|The conversation below involving tarpon sparked this post. |
I am going into this season with a different approach than before. I am going to focus on doing the things I know have worked in the past but doing them better than before.
I am aware of the most common mistakes we all make when feeding tarpon. I make these same mistakes and they cost me fish when I do. Here they are but not necessarily in the order of importance. I am going to focus more on these things and less on new stuff on the scene.
1. When fish are passing at an angle to my position I sometimes place the fly to far beyond the projected path of the fish. If it's not retrieved in the path in time or done to quickly out of necessity there comes a point when the fly is chasing the opposite side of the face of the fish. In other words, fly chasing fish verses fish chasing fly.
2. Stay relaxed. I find myself pushing to fast and to hard. That's cool at my age that I can still get that excited about this sport but it isn't helpful to fishing well.
3. My first job is to get the tarpons attention with fly movement. Only after that is done can I begin feeding the fish.
4. Measure the speed, distance and depth of the fish before casting. Only by doing this can I determine the lead of the fish.
5. Whatever I see when a fish eats is of less importance than what I feel in my hands. Keep stripping and keep the rod in the same posture until the fish turns and the line comes tight. I can do better on this.
6. While head on shots are great it calls for much more precise casting.
7. Don't cast to approaching fish too soon. I find myself doing this. Fish meander and an early stretch cast my not be on target or the fish turn on another path. I am going to view my fly rod as a single shot shotgun. One shot only.
8. Be constantly mindful of line management.
9. Take shots that are only high percentage plays when fish are pushing hard
10. Improve my ability to laugh at myself when I screw up.
I've got a hunch if I can do these things better my success ratio will improve beyond trying to find the next rock star fly or new slim knot on the scene. That's my game plan. Hope it works