When I started fly fishing, I felt a bit overwhelmed. So much to remember! Over time, I’ve learned that simplification really helped.
So, I’ve fished with many flies. Only a few matter. I’ve fished a lot of water on many rivers. Only a few spots really produce.
I’m a big believer in the Pareto Principle. I believe that 80% of the trout are caught by 20% of the anglers. I believe that 20% of water holds 80% of the trout on a river. And, I think only a few flies matter, if you’re not fishing the super-technical parts of the Swift River.
I’ve blogged before about my go-to staple flies. I think most fly fishing success is getting one of those flies to the right level in the water column, without drag, to actively feeding fish. For me, that means nymphing most of the time, and I do both Euro-nymphing and throw an indicator.
But, it also means understanding where fish are likely to hold when they feed. And, that means putting in the hours on a river to find “sweet spots.”
Doing well at fly fishing is, then, just two things. Getting flies down into the strike zone and knowing where fish hold.
It’s as simple and as hard as that.