I always encourage new anglers to come experience the Yakima River in the summer. Because of the uniqueness of the our tailwater and the heavy flows our fish are much easier to target for new anglers. They are all up against the bank. Unlike the spring and especially the fall when they go back to their normal trouty selves.
I had two brand new anglers. Recommended by another client. We spent almost 9 hrs riverside on a full day today and both clients got the the full on Tamarack Trout experience. And I have to say, typically new anglers last about 5-6 hrs before they are fished out. These two were absolute troopers and when I started fishing then more intensely for the last 2 hrs they were dropping flies and running lanes and drifts like two anglers who’ve been fishing for years.
All that hard work teaching and learning really pays off at the end of the day. It makes the clients feel exhausted but also like they’ve really put some serious rivertime and fishing in. Which they have. We are talking hundreds and hundreds of casts both dry and nymph. As a guide there is nothing better than getting newbies groovy with their fishing to where we get into that sweet rhythm as clients and guide. Mmmm juicy.
The way I teach is in stages. We learn the basics, static line casting, drifts, fly placement. Then we go over hook sets and playing fish. Then I add false casting, gauging distance and managing slack. Then we teach mending. Then we nymph. We go over how to drift nymphs, double rigs, adjusting depth, and mending…lots of mending. Then we eat. We chill, we chat, we discuss. Then we go back to dries. We add the reach cast, we add the roll cast, the steeple cast, and if we have time…and I feel anglers are ready. We introduce streamers…stripping, swinging, and bobber dogging.
Throughout all this I also give ample time for anglers to fish, get frustrated, get tangled, coach, teach more, get hands on, fine tune, and net some troots.
At the end of the day I aim to have my anglers able to be confident in their new abilities that they could go out on their own and have success and feel like a fly angler…because they are. There is nothing better than hearing from a client after a trip about a successful solo day and knowing I helped them achieve that. I invite clients back for the fall to learn more about angles, wading, more advanced stuff, and entomology. I see most anglers again the same season. After the past few years I have developed really amazing relationships with clients and every trip I see anglers improve, be more successful, land more Trout, and become really good fly anglers.
Today was my kinda day. High energy, lots of laughs, lots of fish, happy, tuckered out clients, and a well worked guide. Nothing like feeling the day in your arms, back, neck, voice, and your brain. A filling bank account and calendar is also a plus.
Summer time fishing is in full swing. Come learn fly fishing, or if you already know how to sling…come enjoy the trout, river, and company. Tis good!