Beginning Angler Question
by Chris Wilkes
Welcome to January in Western North Carolina.
Cold temperatures, lots of precipitation, and more cold temperatures. Not what one thinks of as the ideal time for fly fishing.
It can be especially frustrating for the new angler, as you probably just got a bunch of brand new equipment for Christmas and, short of a trip to warmer climates, nowhere to use any of it.
(Truth be known, the fishing can be better in the dead of winter than it is during the peak summer temps. Trout like cold water, and do still feed, but frozen eyelets and de-icing line is not how I like to spend my day.)
Its during this time that new anglers should ask themselves a very important question. What are you looking to get out of this? The answer is very important to what steps you need to take in preparation for Spring.
Is it to catch every fish in the water? Be honest.
If it is, then you should probably take a casting lesson or two during the winter months to make sure you’re ready to make the proper presentation in the prime fishing months. You should also make sure the course you take spends some time on basic knots and fly selection, as these have much more to do with landing a trophy fish than making a long pretty cast does.
Do you just want to get out of the house and go stand in some pretty places?
Again, be honest.
A lot of the allure of fly fishing is the solitude. Even if you like to go with your buddies, you are usually spread out far enough over the river that idle chit-chat isn’t part of the day. This is a good reason to get into fly fishing, as catching lots of fish takes experience and know how, standing in a river and taking in amazing scenery is something all of us can do right away!
P.S. Experienced anglers should remember to do this once in awhile, too.