GENERALITIES IN FISHING TROUT

by Fly Fisherman

“There is no single BEST way of taking trout!” The author wishes, in telling you “HOW,” that he could
present you with a formula or prescription that would outline definite “one,” “two,” “three” steps upon which you could depend and that would result in a “never fail” action. Unfortunately, however, very few of the trouts do much reading and they are not versed in any expounded truisms of mine, or that of any other writer—thus, being uncooperative by nature, they can be depended upon to be obstinately independent.

True, on rare occasions, they will follow a general pattern of collaboration but ordinarily the galaxy of working pattern outlines is more or less unlimited and experimentation is bound to be necessary to find that producing system or one near enough to warrant continuation, at the time, in order to net a few victims. This applies more particularly in the fishing of wet flies, streamers and nymphs. In dry fly fishing “working patterns” are extremely limited. You are either fishing a dry fly correctly or incorrectly—this will be covered later. I trust the reader has seriously studied the basic casting procedures as outlined in a previous chapter. I must say that all good casters are not all good fishermen (there are other necessary requirements), but all consistently good fishermen are generally pretty good casters. I used the word “generally” because I have seen quite mediocre casters produce day after day but we find they always have either an excellent background of knowledge of the fish habits, or they are completely familiar with the water they are fishing.

Good casting, other requirements being average, is a completely necessary first step to good fishing results.
When the student fisherman is confident that he can deliver his fly in the area for which he is aiming, and in any style or fashion he chooses, he can then devote his faculties to the investigation of the trout, the vagaries of the stream’s flow, its hidden nooks, its shadowy undercuts, its mysterious pools, its sunny riffles and its moods. While resting between these investigations he can study the aquatic life of the stream he is fishing and store his findings in his memory library which will
open avenues of pleasant adventures that he never dreamed would become realities.
To become a good fisherman one must have or develop:
1 —PERSISTENCE
2—PATIENCE
3—OPTIMISM
4—AN INSATIABLE CURIOSITY
5—THE HABIT OF OBSERVATION
6—A WILLINGNESS TO EXPERIMENT
These qualities are possessed by each of us in a minor or a major degree (without them we wouldn’t have the desire to fish) and those in which we are weaker we must deliberately cultivate. If any one of the points is most important I wouldn’t know which one it is. Each, too, must be tempered by reason and judgment—one could easily go overboard with any of the “six.” For example, “Persistence” does not mean stubbornness. An excess of “Optimism” could become exceedingly boring, not only to those around you, but to yourself also. “Willingness to Experiment” doesn’t mean that you make a cast without visible success then change your fly or the length of your leader immediately.

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