All fly fishermen want to catch more fish, and of course one way to do that is by fishing more and fishing better locations at prime time. However we don’t all have more time. For example with 3 little kids my fly fishing is at an all time low, although I do have them dunking worms and I’ll start them fly fishing soon. And fly fishing better locations during prime time can be tough, as often it requires travel, often world wide, and that takes time and often money. Most of us can’t just jump on a plane on a whim and travel to New Zealand to trout fish or Christmas Island to fish for bonefish.
There are a few things we can do to catch more fish though that take little or no money and little or no extra time. I list them below and they work for me and may work for you too.
1) Become a better caster! It doesn’t matter what you fish for or where, but becoming a better caster often leads to more fish, as well as more flexibility and ability to fish different locations and conditions.
If you are a salt water fly fisherman, the ability to cast in the wind and to cast far are high on the list. Even though many fish are literally caught at your feet, distance matters, and the wind is always blowing.
If you fish freshwater, you emphasis may be different. It may involve casting in tight quarters and avoiding brush and trees.
And for just about everyone, accuracy matters as well.
Practice will help you improve, and you can also take lessons from a local fly shop. They may or may not advertise these, but even 20 minutes on the lawn can make a big difference.
2) Keep a logbook. Just keeping a simple logbook will help you repeat your previous fishing successes. You might notice patterns you never did before, as well as remember a multitude of things you wouldn’t otherwise. If you know that on the full moon in August you’ll always done well at Spot X fishing fly Y, you probably will again.
3) Fish local spots more. I know we all think that the further we go, the better the fishing will be. Sometimes that’s true, sometimes not. Try fishing in your own backyard, sometimes literally, and you may be surprised with the results. Often unknown, unfished spots have lots of success, and you can spend more time fishing and less traveling.