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How to Avoid 3 Common Flyfishing Mistakes

How to Avoid 3 Common Flyfishing Mistakes

In flyfishing, four common mistakes seem to affect anglers, regardless of whether they are beginners or seasoned pros. These common errors can be frustrating and can impact an angler’s success and enjoyment. So, we’ve comprised a list of four common flyfishing mistakes and how to avoid them:

Not Knowing How to Read the Water

You don’t have to have an in-depth knowledge of a body of water’s features to find fish. You only need to remember two simple things that drive trout behavior in any area: first, a consistent source of food that requires little to no energy expenditure, and second, protection from predators. 

Converging currents, pools, and rocks are opportunities for trout to sit in slower moving water while being located nearby faster currents where they can get food. In addition, rocks, undercut banks, and overhanging trees also serve as cover from birds and other predators above the water surface.

Being Intimidated by Fly Selection

If you arrive at a new piece of water and don’t know what is hatching, don’t get intimidated! Just stick to the classics when you choose which fly to get. 

When unsure, opt for the regulars: the Prince Nymph, Hare’s Ear Nymph, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, or a Wooly Bugger. All these patterns represent different aquatic species, and each one will most likely work in a piece of water at any time. 

If there is a clear hatch, but you’re unsure which one it is, you can try an Adams dry fly. You may also switch between colors and sizes until you figure out what the trout are feeding on. 

Improper Presentation and Hook Sets

When fly fishing, aim to let as many trout as possible see your fly so you can catch more fish by the end of the day. Some anglers choose to retrieve their fly if it’s not successful even before the end of their drift. To attain better chances of catching, keep your fly in the water for as long as you can manage.

In addition, set your hook often at any slight feeling of tension or hesitation in your fly. Trout takes can be quick and delicate, almost as fast as a split-second hesitation in your drift. The worst that could happen is your fly getting off a rock or a stick, while the best-case scenario is you’ve engaged with a stealthy trout.


Even the most experienced angler will encounter mistakes, such as missing a fish, catching a tree, or making a bird’s nest tangle. The important thing is that you don’t get discouraged. Frustration will only result in more mistakes and make you more irritated. So, just brush off minor errors, regroup, and get back to fishing.

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