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.