, fix it right away. You wouldn’t want to miss a trophy because of bad habits!