“Don't just focus on the fish”. You probably think that is a weird statement coming from a guide. Maybe so, but let me tell you why I make the Statement. I've been fishing most of my life, starting in Tennessee as a child to present day in Texas. I've been a full time guide for the last 10 years and I've been blessed to meet and observe many anglers. I've fished with professionals to the first time anglers. During that time I've noticed the anglers who catch the most fish and enjoy themselves the most are the anglers that take it all in.
They are enjoying the fresh air, wildlife, plant life, sounds of the river, the reflections on the river, shape of rocks, and even the numerous insects. They take the whole experience in. As a result they are more relaxed, and aware of the things going on around them. Let me point out a few ways this improves the fishing aspect of the trip.
· Relaxing improves the casting & presentation. Stress and tension will cause jerky casts & sloppy presentations.
· Watching the wildlife is not only relaxing & beautiful but it can give you many clues to where the fish are. Just like the coast we have many bird predators, which are always looking for a tasty fish. Diving Cormorants (water turkeys) will always be where the fish are, Ospreys are always gliding above areas that are holding fish.
· Looking at the plant life can be a excellent way to spot a spider web which holds terrestrial insects, and colors that the fish are keying on.
· Watching the reflections on the surface can lead to spotting a fish in an area that does not normally hold fish. It also leads to spotting the beginning of a hatch. Dry fly fishing can be very productive if you catch the beginning of a hatch when they can spot your fly vs. boiling off by the thousands when your fly is just one of 10,000 bugs in the drift.
· Examining an interesting rock in the river can give you clues to what aquatic life is prevalent in the river.
· Listening to the sounds can alert you to near by Ospreys or a rising fish.
These are just a very few examples, but if you will focus on every thing around you & just relax, don’t focus on any one thing, your fishing will improve. If you take the focus off of just catching a fish, you will ultimately catch more fish.
Get out and enjoy Gods creation and relax.