07/30/12

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

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

How To Become A Better Angler - Part 6 - Knowing The Difference
Somewhere along the line in my early fishing experiences during the time I was fishing the national BASS
tournament circuit in the late 1970's, the difference in those who really were very good anglers and those
that professed to be began to be quite obvious. I don't remember exactly when I began to be able to
determine the difference fairly quickly, but it was sometime after I had fished the circuit for the first two or
three years. After having the opportunity to fish with several truly good anglers, as well as many of those
that professed to be but wasn't, it soon became fairly easy to determine the difference. Certain type of clues
about those who really knew what they were doing and those who didn't, started to become rather obvious.
Let me explain.

When I first started fishing the professional bass tournaments, I thought I was just as good of a bass
fisherman as anyone I was competing against. I had a lot of experience and I had caught large numbers of
very big bass that others were envious of. However, It didn't take but a few national bass tournaments to
figure out I wasn't among the top anglers. I got beat pretty regularly. I was usually better than the majority of
the three-hundred contestants, but I wasn't in the same league of many of the top anglers that regularly
fished the circuit. I also picked up on the fact it was the same ones beating me. Given the opportunity, it
didn't take me very long to start asking questions. After the first two or three years, some rather big clues
about the various types of anglers began to become very obvious. In many cases, it was easy to distinguish
those anglers who were really knew what they were doing and those who didn't from just listening to them
discuss the following day's strategy.

The night before the first tournament day and each afternoon after each of the weigh-ins, anglers were
paired with a different partner for each of the three tournament days. A flip of a coin usually decided who's
boat was going to be used but irrespective of which boat was used, each angler had equal rights as to
where to fish. A discussion usually took place regarding the strategy for the following day. In some cases, I
was able to make a quick determination regarding the angler I was paired with by just listening to them talk
about their three days of practice, and/or their experience the first day of two of the tournament.  

The put it in a simple, understandable few sentences, those anglers that placed emphasis on
"where" they
were fishing,
"when" (the time of day) they wanted to fish certain places, as well as the strategy they
intended to use,
seemed to always catch enough bass to end up at the top of the standings.

Those that centered their discussion around the particular
"lure" they were using, or that they heard or
knew for a fact someone else was using,
didn't usually do very well.

At some point, the truly good anglers would either tell you or you would soon see what lure they were using
but  the lure was never their prime focus.
 In fact, on many occasions the lures used varied depending
on "where" and "when" they fished certain areas and different types of cover and water. When I drew
someone who hadn't ever placed high in the standings, about the first thing they wanted to discuss was the
lure they were fishing. The first questions they had for me were usually centered around the lures I was
using. Putting what I could write a book about into a few, short paragraphs, I'll just say that after the first
three or so years of fishing the pro BASS Circuit,
it was obvious that finding the bass, knowing what
they were feeding on, and when they were feeding on it, was the key to success.
The particular
lure you used to imitate that food does become an important factor but only after you first determine
what
you should be trying to imitate, where you should be imitating it and when (time of day or the conditions)
you should be imitating it. Once I learned to prioritise things like those that were consistently successful, I
became a much better bass angler. Just for information, there was another huge factor involved. I also
learned that owning and running a construction company while attempting to compete against those that
fished the bass tournaments exclusively on a full time basis was a huge disadvantage.  

Around 1980, when I begin to fish full time almost exclusively for saltwater species, the exact same thing
quickly became obvious. In 1981, after I had grown a TV show that began in a few local TV markets to the
first ever nationally syndicated TV show on saltwater fishing, I again had the opportunity to fish with the best
of the best. It didn't take me three years of fishing the salty water to quickly learn to distinguish the
difference in the professional and those that thought they were. I begin to recognize the same big obvious
clues each time I fished with a different, well noted captain, mate and/or angler.
This happened 52 weeks
a year for four straight years
fishing in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific and later, in several other
countries. In the next few articles I will write about a few of these experiences to illustrate the point.

Now please keep in mind that none of this is to say that the lure or bait you use isn't important. It
is to say that the lure or bait selection should always follow in terms of priority, "where" to fish and "when" to
fish there. "How" to fish should always follow those two things.

Very soon I will also write about some experiences I had over the years producing and hosting saltwater
instructional fishing video programs that follow along the exact same lines. I hope you find it important.
More of my programs on saltwater fishing have been sold than those of anyone else in the
World.

Yes, I will soon get to how the same exact thing is applicable to fly fishing for trout
and any other
fish for that matter. When you see, hear or read about someone that's been successful fly fishing for trout,
offering advice that is focusing mostly on the fly they used in priority to everything else, be aware you are
waisting your time. Unless it happens by pure coincidence, that person most likely isn't a very good angler,
much less anywhere near the professional level.

The fly becomes important only after you know exactly what it is you should
be imitating and exactly where and when you should be imitating it.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh