Part III: Fly Fishing for beginners - I wish I was told this when I started

Posted by Christopher Paine on


When you are fishing you need to be as quiet as possible. Fish can hear you from a long ways away, and between shadows and noise that is your worst enemy. Whether it is in a boat banging oars around or charging into a pool of water where you know trout are feeding, stealth (being quiet) is the best approach. The lateral line talked a while back on this blog, is a special sensory organ that a fish uses to feel vibrations in the water. To a fish vibration means danger is close and time to find shelter and hid.

Trying too hard

Casting as far as you can when you first hit a pool or stream will only end up spooking fish. Fish will spook if you smack the water with your fly line because you tried to reach the far shore line on your very first cast. Or caught at tree. Trying to wade fast moving water or water that is just too deep. You will end up either swimming or so slips and splashes. Taking your boat into heavy water than designed for will surlily end in a disaster. Fly fishing is not an extreme sport, take your time and be safe.


Birds of prey, hawks, eagles, ospreys all are careful on how they cast a shadow. I seen osprey at high noon swoop down between me and another fly fishermen on the shore line to take a trout. Used the sun to their advantage. These created fish are like I said very shy when it comes to shadows. Casting shadows into a trout pool will send them scattering. Birds of prey know better on how to approach a pool so not to cast a shadow!


Wearing bright or white clothes or hats is a big mistake. I hunt trout sneaking up at times to trout pools to keep a low profile and avoid shadows and silhouette. Fish do look up to feed but out and notice the shoreline. Foam on the water makes an excellent shelter for trout to hid and watch from in or out of the water. The duller the color the better your chances of catching fish. Many time during hunting season you have to where two articles of orange and when you are out on a river and brook you still need to. Hunting season is the only time I wear bright close other than that…

Why should you buy a license

I don’t mind paying for a fishing license. Having public access, stocking different species programs, disease control, and junior programs are all paid for with the money that is give to have the privilege to fish in whichever state you live in. In the past age of government downsizing, you can be sure that legislators would go after fund which spent on fishing programs, if fishermen were not on the pay as you go system we have today.

The rules change from state to state, but mostly children and senior citizens do not have to pay for the privilege to fish. A growing number do require to have now a salt water fishing license. I know Maine is okay with just buying one or the other to fish both fresh and salt water. But that may change. All state require you to have your license on you person while fishing. I carry two a digital version on my phone and a paper version in my wallet just in case.

If you are from away you will need to purchase at least a three day license to fish in state. I don’t know why it is higher for an out of stater to fish than a local fisherman. But don’t fight it is the law. You don’t need the hassle of paying for finds while you are here. Just creates more problems out on the water. Best to leave those kind of problems at home and enjoy your fishing trip legally.

One year as a joke I went to a local fishing supply store in state and bought a hat. I was out on the dam the next day fishing with my son. People fishing on both sides of me. Warden came and checked the first group to the left of me for licenses. He stopped and talked with us for a while and went to my right and check their licenses. Then he came back to me and my son. Said good luck and started to leave. I said wait a minute you didn’t check my license? The warden said you got a license I don’t like your hat and smiled and walked off. I forgot my had said “Registered Maine poacher”!




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