Those early successes in fly fishing can be good and bad. I remember catching fish on the fly while working on the ranch in Montana as a teenager. The memories are sunny days, dry flies, and beautiful trout, without much thought to how or how many. Certainly "tactics" weren't discussed. But then, that was thirty years ago...
It’s easy for us to forget the thought that goes into how we will fish. Every next cast could be that special memory that keeps us coming back. Our minds tell us to Wade Out There. Get fishing. Start working that water. Kiki reminds us that just as we are problem solving through different water types during the day, we should also problem solve before those first steps in the water.
For many of us, tying flies comes after the fishing part. It's the next step, or at least, another step. If we enjoy it, embrace it, and continue tying, fly tying becomes just another aspect of fly fishing. Like learning how to tight line or chasing a new species. Tying, then, becomes part of the progress we seek, and as we learn new tactics and techniques for fishing, our tying evolves as well.
Fly fishing brings with it the idea of solitude. Alone with your thoughts on the river. Just you and the fish. Many people fall in love with fly fishing because of that time away from everything else in their lives that clutters their brain. I admit, I seek that same state of mind in fly fishing. That focus and clarity that comes from wading through cold, flowing water and getting lost in the problem solving. That focus we find in fly fishing, when everything else disappears is special, but even in our solitude, we are part of a community of others who seek the same thing. And that makes the fly fishing community unique... and valuable.
Most fly fishers will tell you that presentation is more important in catching fish than fly selection. I tend to agree with this concept, but Cade makes a good point that brings the concepts of presentation and fly selection closer together than we may sometimes consider. Fly selection is more than just the kind of bug you are presenting the fish. Flies can change how we present the fly as well.
Fly fishing doesn't always reward you when or how you want, but keep at it long enough, and you’ll begin to see the missed fish, lost flies, tangles and flat out skunks, were all part of what fly fishing really is. We all have seasons in fly fishing when it seems like nothing will work. Something will…
Keep on moving. Because the good things out there don’t always come to us. Alejandro Feliciano knows this from his time walking the beaches of Puerto Rico, where the fish are always there, you just have to go find them. Whether we’re searching for a fish to tighten our line or a new river to explore, it seems nature provides, so long as we go searching.
If you only have a few fish out of a dozen that want to eat on top, your just trying to cover as many fish as you possibly can to create a larger opportunity for yourself -Andrew Hettick