The single best way to improve your trout game is to fly fish on trout water that challenges you. I’m talking about super technical water where trout are wary and extremely educated. The places where the smartest of trout live, where all you get is one or two shots to hit your target. These trout streams force you to maintain the highest level of discipline in your fly fishing. You have to think out every step of your approach and presentation to find success. If you fail at executing these strict requirements, you’ll almost certainly be skunked on the water.
It’s really easy for many of us with our busy schedules to focus our time fly fishing locations that allow us the most success, or should I say the easiest success. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy these easy trout streams myself, where I can immediately start catching fish within minutes of wetting my line. Just remember, if all you do is fish easy trout water, you’re going to have a rude awakening when you finally get around to stepping foot on a truly technical trout stream. You won’t find success, your confidence will shrivel, your pride will take a beating and you’ll probably feel like crawling off into a hole when it all said and done. Not only that, but you’ll also be impeding the improvement of your fly fishing skills in the process, and you’ll be no different than a kid refusing to take off the training wheels on his/her bike because it’s easier and safer.
So change up your routine, step away from your comfort zone and the rookie trout water for a while. Next time you go fly fishing, choose trout water that requires you to bring your absolute best to catch fish. Be prepared for there to be a learning curve, and some very slow days. But continue to press on and persevere, because when your fly fishing mojo acclimates to the challenging conditions, and you finally find success, the reward will trump all those banner days you previously witnessed on those rookie trout waters. Most importantly though, when you look back at your journey, you’ll find that your trout game will have shot through the roof.
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