Friday, October 26, 2012

I don't know what I don't know.......

This blog was started to learn about fly-fishing and while I am more knowledgeable thanks to many of you I can't help but feel that if I was cornered and asked some fundamental concepts I am not so sure I could answer them properly.

Part of the problem is that I fish alone and it is difficult to self evaluate and then take the proper corrective action. In order to help address this I have joined a local chapter of TU to attend meetings and learn from more experienced folks. I understand there are opportunities to join members on outings and the expectation is get real time feedback.

I love reading and it is a starting point but it doesn't replace actually getting experience fishing.

This is where the blog title comes in................

If some of the more experienced fly fishers among you where going to write an exam about basic fly-fishing for relatively new participants, then what questions would you include on that test? Please include the answers.

Also, if you were going to write a book, then what would the name of the chapters be and the highlights of those chapters?

Part of this is for my edification but I would guess that it would be helpful for others who may struggle to explain some concepts when newbies ask them a question.




  1. Ed, I learn every time I go out. I fish 99% of the time alone. The fish will tell you what your doing right...actually you did everything right just going fishing.

    The best book you can buy to help you get it down right. "The Curtis Creek Manifesto"

  2. Thanks Alan.

    I will grab it off Amazon later today. Heading afield shortly to try and get some pheasants this morning.

  3. Hey Ed. I gauge my ability by whether or not I catch fish. Like Alan, I fish alone most of the time, but there is an advantage that as you don't have anyone telling you what you're doing right or wrong and as long as you're catching fish, you're probably doing it right.

    1. Hi Mark....thanks.

      Lately the problem has been I haven't caught fish.

      In addition to actually catching fish as a measure of success I am looking to increase my knowledge about tackle (e.g. when to use different tippet sizes) and things like that.

      Like you and Alan I do enjoy fly-fishing by myself and maybe I should change my grading scale. :)

  4. Mac, I agree with what Alan said. Experience is the best teacher. Curtis Creek Manifesto will help and well as entertain you.

    1. Hey Howard.....I agree about experience but I am trying to compress the learning curve. :)

      After this storm passes Wednesday, I am going to order Curtis Creek Manifesto and read it over the winter. I may make my way out to the Berkshires area during the winter and see how much I learned. The Swift River and Miller River are located in western MA and I have heard you can fly-fish them all year. I will have to check to see if the Deerfield, Westfield or Housatonic Rivers are open too.

      Thanks as always.

  5. Ed,
    I learned much the same way you did. Reading, asking questions, and going fishing. The main thing being going fishing. Of course I think to improve the learning you need to catch fish in order to learn what you did right. Around where we live Ed the streams can be tough once the stocking season is over. There are still fish there but they are few and far between and very spooky. You need to fish somewhere with a larger population. The swift is great but it can still be tough.

    I learned to fish in Pittsburgh. It might be worth taking a trip up there. The hired a guide for a half a day. Learned what to do and then went out on my own. I caught fish I learned some techniques. It was great. ANother option might be to call Ken Elmer he knows where to catch fish this time of year and his rates a very reasonable.


  6. Hi Mike.....nice to hear from you. Thanks for the feedback.

    Do you mean Pittsburgh NH? As for the Swift, I may give Ken a call.

    How is the storm impacting you? We lost power for a few hours but nothing major.

  7. We were lucky Ed and never lost power. Yep meant Pittsburgh, NH. It is a fun place with lots of fish. I am also thinking with all the rain we had the Wachusett salmon might be on the move. I hooked into one 4 weeks ago and he broke me off after a quite the aerial show. Of course with all the rain it will be crowded too.


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