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What Not to Do When Fly Fishing

June 10, 2021

Everyone makes mistakes, of course, but those mistakes can cost you time and cause frustration when fly fishing. When you’re out in the water, the fewer mistakes you make, the more you can catch. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, there are always steps we can mess up while fly fishing.

Wild Water Fly Fishing in Ontario, NY, is here to help you avoid those mishaps by providing you with quick fly fishing tips you can implement. Once you get past breaking the habits you have made when fly fishing, the activity becomes fun, easy, and accessible.

Have questions? Call 585-967-3474 today!

Frequent False Casting

They say “slow and steady wins the race,” so why are you rushing? The most common mistake made when fly fishing is casting too frequently. Fish can sense every movement made in the water, and if you can limit your casts, you’re bound to catch more. Too many false casts can scare the fish away, leaving you with less of a chance to catch them.

You should fully load the rod on your back casts because you will increase the line speed of your fly shoot. This technique minimizes false casts, so you are only false casting maybe two or three times. If your fly is on the water for too long, the fish will get spooked. Also, with frequent false casting comes tangles and wind knots, creating an even bigger obstacle.

Using The Wrong Knots

One of the essential aspects of fly fishing is mastering your knots. If you’re using the wrong knots, or if your knots are loose and unreliable, you will lose your fish quickly. There are plenty of knot guides out there that can help you learn the best knots. A fish breaking off the line because of a knot could be one of the worst feelings, especially when you’ve caught a winner. Some fly fishing knots that can improve your game are the clinch knot and surgeon’s knot. Be sure to practice and master the knots before your next trip to save yourself time and frustration.

Acting Too Quickly

The most important tool you can have with you when fly fishing is patience. Anglers often act too quickly when the right casting could take an hour or two. Whether your line gets tangled or you need to re-rig, there are plenty of mishaps that require extreme patience.

We recommend watching the water for some time before attempting to fish. You will see how busy the fish are, if they are rising, huddled near the bank, or in the stream’s midst. Don’t go charging into the water and move too quickly before watching the area. It would help if you allowed time for your line to hold correctly, or you will end up with a frustrating tangle. Practice patience before you set out to fly fish.

Not Using The Right Flies

An essential aspect of fly fishing success is being aware of what the fish are eating. It would be best if you read up on the daily activity of the fish you are looking for and know what their intake is. For example, trout go for midges, caddisflies, stoneflies, and mayflies, so it’s crucial you know this before you fly fish for trout.

Wild Water Fly Fishing has pointers and information on what type of flies will work best for your area and target. It is important to consider the seasonal patterns for summer, winter, and fall when you’re buying. Avoid buying large flies, and the smaller ones will attract any size fish, so don’t think “the bigger the fly, the bigger the fish.”

Poorly Casting & Hooking

Don’t be afraid to get aggressive with your rig and make strong casts. A weak back cast has a higher chance of creating tangles and loose lines. Your non-casting hand should manage your fly line independently, so you are not using both hands against the handle. Any angler will agree that this technique gives you complete control of your casting motion.

You should not lift your rod straight up with hooking because the fly can easily get away from the fish. By pulling back slightly and to the side, the fish has a chance to get a solid bite-down on the fly. With this approach, you can cast well, get the timing correct, and hook fish successfully with minimal error.

Improper Line Technique

Having improper line technique is one of the most common mistakes made by anglers. The difference between an amateur and a professional can be the amount of line put out. Casting too much line can set you up for disaster, leading to tangles and unwanted knots. Avoid these problems by learning how to mend your line correctly.

Whether you’re caught in a swift current or drift, a properly mended line will allow you to lift your rod easily and present your fly. If you are unsure of the correct technique, consult with an experienced angler or fly fishing guide for help.

Be Respectful of Others - walking through a hole where someone else is fishing or worse - fishing too close to someone else’s spot. Treat others with the same respect you’d like to have on the water.

Be Proud of Your Fly Fishing Game

There are thousands of tips and tricks to fix the common mistakes we all encounter when flying fishing. Whether it is a simple mishap or a more complicated and technical error such as line mending, you can improve your fly fishing game in no time. With this list, you may be able to avoid some of the things you catch yourself doing and make your next fly fishing trip a smooth-sailing one.

For more fly fishing tricks and tips, please contact us today at 585-967-3474.