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I Don't Follow Fishing Reports (too) Closely

November 15, 2018


There's no doubt that fishing reports can be useful. When I was much younger, I'd read them closely and often times follow their recommendations specifically. However, as I got older, I started to think more independently. I'd still refer to them for information on water temps, likely areas, or the depth fish were/are feeding at, but I began treating individual reports more as just generalized guidelines that can serve as handy "baselines" of information for my fishing.


Reports used to often be outdated. Not so much nowadays.


When I was a kid, most reports I got were from regional fishing newspapers, local newspapers, or even radio shows. With the internet being the king of information sharing these days, it provides an ideal source for getting fishing reports that are much more current than many used to be years back. This is a very good thing and can provide an especially  critical puzzle piece for simply helping to locate fish in the first place.


With that said, I like to "create my own report" as I call it.


What I mean is that I'll look at what's being suggested and take all that into consideration, but I often try to find my own unique areas and/or ways of catching fish.


Keep these three keys in mind:


Try areas not mentioned: Fishing reports often give away a productive spot or spots that have been particularly hot. Well, guess what? That's where most anglers will often be. Try branching out and doing a little exploring to find your own hot spots. Look at what's unique about the areas mentioned and try to find another area off the beaten path that offers similar characteristics. I can't tell you how many times I've found absolutely epic fishing where literally NOBODY was.


Fish something else: A fishing report typically names a fly or flies that have been particularly effective. I like to give the fish a slightly different look by fishing patterns that are different than those mentioned (like ones I have more confidence in), but imitate the same forage. It's just another way to separate myself from what everyone else is doing. Similar to finding your own spots, I've experienced amazing fishing by trying flies and techniques that weren't mentioned in the reports and probably never have been.


Weather can change everything: From heavy rain to a big low pressure system, the fishing can change rapidly. That red-hot bite reported on just three days ago might have fallen flat today. Always be in-tune with not just how the weather will be when you go fishing, but also how it was leading up to that day. This will help you understand the bite better and be more prepared to adapt to changes.

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