Why Most Fly Fishermen Don't Catch More Trout Despite all the
Improvement in Equipment, Flies, Books, and Videos?
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
Most lack accuracy in casting which is crucial on many streams including
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
What's really bad about all of this is that people are not learning how to fly
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