This weeks topics transcends tactical methods and goes back to the roots for most anglers. It is utterly important to be an optimistic angler, regardless of the current outcome and conditions. Nothing catches more fish than a fly in the water presented in the best manner that the angler is capable. A common term would be a "confidence fly," which is a great sublet of the big picture. Fish bite more at times than others, to what extent is difficult to truly pinpoint. No matter the status of the bite, you are likely in a beautiful place spending time outside. (See above) So be focused on your prize, and optimistic on your next cast because you have to no reason to be otherwise!
Showing up prepared typically sees better results. Pair a prepared angler with an optimistic mindset and you have one fishy person. This means food, apparel, and tackle has been contemplated and is present prior to the entering the ring. To this point, an angler can do no more. Much more season anglers can easily be out-fished by a lesser seasoned angler who is keeping their eye on the prize. Fly in the water is a good place to start.
The third and final stone being turned this Tuesday goes back to karma. Fish gods. Juju. Whatever you want to call it. The two beautiful Missouri River brown trout were caught yesterday by the lovely Naomi Pardee. One clearly more slender and having spawned, one thick and clean yet to have spawned. Spawning is over months, not just a week in October. Whatever fishery you are on, minus hatchery programs, is depending on wild fish reproducing effectively for it to remain a fishery in the future. Around southwest Montana, it has become a "thing" to target giant wild trout during their spawning runs. Fishing in the fall means the brown trout WILL BE SPAWNING in their respected spots. Most rivers, that is the same spot it has been for many seasons. Rather than risk messing with wild fish reproduction, consider steering clear all together and fishing places where they are definitely NOT SPAWNING. Lakes, ponds, mainstem rivers... To name a few.
Fishing is a blood sport no matter how you shake. Fish caught and released will die because of it. Beyond pinched barbs and proper handling, allowing them the best chance to reproduce successfully is an even better way of preserving fisheries. We have recently seen stretches of river that were once closed to protect fish spawning opened up. That doesn't mean it is a great idea to swing minnows across the shallows. That big hen? Her eggs broke on that epic hookset, bro. That hookjawed male? He clouded up the river after that sweet tarpon-like headshake.
Keeping hooks away from the horny fish will do amazing things for your karma!
At least it can't hurt. Show up with your ducks in a row next time you go fishing with a positive outlook and you will reap the rewards with a wet net!
Hard strikes please,
Dirty Water Dan