Teaching yourself to fish is probably one of the most discouraging and difficult things to do.

When there is no one to tell you what the fish want, where the fish sit in the rivers, or even how to cast, confidence is the last emotion you feel.















But in reality, it needs to be your first! No one ever said fishing was easy. If it was, they would call it catching.

Before you head to the river in search of anything with a fin, you want to do your homework. It’s okay to go where you know the fish are when you’re new. How can you be confident in what you do, if you never see any fish hooked? Research the location you fishing. Find good access points and check the water conditions. Both current flows, and average flows for that river. Know the species you are targeting and try to read to find out what those fish are enticed by. Check out forums and reports and see what others are catching them on. Practice casting in the back yard or a park instead of the river as you can avoid MANY frustrations on the river.

When you are ready to get to the water, don’t be afraid to sit and observe other anglers. Especially if they are catching fish! There have been many days on the river, where I might watch more than fish only to go home and look up everything I can about a new technique I saw that day trying to analyze every piece of information. If you meet friendly people on the river, don’t be afraid to ask questions! You will find that the river is one of the easiest places to make friends with little effort, and gain immense amounts of knowledge.

When you are finally ready to venture out on your own and apply all of your newfound knowledge, go with confidence! As with almost everything in life, fishing is typically most effective when you have faith in yourself. When you know you are fishing correctly, presenting perfectly, and giving it 100%, you will succeed far more than “hoping” you will hook something. The best way to start is to learn just one technique at a time and master each one as you go. Keep the mindset “if there is a fish laying in this run, I will catch it”.

The learning is endless with fishing and there will always be new bait or a new technique to try. Don’t let yourself get discouraged by a few slow days on the river. You always go home having learned more than you would have had you not gone at all!

~ Bry