Fly Anglers Sixth Sense, Fact or Fiction?

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Fly Anglers Sixth Sense, Fact or Fiction? Photo By: Louis Cahill

By Kent Klewein

Do you ever feel like you’ve got a sixth sense working for you when you’re out fly fishing?

I’m talking about an extra sense that seems to give you the power and clarity to sense future fishing success moments before it happens. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s one of the sweetest feelings I think a fly angler can witness; calling his/her fish before the cast. You’ve just rounded a bend when your eyes are immediately drawn to a perfect looking stretch of water. It’s a wide and fast riffle a little to shallow to hold fish, but there’s a fallen tree that’s condensing all the current into a tight six foot wide flow. Even better, that condensed current is flowing right over a drop-off, into a deep blue pool. A light bulb in your head goes off as your sixth sense kicks in, and you’re certain when your fly hits the water it will only be a few seconds until a trout rises to your fly. All you have to do is call your shot and make a good cast.

Sure enough, you make a spot on cast, and success arrives like clockwork. The surreal sound of a cork being pulled from a whiskey bottle, signals to you a trout has sucked in your fly, and you set the hook, and shout “Man, I love that sound”. I bet there’s a lot of guides out there that feel the same way when they call a take for a client during the drift, “get ready, you should get a bite right…….now, bam”. When your client turns to you and asks how you did that, just smile and say it’s your sixth sense.

I’m sure there’s anglers out there that would argue this sixth sense is fictional. That it’s being disguised and nothing more than angler confidence or a lucky guess. To each there own, I personally think I fish better believing in the existence of the sixth sense. I love the feeling of reward it brings me, and it never gets old. Fact or fiction, it’s the closest thing to utopia with a fly rod in hand, and one more reason I’ll fly fish until the day I die.

Who’s with me?

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
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7 thoughts on “Fly Anglers Sixth Sense, Fact or Fiction?

  1. The existence if the 6th “fishing sense” is real.

    And its not limited to fly fishing. It is an ultra-awareness produced by countless hours of experience. It allows us to know the bite is turning on and when its has ended. It allows us to hone our concentration and focus on making the best presentations. It can backfire in the form of the too-quick trigger finger. But I agree, it is as mystical and magical as it is real.

  2. I think what you’re calling a 6th sense is simply your ability to read water, at a glance. To me, a “sixth sense” would be seeing the run you described above, BEFORE you turned the corner to see it. Either way, its all good.

  3. It’s real and I have experienced it more than once while out fly-fishing. It’s so real it weirded me out! I agree 100% with Rich. It wasn’t just reading water. There is a ton of variables when reading water but a sixth sense may not be one of them. I’ll give a for instance. Why did I set the hook, on an upstream toss, on a fish mind you when there was NO indication whatsoever it took my nymph? I don’t go around setting my hook because I’m some sort of spaz or because of an uncontrollable twitch in my right arm. It to this day, still weirds me out. Yes it is real as real as the nose on your face. Just because some may not possess it doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t very real!

  4. It’s real and I have experienced it more than once while out fly-fishing. It’s so real it weirded me out! I agree 100% with Rick. It wasn’t just reading water. There is a ton of variables when reading water but a sixth sense may not be one of them. I’ll give a for instance. Why did I set the hook, on an upstream toss, on a fish mind you when there was NO indication whatsoever it took my nymph? I don’t go around setting my hook because I’m some sort of spaz or because of an uncontrollable twitch in my right arm. It to this day, still weirds me out. Yes it is real as real as the nose on your face. Just because some may not possess it doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t very real!

  5. Read “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell.

    It presents in popular science format research from psychology and behavioral economics on the adaptive unconscious: mental processes that work rapidly and automatically from relatively little information.

  6. It is real and when combined with experience on the river it can seem a bit uncanny. When you combine those two elements with color blindness, you may end up believing that person is a wizzard. My father was color blind and for him the trout stuck out clear as day.

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