By Caleb Pomante
Fly fishing is full of things you don’t really want to do. Changing flies, adding tippet, adding split shot, and changing leader all lump under the category of fly fishing’s “I don’t want to’s.” I’d much rather have a rig set up and ready to go so that all I have to do is focus on casting and presentation. For the past three years, as I began my fly fishing journey, I would often go out and fish a whole day with the exact same setup, only changing flies when I broke off on a snag. I’d watch other fly fishermen fish the exact same holes and catch fish while I’d be stuck wondering what I was doing wrong. I would often ask them what they were using and then try and match it. This sometimes merited a few fish, but I knew I was still missing something as I never had a day where I was catching them hand over fist. After watching countless fly fishing videos online, and reading dozens of articles by well-experienced fly fishermen, I saw they all did one thing in common— adjust their presentation constantly while on the water. I had always heard people talk about how changing flies or adding weight could make all the difference, but I never really gave it much thought because I found those things to be annoying.
I know now that this was a huge mistake on my part. Instead of changing spots, I should have been changing my presentation. Just making a simple adjustment like adding weight or changing flies really can be the difference between a bad day and a good one. After finally becoming aware of my costly mistake, I started to make more adjustments on the water and it paid off big time. Going from catching zero fish to several in such a short span of time was mind-blowing to me. Now, instead of asking other fishermen what they were doing, having them ask me for advice was a great feeling of pride and satisfaction.
Now, I don’t leave a hole without exhausting most of my resources first. If you’re going to have a vest or pack loaded with hundreds of flies and other gadgets, you should at least try and use them. The two biggest things I look for when I make an adjustment are whether it changes either the size or the depth of my presentation. I’ve found that most of the time, the fish are there, you just have to figure out what size forage they are eating and at what depth they are feeding. Once you figure out both pieces of the puzzle, something seems to click and fish start pouring in by the dozen. I’ve been amazed by just how many fish are in holes that many anglers deem to be fish ghost towns. Oftentimes, these types of holes are actually the best on the river, as long as you aren’t afraid to adjust and discover the pattern for that particular day of fishing. This is one of the many reasons I love fly fishing; it never gets old or boring because there will always be something new to learn, a new pattern to discover, and more adjustments to be made.
Bio: Caleb Pomante is a devoted fly tyer and fisherman. He enjoys the outdoors, baseball, and fly fishing. He lives in North Carolina and loves his family and highly values his faith in God. Caleb is a very creative person and likes building and trying new things. He is currently working on expanding his fly tying repertoire and concocting new and exciting fly patterns and of course, fishing as much as possible.