Let’s face it… fly fishing, or even fishing in general, can be tough to get into. When you’re starting out it can be hard to figure everything out. You don’t know where to go, what to use, and to make it difficult, many of the more experienced guys look down on you because they know more than you.
I was in this situation once. I’m sure many of you have been too. But I’ll tell you what makes it a lot better… a friendly fellow angler who is willing to share.
Lets flashback to the late 1990’s… I was on the Swift for the first time ever, and like most anglers on their first trips, not catching. The Swift wasn’t as pressured back then, but they were still some picky fish. That’s when I ran into an older man named Roger, who changed my view on fly fishing forever.
To start, Roger gave me a handful of flies that were working that day. Then he proceeded to sacrifice his own fishing time to walk me around the river and point out key areas on the river, providing me with tips on how to fish each spot. It was an act of courtesy that I wish everyone could experience on the river when they are starting out.
So whats the moral of this? Well, don’t be a jerk on the water for starters. Just because someone is new to the fly fishing doesn’t mean that they don’t want to learn. I’m sick and tired of the more experienced guys ignoring the newbies questions. Everyone starts somewhere.
Now here’s a challenge for all of you – next time you are on a river you know well, and you see someone who is clearly struggling, go give them a couple flies, some advice, or both!
I’ve handed out literally hundreds of flies in the past few years alone. I also make an effort to show someone around the river if they need help. Why? Because I have been in their shoes (or wading boots?) before, and know that a small gesture will help ensure this new angler sticks with fly fishing for years to come… where they will repeat the cycle and bring more new anglers in,
I’m sick of fly fishing being called “a sport for the snobby”. Don’t be selfish… if we all share techniques, spots, and flies, we will all catch more fish!