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Why Most Fly Fishermen Don't Catch More Trout Despite all the Improvement in Equipment, Flies, Books, and Videos?

by

Eugene P. Macri Jr.

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© 2017 E. P. Macri Jr. 

I knew that one day I would write this piece. Unfortunately, it says more about where fly fishing is going and that's in the wrong direction. The sad part of the equation is that we have better rods, reels, lines, flies, leaders than we ever had and cheaper too and yet most fly anglers catch fewer fish than they ever did!

Why? How could this be so?  There are a number of reasons for this that I have observed in the last 25 years.  They are seldom talked about in the fly fishing shows you see on television or in videos, books, and magazines that you buy. Here's what I'm talking about:

  • Majority of fly fisherman coming into the sport today did not spin or bait fish. So they don't have the basic instincts of someone who has learned something about streams and fish before they get into fly fishing.
  • They are overwhelmed by the amount of equipment, websites, information, books, magazines etc that's thrown at them.
  • Television programs make it appear that trout and especially large trout are easy to catch.  What they don't tell the viewer is that it may have taken them a week of fishing to get 20 minutes of video show the experts catching fish.
  • The approach most of these neophytes use shows no idea that the trout can be spooked. They lack any ideas of stealth on a stream
  • They think that new equipment of some type will solve their many weaknesses as a fly fisherman
  • They may fish in private water or some setting where the fish are relatively easy to catch but when they fish a hard fished stream none of their techniques and methods work.
  • Most lack accuracy in casting which is crucial on many streams including spring creeks.
  • Most cannot read water well enough to know where to fish.
  • The fish in many streams are hardier to catch today because of the decline in hatches and fishing pressure.

What's really bad about all of this is that people are not learning how to fly fish. Many anglers have fly fished for 5 or more years yet still do not know the basics.  The complaints I get is that the some guides won't really show them anything. They often spend a king's ransom on all types of stuff most of it they don't need and use improperly.  One of the main reasons for this is the internet.  Many fly shops have folded. They couldn't compete with the discounting done on the internet because the mark up on fly fishing is so low to begin with.  The basic mark up is around 40%.  Now deduct shipping, the cost to run the store, rent, utilities, etc. and the actual profit on selling fly fishing equipment in a shop comes out to less than 8 or 9 percent on most items. 

Because of this there isn't a lot of guidance in the buying of equipment and there isn't anyone to show these folks the ropes, if you know what I mean.  What about all the great forums and info on the net?  Give me break!  There is more nonsense by would-be experts on these forums that the average person coming into this avocation is confused almost immediately. Furthermore, much of the information on the net would allow you to believe that just about everywhere you fish, a 10 pound trout is waiting to greet you with a rise that will allow you to hook him.  Just look at the nonsense that goes on about these spring creeks in the Cumberland Valley!

 

So in the interest of helping the neophyte I'm going to put on a number of articles, videos, and podcasts on flyfisher.com to aid them in getting started. It will start with the basics. Also, there is so much conflicting stuff on the internet that most people are lost with the decision they make. Like the world today, if you can't separate the disinformation, misinformation and perhaps bad information you'll never find out what the truth is.

 

tight lines,

Gene Macri

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