Author Topic: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...  (Read 938 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Todd Oishi

  • Administrator
  • 5 Star Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5624
  • Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada
    • View Profile
    • North American Loch-Style Fly Fishing Championship

With so many newcomers entering our sport, I thought it would be helpful if everyone took the time to share a few words of advice and encouragement to help them start off on the right foot and shorten the learning curve...

My best piece(s) of advice would involve the following:

1. Read books, magazines, online articles and blogs, and watch videos relating to techniques that will apply to the venue that you will be competing on (lake fishing, loch-style fishing, Euro nymphing, streamer fishing, dry fly fishing, etc...)
2. Spend time on the water practicing what you've learned.
3. Keep a journal and record your observations and findings (for future reference and asking questions).
4. Visit the competition venue and practice on it if and when it's allowed.
5. Practice your netting skills (equally as important as knowing how to catch the fish).
6. Be organized and reduce clutter in your vest or boat bags.
7. Ask questions and seek advice from those that are catching more fish than you.
8. Be observant and watch what the other competitors are doing differently than you IF they are finding greater success than you.
9. Always have a game plan, and more importantly, have a few backup plans if things aren't working for you!
10. Carry your journal for a quick reference, and write yourself a letter with advice and suggestions for times when things are not going your way!

Please feel free to add a few of your own piece of advice or observations, regardless of your skill level or the number of times that you've competed...
 
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 11:34:58 AM by Todd Oishi »
For me, the quality of a trout is not measured in inches or pounds, but rather by the journey and circumstances that allowed our paths to cross...

Francois Dallaire

  • 5 Star Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 09:11:36 AM »
Take classes.

I took a nymphing class, a dry fly class, and a lake class all from world class angles for a total of 600$ My angling hasnít been the same since. If you arenít willing to dish out a few dollars to learn how to use thousands of dollars worth of equipment all while spending some good time on the water... then I donít know.
Try to get Tom Brady to teach you how to throw a football or Tiger Woods to teach you how to swing a club for 200$.  Let me know how that goes.
Occasionally a world class angler comes in your area offering classes.  Be on that like white on rice.


John Wilkinson

  • 5 Star Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 876
  • Abbotsford BC
    • View Profile
Re: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 10:11:49 AM »
Don't be concerned at first when you don't do well. You are here to learn, observe and enjoy being out on the water with top notch anglers. Stick with it and YOU WILL only get better.

Johnny'sbestadvice

****** The Fish Whisperer ******

Mike Learmonth

  • 5 Star Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 518
    • View Profile
Re: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 11:20:10 AM »
1)   Measure your success appropriately; Example:  A new angler to competition might be tempted to set a results oriented goal. But, I can say from first hand experience that sometimes your worse days results-wise are your most successful days learning-wise. 

2)   Be a sponge; Books, Blogs, Videoís, Clinics, Observation of other anglers. Take it all in.

3)   Surround yourself with anglers that are better than you;Itís always great to get a day on the water with anglers who are better than you.  It gives you direct insight to how they approach things. This could be in a practice session or even during a competition. Iím always watching my boat partners to see how they are solving the same problems that Iím faced with. And, I always watch how other competitors tackle a beat that Iíve just fished to see how they handle it.

4)   Stay level headed through both the highs and lows; Iím a believer in keeping a level head and I think itís a big part of an anglerís success. Never get to high or to low. Just stick with the process and never give up start to finish.

5)   Think and question everything as it relates to your current situation; Donít just do things on auto pilot. Use your head and think through the situations that youíre faced with and decide what adjustments might make sense. Is my leader to long/short? Is my tippet strength appropriate? Is my fly weight appropriate? Does the fly choice suit the water conditions? What retrieve makes sense with this fly pattern? Etc Ö

6)   Understand from the onset in the fly fishing world itís all about the team results; With a team of 5 anglers itís inevitable that one teammate will get a very tough draw compared to another teammate who might get an easier draw. If you fish enough competitions youíll find yourself in both positions over time. Perhaps, better river beats or an easier overall group of competitors. Regardless, both teammates have to preform to earn a good team result. In an easier draw the team will rely on the angler to preform really well Ė perhaps a first or second. In a tougher draw depending on group size, maybe a good result is a 3 or 4? Those will produce very different personal results but in my example both team members have contributed to the team given their predicament. The point is Ö ignore what you canít control (draws) and focus on what you can control (performance) and fish hard for the team result.

