It's springtime, and this means the fish are biting! If you're an avid fisherman or fly fisher, you're already out and have been catching fish. If you've never been, it's never too late to start. Fishing -- in particular fly fishing for me -- evokes every single emotion you can think of. From the thrill of the fight with a powerful fish to the sheer frustration of missing a powerful fish; from the extreme calming effect it has on the body and mind to the extreme stress it can have on the body and mind ; it's been a lifelong passion and pursuit of mine, because of all of the above, and nothing excites me like being on the water! Here are a few tips to getting on the water this spring and summer, and just plain enjoying yourself out of doors.
Have you never been fishing and are wondering where to start? I bet someone you know loves to fish. Whether its a grandparent or parent, a friend or a neighbor, someone you know is fishing! Ask them to take you out. Nothing beats lessons on the water and the advice given from someone firsthand. Don’t know anyone who fishes? Google it. Yup, theres a million resources online to find out anything you need to know about it. Whether it's fishing a pond, lake, river, stream, fishing beaches, saltwater flats or deep sea fishing, it's all on the internet. There are also tons of great books and magazines dedicated to the sport. So no matter what, the info is out there in many forms. Get started!
Find some nearby water. There is water everywhere for fish to live and swim. From golf course ponds to that muddy river ripping through town. Start by simply sitting on the bank and watching the water. Look for any disturbances on the top water. What is this fish doing? Is it gently sipping small flies from the surface? Is it chasing bait fish? Are they leaping in the air? These are all indicators to what the fish are feeding on. Study the water. Find where the fish are holding. Where they like to hang out. If you're curious as to what they are eating, sometimes simply turning over rocks will tell you all you need to know. Check the surrounding vegetation for insects that may be dropping into the water. Sometimes they will feed on fruit that's dropping into the water from trees. Siting on the water for a period of time is also relaxing and can clear your mind right out.
Find a local tackle shop or fly shop and get some gear. Talking to the guys working at these places can be another great way to start. There's a fishing outfit for any budget out there. The folks who work at the shops are fishermen. So, they can help you make the right decision about what you need for the fish you are after. There's a lot of gear out there with a lot of options; it can be intimidating to the unsuspecting new angler, but rest assured that there's something that's right for you. Don’t hesitate to ask these folks any questions; they may not give away too much, though. That's for you to find out.
Another option is hiring a guide. There are guides for every type of fish and every type of situation whose job is to try their best to put you on fish. The shops will have all the info you need to book you time on the water with a professional. Keep in mind this costs a little extra. Then again, if you're the type who wants immediate success, try this route. It's all out there: all the info you need to know about where the fish are and how to catch them is abundant from forums and blogs to beautifully written books.
Fishing is a great way to spend time with your kids or someone else’s kids. They are a blast to watch, as their excitement will only excite you even more. So, go find a kid to take out and bring your camera. You'll be glad you did. Fishing has been and will continue to be a great passion of mine that goes back to some of my first memories spent with my dad. I hope you can get out on the water, wherever it may be, and start enjoying the outdoors and collecting years of good memories. Happy fishing!