I have been thinking of a subject for my first entry so here goes. I would say that the most important thing to do is get out and fish. I hear people complaining all the time of the difficulties they face getting fishing time. Why? I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that most folks think fly fishing=Trout. That's not the case at all. Fly fishing is my favorite way to spend my free time (bird hunting is a close second), if all I ever fished for was trout I'd get maybe a week or so a year in.
Instead I concentrate my efforts on fisheries that are reasonably close to home. One reservoir I fish is six miles from my house has Bass,Crappie and Bluegill in it. I can be fishing within ten minutes of pulling out of my driveway. Okay that's pretty tame as far as fishing outside the box goes. Well, how about Carp in the local park ponds? There is one where I landed a fifteen pounder not long ago only eighteen miles from me. I know some of you may go Carp blah! Can you think of another freshwater fish that can peel off 40-50 yards of backing?What about hitting the beaches for Surf Perch, Halibut, Yellowfin Croaker, Leopard Sharks that are five feet plus and more! A big Leo will have you wondering if you have enough backing on your 8wt to finish what you started.
The fact that I fish all these areas that are within a half hour or so of my house equates to more fishing time for me. That in turn means more time working on my casting abilities and reading various kinds of water. In the long run these things make a better much more rounded fly fisherman. if that doesn't do it for you how about more time fishing= more fish caught. That ought to grab your attention. After all isn't catching fish the reason we fish? Regardless of the beauty that can be found even in places like the L.A River.
I'll lay off for now but the next time you flub a cast or miss a fish think to yourself, is this due to a lack of practice? If so then the next time you find yourself "wishing you were fishing". Do something about it! Get out there and explore what's in your area. I think you'll be very surprised. You may even find yourself thinking less about Trout and more about that eight pound Bass or a double digit Bonito you want to catch. When all you have is an hour or two you CAN fish. In a lot of cases you can be landing fish and home again in less time than it takes to drive to your favorite Salmonoid spot.