I have hosted a lot of fly fishing trips sharing fly fishing with a lot of fine fishermen. What we all had in common, was the sparkle in our eyes, in the moment the fish started pulling at the other end of our line.
The bigger the fish was, the more excited we often got.
It seems fair to summarize, that catching a big fish is something, that many of us are dreaming of.
At the moment I am chasing Zander in my home waters. In fact I have caught plenty of them this year. I truly figured the how to. Yet I am waiting (better hoping) for a serious big one to take my fly.
Catching a serious number of big fish in different species of fish I learnt, that for catching a big fish we mostly have to learn to fish different. Different means, that the perfect strategy to catch small and medium fish often fails for catching the one big fish. That is, because big fish often got big by learning to avoid being fooled by the main fishing strategies. You know those strategies most anglers would fish day after day.
The last days I fished a small harbour. I know that there are a few big Zander in. But I hardly see anyone catching one of them. Having said so, there are 5 - 10 anglers chasing Zander every day. Every big Zander must have learnt several lessons for sure!
But how do I find the one strategy, the one that would work to catch the big fish?
And even more difficult, if I find it, how do I know to have found it?
Yeah, I can already hear you saying: "When you catch the fish, that's when you know to have chosen the right strategy."
You know what, you are damned right about it! The problem is, that in "my" harbour even with the right strategy I probably will not catch more than I think maybe one big one per year when fishing 100+ days. So when finding the right strategy I may not know it to be a great strategy because I wouldn't just get the ONE's feedback. For that and I think that's very common for many waters, there are not enough of these few big ones around.
What I have learnt so far, it needs a strong will to test different strategies and stay with them for enough time to really get an idea what exactly they may or often may not bring you.
In these days I am testing to catch Zander at around midnight. Fishing in the middle of the day with a serious sinking line I mostly catch 2 - 5 Zander in 4-5 hours - smaller ones, sometimes medium ones. That's great fun for sure, I love it! But testing to present my fly just slightly below the surface in the middle of a very cold winter night in order to find out, if not maybe the one or two big ones feed exactly then and here (because it would be very safe for them to do so) is, somewhat pretty tough! I have been waiting a good number of nights for it to happen now. Yet exactly nothing happened. Not a single take.
But too often it was exactly this kind of fishing very different from other fishermen, getting me linked to the ONE. Fair to say it mostly took me a lot of time to find out the important details on catching big fish and it indeed often meant to catch less fish for a while!
Well, it's about time to have some fun now in the middle of the day, before getting a rest and then having another go at around midnight!
I'll let you know, when it happens! ;)
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
That's how it feels at around midnight here at this time of the year...