I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have to check myself. I have to take note and avoid falling into the trap, the lazy trap, of going through the motions, and not fishing properly.
Typically at day’s end, or when fishing in less than ideal conditions, ones mind starts to wander.
The most classic symptoms of this are probably:
- starting to retrieve the fly too fast
- lifting off to cast earlier than you should: not fishing the cast out
- Moving to a new spot and failing to fish the water under your feet, but just casting “out there”
- not bothering to change fly or line, even when you know that conditions dictate that you should, but it is nearly home time, or lunch time, etc.
- fishing a stream faster and faster, and skipping what you tell yourself are “marginal spots”
- failing to stalk and fish the tails of the pools, instead going straight to the sweet spot up in the throat of the pool.
There may be some more that are not popping into my mind right now, but I think you get the idea.
It is day’s end, or about to rain, or your fishing pal is up ahead and you feel you ought to catch up with him, so you hurry past some good pocket water, your eyes fixed up ahead to see where he is.
These situations all conspire to rob you of rewarding fly-fishing experiences.