7)   Practice everything; I mean everything. Casting accuracy, speed of changing lines in a boat, retying tippet, swapping leaders, landing fish and scoring them etc. After taking a seminar years ago in a classroom we moved out to the river to view the techniques in action. The instructor had to change his tippet length to match the conditions and I was blown away at how fast that happened. For the next week I sat with an old spool of tippet and worked on my finger movements to train my fingers to tie the knot quickly. Also, practice fishing the tougher water or highly pressured water. Don't just go to river and fish the honey holes. Practice different techniques in different water types. I recall a day last year with Kevin where we hit a lake for practice session. The goal of the day was for each of us to find a way to catch a fish on a dry line, an intermediate line, a density compensated line and a sweep line. There were many lessons learned that day that I now carry with me to loch style comps and it's paid off significantly.

8 )   Adapt; All this preparation and then you get to the venue and everything changes! The flies that were working in practice are doing nothing and your boat partner is 5 fish in. The river bank gives away and the river blows out to chocolate milk ... The best anglers seem to be consistently observant of their surrounding and have the ability to adapt their techniques and problem solve not matter what they are faced with. 
Team Kingfisher member

Todd Oishi

  • Administrator
  • 5 Star Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5624
  • Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada
    • View Profile
    • North American Loch-Style Fly Fishing Championship
Re: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 11:25:33 AM »
Never be timid or afraid to enter into the world of competitive fly fishing. Consider each competition as a clinic and way to learn new patterns and productive techniques, and make new friends.

It's equally as important to always remember that the only person that you need to impress or measure your performance against, is yourself...
For me, the quality of a trout is not measured in inches or pounds, but rather by the journey and circumstances that allowed our paths to cross...

Bruce TenHoeve

  • 3 Star Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 26
  • A.K.A. BruceT
    • View Profile
Re: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 11:44:28 AM »
Thanks Todd, even with the couple of Comps i have been able to attend this year due to travel, I think the best part about  the learning process is the camaraderie as well as the competition.
I still haven't learned to tie on new tippet with frozen fingers in 30 mph winds for some reason...thank you for all you guys do helping us noobs.
Always remember to take one more last cast!

Alastair Grogan

  • 5 Star Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
Re: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 11:55:31 AM »
Little things matter.  Such as false casting 2 or 3 times when one or none will do.  Over the course of a 3 hour session that's a lot of fishing time lost, you can only catch fish when your fly is in the water.  Remove scent from your hands before you pick up your rod or tie on your flies, heck, even before you tie your flies.

John Wilkinson

  • 5 Star Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 876
  • Abbotsford BC
    • View Profile
Re: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 01:06:41 PM »
Remove scent from your hands before you pick up your rod or tie on your flies, heck, even before you tie your flies.

There is an old song for this quote  "If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain"  ;D ;D ;D

Also note to rookies don't leave your rod on the dock while you tie ;) :D

Johnnytalker might step on that!
****** The Fish Whisperer ******

Scott Voisin

  • 5 Star Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
Re: Your Best Piece of Advice for a Novice or Rookie Competitor...
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 02:41:58 PM »
I found that one of the main things for me at my first comp was the mental aspect.  Of course you work your plan and adjust while fishing the techniques that you have practiced but I felt like there was one very specific thing that made a difference for me.  I tried to be in the mind set that a bite was imminent at all times throughout each part of the presentation.  I believe that this cut down on missed takes and increased the right hook set for the situation.  When I got distracted by anything such as started looking at where I wanted to cast next I seemed to get a bite and miss those one.  So even when covering "B" water while heading to the "A" water, remember that  if it was worth casting to then it is worth your focus entirely.  A 3 hour session with complete focus throughout was actually somewhat draining but well worth it.

Good things come to those who wade.
instagram.com/mostly_trout