Fishing Style

Fishing Style

I thought I would share some thoughts on fishing style. I feel it is a neglected topic relating to our sport.

We often have discussions about personal theory or technique. There are books on fly fishing and seminars. To a novice this material might seem like prophecy, but most of it is just a narrow generalized window of what makes an angler successful. I find less value in these resources because of how our fishing style plays a larger role in our individual success. When I say fishing style, I am considering all sorts of personal preferences from geography, the tools we use, what motivates us to be out on the water, and the specifics on techniques we prefer to take our target fish on.

I have often referred to some anglers as artists. I really think we are all artists. Just like fine art painters, we all make conscious choices in our preference of tools and approach. As a greater community, Yes, we influence each other, but the best of us have our own individual approach and objectives.

Most approaches and theories are extremely subjective and intertwined to one’s fishing style. Theoretical material is rewarding as it is interesting and entertaining, but rarely do I find any of it helps me become a better angler. Every now and then there is a detail that helps me consider my approach differently, but rarely does it result in a dramatic shift in productivity.

What I have consistently found more value in is fishing with other anglers. This is in my opinion far more valuable than any seminar or book will ever be. This is especially true if the angler you fish with has a distinct fishing style that is in contrast to your own. This is where we interactively see fishing style, theory, and execution converge. We also have the opportunity to discuss cause, effect, and cognitive process to arrive at some success. These experiences are where we are going to grow rapidly as anglers.

In general, I feel the best anglers are just more productive because they have mastered their fishing style. In general, mimicking trends or someone else’s approach will only get us so far. Get out there and focus on nurturing your personal fishing style.


Well said!


Very well said indeed.

I don’t tend to fish with others often, but I try to soak up what I can when I can.

Whether it be fly tying or fishing, I like to have my own “theories” and use them as a basis for style in either pursuit… and then kinda screw around dithering back and forth (when there is no external information to work from – like a hatch or fish lunging out of the water at something). It helps to try something inconsistent here and there, but a fly or theory or technique that you’re confident in usually is better than anything else, as long as you realize it can be your rut to be stuck in at times as well.


I agree with anglers being artist! You do what you’re naturally good at and whatever works for you. I think people get fixated on technique, but if it hinders your progress does it really matter? There are definitely resources that have helped me with my presentation, but it has always been refined to what works for me. If your catching fish keep doing what you do.


And catch more fish than I do.