The first and most important consideration in fly fishing is attitude. This took me some time to learn. Believe it when I tell you, “it’s not all about the fish.” They’re in there, alright, but to keep it pleasurable and avoid major frustration or disappointment, be prepared for the possibility that, despite the fancy rod and creel and the perfect fly, they don’t always come out to play. Doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Maybe the water’s still a tad cloudy, or the sun’s just too hot and bright, or the sky clouds up and the light changes, or the water’s too warm, or yada yada yada—who knows why.
On days like this, respect the will of the river. Clearly, you’re not in charge. Consider it a privilege to be where you are in that moment, rather than anywhere else in the world, and know that maybe you needed this day on the water for more reasons than just catching fish.
Before you head off, do a little research on the waters you’re facing, and listen to the weather forecast. Be prepared because, in Montana, anything can happen. A sunny day can end in a hailstorm, so always take your fleece jacket. Buy a pair of polarized sunglasses so you can see past the glare and into the water. In fact, always wear sunglasses when fishing, to protect your eyes from contact with a wayward hook.
A pair of non-slip river sandals, so you won’t fall down when landing that big Cutbow you worked all day to catch is also a great idea. And get a lightweight vented fishing-shirt to throw over your t-shirt, when mornings are cool, or the mosquitos come out, or the afternoon sun burns your neck and arms. Carry plenty of sunscreen—the unscented kind—fish are sensitive to smell. Keep your hands clean. A lightweight brimmed hat, to protect your ears, is helpful, too.
Keith Palmquist is a Real Estate Broker, and the owner of RiverBend Realty in Bigfork, Montana. Keith and his family moved to the Flathead Valley in 1993, from a small town in Kansas. A twenty year veteran-professional with a proven marketing and multi-million dollar Flathead Valley sales record, Keith has experience with all price points and types of real estate transactions.
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