The Road to Being a Successful Fly Fisher

Catfishers have their favorite stink bait, crappie fishers swear by their favorite-colored jigs, bass fishers have tackle boxes loaded with every conceivable lure.

Fly fishers, well that’s a whole different world, match the hatch, balance the rod, perfect the cast, and don’t break the bank. As with all fishing, success is about comfort, confidence, failure, and most of all, time on the water.


Fly fishing equipment that is mismatched to the fisher and or the fishing can make a day on the water frustrating and miserable. The correct setup will be heavy enough or light enough to match the fly and handle the fish whether large or small. You don’t want to use a 9’- 9 wt rod to fish for bream in a creek or a 7’6”-4 wt rod to fish for large fish such as bass or carp in the open water. What action rod should you use, fast, moderate, or slow and why? Floating or sinking line, the proper size leader and tippet material? These are great questions to ask an experienced fly fisher when getting started.


Second guessing your technique or fly pattern is usually a lack of confidence and is always connected to the success you’re having with it. We all question our choices when the fish aren’t biting so it’s easy to lose focus. One way I deal with this is to learn about the fish and the fishery before I ever start my trip. What are they eating, does my fly match the size and profile of the natural bait? Am I fishing the right depth as it relates to water temp and fish activity? Is my cadence, right? Am I stripping the line in a manner that maximizes the movement of the fly? These are all small things that can be adjusted on the spot. A little bit of confidence goes a long way. Confidence = success.


Failure is the best teacher life has to offer, it broadens our view and presents us with the opportunity to improve. Fly fishing is a constant test of our mental and physical endurance, when it’s good it’s great, when we fail, we learn. Don’t be frustrated when the fish don’t bite and enjoy the act of the presentation. Failure +confidence = success.

Practice makes perfect!

Spend as much time as possible on the water, this is how you learn and stay sharp. Athletes practice every day, musicians are never satisfied with the 1st cut, and fishers experience a new set of conditions every time they get on the water. Most of all don’t forget how privileged and fortunate we are for God’s bounty. Practice + failure + confidence = success.

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Fishing Report from TPWD (Aug. 10)

GOOD. Water Stained; 84-88 degrees; 7.31 feet low. Bass continue to be shallow early in the morning in 1-4 feet of water on windblown points biting topwaters, and shad patterned square bill crankbaits. Mid morning the bite transitions to big wood in 5-7 feet of water using shaky heads with Xcite slim X in June bug, red bug are best. Carolina rigs are good in 12-16 feet of water on ridges with 7-8 inch worms in watermelon candy and June bug. Report by Lake Fork fishing guide Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Pro. The bass fishing is slow with most catches in 1-6 feet of water and in 18-25 feet of water on points using shaky heads. Sand bass are fair in 14-16 feet of water. Crappie are good on brush piles and standing timber. Catfish are good on baited holes. Report by Jason Hoffman, Lake Fork Guide Service. Crappie continue to be stacked up in laydowns, brush piles and trees in 15-28 feet of water biting best on minnows. Report provided by Jacky Wiggins, Jacky Wiggins Guide Service.

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