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Becoming a Master of Fly Fishing

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Ronan's report


Wednesday 17 December, 2014

Last week Glenda was asking the Sexyloops board: "Can fly casters also fish?" As usual Joan Wulff was quoted: "If you don't know where the fish lie but can cast well enough to cover all the water with finesse, you are likely to solve the mystery and catch fish. If you know where they lie but can neither reach them or present the fly naturally, you are not even in the game." Well, obviously there is some logic within Joan's statement. But then again there is another side of this story!

I have been fishing with a lot of excellent fly casters. A high percentage of them hit their (high) level of fly casting skills by training. Having said this, it means they spent a huge percentage of their free time (aside family and job life) for pure fly casting. Yes, they all were able to drive out their fly to some serious distance. And yes, that was a proper foundation to reach a lot of fish. But (and that was a big BUT with quite some of them) I often saw excellent fly casters starting to cover a (hot) fishing spot by pretty long casts.

Why? I assume because they could!? Often the best fish weren't far out but swimming close to the drop off, close to the bank or under the trees just next to the fisherman and so on. Long casts especially in the beginning of a fishing day easily may overline the best fish with the fly line.

You already know what I am going to telll now, right? Exactly: Becoming a Master of Fly Fishing will never be a question of spending a high percentage of one's available time on pure fly casting skills! Mastering fly fishing is about reading the (fishing) situation well and then presenting the fly to ALL fish reachable. Start with those fish next to you and then end up on the further to reach ones. Also you may learn to present your fly to the big fish first of all.

Do you have to be a good fly caster? Yes, but that doesn't mean to be able to cast long. Not, if your fishing water is small. It means you need to be able to present your fly well in all conditions you will be faced at your fishing water.

How about fly tying skills? You better learn how to match a fly in all details to YOUR special fishing situation. In my experience the best flies are almost never available in the shops. And then there is always a lot to learn (and improve) when tying and then trying ones own (self tied) flies.

Being a true Master of Fly Fishing in my understanding means to be able to create flies really matching the situation, presenting the fly with smoothness and finesse to all fish reachable (within a fair distance) and of course having studied the water as well as the specific species of fish for a significant time. Probably most important is to have many fly fishing techniques and ways to present the fly available.

All that would take much more time than you will have available? Maybe this holds true for many of us!? Personally I think all that really matters is to ENJOY our sport as much as possible. I don't understand why excellent fly casters often have to underline their fly casting skills to be important in order to be a great fly fishermen. The same goes to those spending a lot of time fishing but never managing a truly smooth fly presentation covering the hot zone with finesse and then underlining their fishing skills to be most important.

Whatever part of our sport you may focus on, I wish all of you a great week including some free time to enjoy fly fishing!

Oh, and of course you may join the board HERE to further discuss the process of mastering fly fishing. ;)

All my best

Bernd

p.s.: About Joan's statement: A fish outside ones possible casting distance may come very close to ones feet within the very next moment. And it mostly is those fish close to us offering the best chance for a perfect presentation! Often it is smart to wait for the fish to come in instead of reaching them far out by distance casting skills!


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