We have introduced quite a lot of people to fly fishing over the years and we have noticed that everyone does the same thing when the fishing gets hard. They immediately want to change what they are doing. Yes, this can work sometimes, an educated change of method, location or flies can be very successful and if you are an experienced angler you have the tools at your disposal to do this effectively. For the novice, this is not so easy. For the novice we reccomend this: Do one thing and do it well. This mantra could also be followed by many experienced anglers.
Confidence is key.
In our experience, the main thing to focus on when it gets hard is your own confidence. If you are confident that every cast you make could catch a fish and you stick to one method and pattern you have confidence in then you are going to fish a lot better than chopping and changing every 5 minutes and living in the unknown.
Keep it simple.
Apart from the above, there are also a few other things that you can do when the fishing gets hard. Most of these are relevant for river and lake Trout fishing.
- Go smaller - Drop down a couple of fly sizes and see if that helps.
- Go deeper - Often when lakes have seen a lot of pressure fish will go down deeper in the water column, so get the sinking lines out and fish a few feet deeper.
- Stay back - Try and stay out of the water particularly in areas of calm water. As soon as you step in that water the fish will know you are there.
- Go longer - Us a longer leader and if you are fishing more than one fly then increase the distance between them.
The fish are always there, although it may feel like it, they don't just suddenly disappear. If you persevere you will catch them.