When moving the the states from Canada, I found that when it came to fishing, the biggest challenge for me was to locate fish with a totally different style than I was utilizing.
I grew up in British Columbia fishing for Kamloops Trout. An actual species of lake trout. One of the largest species of trout. We used to use bugs we found under logs with bobbers. Or we trolled with spoons. And yes, we fly fished the lakes. I never fished a stream until I fished the Buffalo River.
I immediately fell in love with creeks, streams, and rivers. Soon thereafter, I invited my father to fish for trout below Beaver Dam. A location he was familiar with angling with a fly rod. I figured with him serving as the president of a fly fishing club and having won a few amateur casting contests, he could put me back on track with a fly rod.
Sure enough, during our first outing, I landed a few trout. SMALL trout. After several trips to Beaver Dam, I wasn't too enthused.
I even fished for trout below Bull Shoals - which didn't go too badly. I landed about 50 during a week's trip out - on Rooster Tails.
I WANTED TO LAND LARGE FISH. I wanted a challenge on a large rod. I WANTED BASS.
The biggest challenge for me was to learn how to fly fish for warm water species. To locate those streams and rivers that held these feisty creatures.
These managed fisheries were not only overcrowded but lacked those large trout that I longed for - large trout - shoot, anything larger than a 13 inch trout you could land on a puny 3 wgt. rod.
Heck, I found bluegill to be more fun on a 3 wgt. than these small trout. Sure, you can find large trout in Arkansas but wouldn't you rather land a huge bucket mouth??
Anyone can hit a managed fishery and catch fish but can they fish local unmanaged waters and be successful??
I hit several online warm water fly fishing forums. I subscribed to magazines, bought fly tying material and hit local waters. I hit the same stream at least a hundred times one year. It yielded white bass, crappie, smallmouth bass, bream, large shad, carp, red suckers and more.
It was hard fishing but I learned a lot about how you could land bass drifting nymphs or landing fish on home made fly recipes. I learned about weather and water temperature and a whole slew of other warm water fly fishing information from simply learning it all myself - thinking outside the box - mostly from using my own patterns and fishing waters most people weren't wading.
I eventually bought a boat and began fishing lakes. Landing bass on streamers and popping bugs - those of my own design. I not only wanted to locate fish on local uncrowded and seemingly unmanaged waters but also to do it on my own flies.
I hated those articles and magazines that preached things which thought inside the box.
I don't catch a lot of bass. Shoot, I have only landed a few this year. Last year, I landed bass on almost every trip. But I do it my way.
"My way" isn't just about fishing but a philosophy. I try to stretch the limits of those minds which think plain and inside the box. Why should we live life like cows and follow the herd??