Fly Fishing Resolutions

Fly Fishing Resolutions

Fly Fishing Resolutions

Great photo above of Guide Eric Mondragon fishing with friend Carl and Golden Trout-Dog (TD) a couple years back. This image is what spawned me to write out my fly fishing resolutions. That image signifies all that is good with fly fishing. Outdoors, sunshine, dry flies, pets, friends, boats, the sound of moving water…

Thinking about personal fly fishing goals this past week. Thinking about how to improve the guide product. How to improve my personal skills. And this is the list I cam up with below.

  • I’m gonna cast more. I used to cast 10 minutes daily. And I have let that slide. I still say that a lot as a tool to light a fire under some anglers for them to catch wind of the improvement bug. But the fact is I don’t cast nearly as often as I should. So this year I’m gonna cast 10 minutes daily. Just the fundamentals. More time with the rod in my hand. Not fishing, practicing.
  • Less time with the oars in my hands. Purely for mental relief. And physical relief. Way less row arounds nymphing.
  • Step out of the boat more often. A goal the last couple years. Still more work to do. Better for angler learning. The boat can be used a crutch for anglers. More and better learning out of the boat. Yes, good times in the boat. But, more time on foot. Wandering, casting, enjoying, learning.
  • And yes, more fishing. More swinging, more dry fly, more fishing.
  • Smile more. Less confrontation. Let it all slide off the back. If an angler is an asshole, I cannot change that in him or her. They are just assholes, and will always be an asshole. If they come in too close, low hole me, or practice bad fishing etiquette…may they burn in hell. But who am I to try to softly, politely educate them. I have proven over and over that approach does not work. That angler is beyond reproach. And that is OK. Nothing I say or do, in any manner is gonna change that. So the alternative is to smile, pull anchor, move downhill, and hope their boat sinks.
  • Launch the boat earlier.
  • Fish Mountain Palace to Pelican more often.
  • Improve my teaching skill set.
  • Write better articles. May be a pipe dream, but a thought.
  • Safety was my guide boat objective last season. Continue to practice safe boat and client behaviors.
  • Bleach my hair blonde again. Makes me feel younger.
  • Do a better job at understanding what the fishing guest truly wants from the day. I tend to try to teach, raise the level of the angler, and some do not want that. A better understanding of guest objectives. Learn how to shut my mouth if the angler just wants me to row the damn boat. All pays the same bro.’
  • Drink at Joe’s Bar more. Meaning, a couple more nights.
  • Drink more Margarita’s at Izaaks. And eat more Chicken Wings.
  • Recognize that everybody does not want to learn. Truth. Some are comfortable where they are currently at. And that is OK. Some do not want to improve, learn new skills, or dry fly fish. Some anglers are in it for pure entertainment. And that is OK. I have long known that all anglers do not want to ascend to the dry fly snob level. Continue to remind myself of that. I truly know that. And, that is still OK.
  • Fish a spent caddis more often.
  • Prove to anglers that Presentation is King. Oh, been trying that for years. Works on some.
  • Do more conservation work.
  • Cast left handed every time I should.
  • Re-center my fly fishing chi. Could this be done while at Joe’s?

And that is most of them I can recall thinking about. There may be a couple more. They will come.

And you the reader? You must have a few Fly Fishing Resolutions?

Any good ones?


Fly Fishing Resolutions
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  • dan from ohio
    January 13, 2020 7:10 am

    Trout on dries will always be my first love, and I still remember how, when, and where I caught my very first…Montana is my home away from home, and the Mo is the friend’s couch I sleep on when I am out there… I have recently resolved, however, to get back to chasing some of the other species I use to pursure before my fixation on trout, to travel and to explore a bit more, and to try to add a few more new experiences to this fishing life along the way… My “rules” are still the same- It has to be with a fly or spey rod, and on a fly that I made… Apart from that- try my best to live a quiet, peaceful life.

  • No, I gave up on that silliness long time ago. “However, having said that,”,” (intentional) I do plan on “trying” to STOP saying – “However, having said that.” ! !
    Were you “thinking about ALL this while drinking at Joe’s or Izaaks?
    At this spot, I’d toss in a boat photo with a dog, circa 2018 on the MO. but don’t know if that is a thing here? Could/should be?
    Interesting, dot #5 “smile more . . . and hope their boat sinks.” A bit contradictory, if I may suggest; in the good name of classic Lou’s (attempt?) dry humor/sarcasm. Not sure how much of your “so far” list is serious or humorous, and I find myself wondering, which is confusing (to me) cause I always wind-up writing with sarcasm – I think it is my nature, could be that “New York State of Mind,” ha ha.
    Liking the idea of fishing further down river -when Mike guided me those 1/2 days back in Oct. I came to that conclusion also – expand my horizons, get away from the “maddening crowds,” and as you say, and I’ve always loved, listening to the flowing water. Mike, if your listening, thanks, and I would NEVER impede on a Guides right to make a living on the water! That flowing water is so peaceful, as long as it’s not accompanied by the sound of a big semi hauling down the Interstate, ugh, ruins it all.
    Blond Hair eh? Hope my previous post comment didn’t “spawn” you into needing to look younger, ha ha again.
    Have not seen that “ugly side” of you, or anyone else at the tiny fly shop – hope I never “spawn” reasons for it either. I TRY to have Good Intensions . . . but you know we’re all human and prone to oops-things up once in a while!
    By the way most of this entry IS supposed to be sarcastic & humorous . . . no original ideas have been “spawned” yet!

    This was fun . . . now how can I possibly improve on my casting stroke? I thought it was near perfect 20 years ago !?. Take care Mark and the gang of (what?) 4? 6? .

  • Mark thanks for the motivating and wise insights.

  • Well said Ann thanks for the reminder. Tight lines.

  • I agree that Mark’s resolutions indicate a wise and generous soul. My own resolution (for the Missouri) is to heed the priceless advice given so often on this blog by Mark, John, and their amazing crew.

  • What the hell is the correct distance one should allow as to not be accused of low holing?

    • Great question. I know 75′ is too close. All of these rules are unwritten, subjective, and messy! If both crafts are drifting, out of sight is the rule. If the craft is on anchor, or a wade angler is standing in the river, or an angler is fishing a streamer walking downstream, or swinging a fly…you should start fishing above the angler.

      Starting below, lowholing, an angler fishing has always been inappropriate.

      Grat question. Conversation, communication, with the other angler is the best answer.

      All subjective really. Another approach is to go up and speak with the angler or boat, and have a conversation. Then both parties are involved. Consequently positive outcomes!

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