On the plus side, my casting distance and accuracy are solid. I can punch even some pretty good sized flies tight to wood or undercut banks with a fair bit of consistency. I have a basic strip retrieve that's serviceable. And, most importantly, I've got some nice fish under my belt on streamers.
But, now that I've done it a bit, I have some questions, as well as a clearer understanding of my weaknesses. For example, I see guides tie on streamers - sometime with a non-slip mono (or Rapala) loop and others with a standard improved clinch. I get that the mono loop allows the fly more motion. But why one over the other? Or what about grain weights? Why am I told to use a 200 grain on the Manistee, but that a 300 grain is required on the Pere Marquette?
And then there are my known weaknesses. I learned to address both during this class.
- Hooksets. I miss fish I should have stuck. And because streamer fishing is largely sight fishing, I get to see the pigs I miss. Turns out, I've been playing steelheader and waiting to feel or sense the strike. Nope - not in this game. See the flash? Good, then make that fish wear it!
- Line pick-up. Sink tips do what? That's right, sink. I've been finding that my pick-up just isn't there. So, I end up roll casting to bring it to the surface, then I pick-up and start my overhead cast. This both slows my opportunity to make carefully timed cast, and makes me work more. The fix was actually pretty simple. Strip in a bit to get tight to the fly, then pick-up. The result? No inbound rockets screaming straight at my head - or worse yet, the guide's.