As fly fishermen we can all recollect to those days when the fish just were not biting. It seemed that everything we were doing just would not work. It then causes us to question our abilities and everything that we know about fly fishing. It’s those days that it seems like the casts aren’t crisp, the trees are eating our flies, snags occur on every cast and the fish are all poking the heads up to stick their tongues out at us. It is the great challenge of fishing. I once read in a fly shop “If it were easy it wouldn’t be called fishing it would be called catching” – so true!

As we hold to what we know, step back and reassess then we can find ourselves and find that we still have more to learn. It is these days that it is great to be a fisherman. Many may disagree, but it is these days that I learn the most, because I have to stop thinking like a fisherman and start thinking like a fish. Discouragement comes as we fail to see results from our labors. Our groove is off and we feel that we may even be incompetent. As we push through we can a lot about nature, ourselves and fly fishing.

These are the times that we can step back and look at what the water flows are doing. We tend to study the water more, look more closely at the bugs traveling through the water and seek to understand the behavior of the fish. We take time stream side to learn these things, we practice more on our approach and cast and when we are done we head to YouTube or the books to find out more about how to approach this.

These are the days that make us grow and become better fishermen.