07/13/12

Insects and other foods the trout should be eating:
Hatching:
1.    BWOs (Eastern)
2.    Green Sedges (Caddisflies)
3.    Cream Cahills
4.    Little Yellow Stoneflies (Little Summer Stones)
5.    Slate Drakes
6.    Little Green Stoneflies

Most available/ Other types of food:
7.    Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
8.    Inch Worm (moth larva)
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Ants

What the difference in a truly good angler and a mediocre angler?
I got an email the other day from a friend of mine who has a fly fishing site that went
something like this. He said a gentleman had written him saying that he had caught a good
number of fish during the past month on a certain fly. The man had tied the particular fly
himself, in this case some type of wet fly, and was catching trout on it. I'm sure he was very
proud of it.

Certainly I can understand that. I've tied a few flies, created a lot more than I have tied, as
well as made a lot of different types of lures. I had my own line of lures for mackerel at one
time - a spinnerbait lure for kings that worked great. I even had a line of bass worms
packaged by Don Mann at Southern Plastics that carried my name for a few years. They
made soft plastic lures for many different companies including his brother, Tom Mann's
Manns Bait Company. It was always a little exciting to catch a fish on a new fly or lure I had
come up with. For those that tie their own flies, I'm sure that's a big part of the fun of the
sport for them.

The friend, of course, knowing we had Perfect Flies and hundreds of our own fly patterns,
thought I may be interested in the guy's fly, thinking that if the guy was catching the fish he
claimed he was catching on it, it would interest me. When I replied to the email and asked
him what the fly was intended to imitate, he said the man didn't say. My reply to that probably
didn't sound very nice or thankful for his tip, although I didn't mean it like it probably read.

It took me several years to really begin to understand what is important about
fishing success as well as what isn't important.
I got a heck of a lot of good hints during
the four years I spent fishing the pro BASS circuit. I paid a great deal for that education
because if you added up my expenses for 26 week long tournaments versus winnings, it
would be a negative figure. I paid dearly for one lesson after another. That wasn't my full
time job (thank God) although it represented at least a good half of my time from 1976 to
1980.

The IRS declares something your profession when more than half you income is derived
from it and that certainly wasn't my case. I was also a general contractor during that time and
it didn't run a negative profit like my "professional" fishing experience did. Many of the guys I
fished with and competed against did earn their living from fishing.
You don't do that very
long relying on luck.
Many were very professional at how they approached fishing the
tournaments.

I found myself doing more saltwater fishing than bass fishing the last year I fished the
B.A.S.S. tournaments and I started the first ever syndicated TV Series on saltwater fishing
near the end of 1980. I did about one out of ten programs fishing freshwater but the series
ran 52 weeks a year and for 4 straight years. I think that totals 208 fishing programs. You
don't do one and not catch any fish. You don't blame the weather or anything else.
You
catch fish or you don't have a show.
Doing that gave me the opportunity to fish with
many more very good professional anglers, captains and mates. In fact, it gave me the
opportunity to fish with the best of the best in many different areas of the Eastern
Hemisphere.

After that, an inactive partner and I started two video magazines, and I continued doing the
same thing with that for the next two years.
That was more than a full time job. It was a
seven day a week continuous job of fishing, again, with the best of the best and in that case,
about equal amounts of fresh and saltwater fishing. I had to produce a 2 hour long video on
saltwater and another one on freshwater every three months.

From that point on, I signed an agreement with Bennett Marine Video of Marina del Ray
California and continued to make fishing programs, this time purely instructional videos on
both saltwater and freshwater fishing. That amounted to 46 instructional videos on fishing,
about that many on boating, and many on boating electronics such as loran, GPS, sonar and
radar. I did that full time up until the late 1990s and on a gradual decreasing basis up until
this past year. During that same time span I fished the professional Kingfish Circuit
tournaments for four years and another saltwater circuit involving varies species of saltwater
fish. In addition to that, I fished over a hundred and fifty other different offshore and inshore
saltwater tournaments during that ten to twelve year time span.

From 1999 up until now, Angie and i have produced 18 fly fishing videos. Up until the last
four years, we were fly fishing from coast to coast regularly and for seven years over 200
days a year. There were three years we actually fished more than that. Most of the time, we
were fly fishing by ourselves and in some cases with a cameraman along. We did have the
opportunity to fish with several very good fly anglers during that time.

All of the above resume was to try to make this one point meaningful.
Somewhere
between the pro bass tournaments and about half way though the TV series, I
learned how to quickly tell the difference in a truly professional angler and all the
others. I also learned the key elements that made them professional and where
and why the others fell short of being as good as the true professionals.

That is what I am going to write about in a new series I'm going to call "How to Become a
Better Angler".
Copyright 2012 James Marsh