Updated: Mar 12, 2019
Many anglers (at least less experienced ones) rely too heavily on a couple of techniques and presentations that they feel comfortable with. I get it, confidence in a certain way of doing things is tough to overcome...it’s a tendency that we all have (myself included). I encourage you, though, to push yourself to be reactive, not proactive, in your approach to a day of fishing. Let me explain.
Learn to be Versatile
It’s great to be an expert in fishing dry flies, or indicator nymphing, or swinging streamers. But none of these techniques is going to be effective 100% of the time (no, not even nymphing). Instead of going into a day of fishing with a technique you default to (sometimes we do this subconsciously), REACT to what your knowledge of the conditions and fish tell you. If you know that the water is running high and murky, don’t default to your usual tactic of drifting natural looking nymphs. This might be a time when covering water with a big, bright streamer would be more effective. You may not be as comfortable with it, but ultimately, it’s the fish that matter, and if they don’t want your nymphs, it’s going to be a long day on the water.
Moral of the story? Push yourself to not fall into routines. Think before and during your time on the water, and try to be as objective as possible. If there’s a technique that is better suited to the conditions, it’s a great opportunity to become more comfortable with it, instead of sinking back into your comfort zone and settling for a mediocre, or worse, day on the water.