Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lost Mojo

 Some days just suck. Whether the fish are feeding or not, other factors control whether an angler catches. Even the most well-versed, skilled, and knowledgeable fly fisher has days that just suck. And I'm far from the most well-versed, skilled, and knowledgeable. This post is about one of those days where my mojo was absent. 

It was another in a string of mild days in January. I ventured to a lowland stream dominated by brown trout, though not devoid of brookies as I'd been the first to document their presence in 2018. It is a high yield fishery. High nutrient levels, abundant baitfish, and more than a mile of water with ideal spawning gravel means it holds hundreds of fish. It can be a difficult stream to fish but I don't usually struggle. This time though, I sucked. I caught two small browns in the first run, and perhaps gave myself a confidence I didn't deserve. 

From that point forward, my success plummeted. The largest fish I fooled broke off, and it really wasn't that big. On 4x tippet I had no excuse. I spooked fish. I put flies in trees. I put flies in submerged logs. A row of 18 Hare's Ears in my nymph box turned into a row of 10 and one bent out. I missed fish and lost fish. I got more and more frustrated and it only made me fish worse. I eventually did get a third brown to hand, but it was another of less than notable proportions. 

At one point, I found a couple small fish rising in a typical pool tailout and decided to give them a go. I waited and watched for a while and singled out the fish that was rising most often. It was also closer to me, conveniently. I didn't quite have the flies I needed but I thought a small foam beetle should work. These were tiny brown trout in relatively unpressured water, they should be easy, right? 

I put the fish down on the first drift.

The reality in fishing will always be this: you will have bad days. Lots of them. Some will leave you very irritated- as irritated as this day left me. What I needed to do is think about fixing the errors I made and trying to treat the next new day on the water as though it were a chance to improve upon those mistakes. And that's what I'd do... more to come. 

Until next time, 
Fish for the love of fish.
Fish for the love of places fish live.
Fish for you.
And stay safe and healthy.

Thank you to my Patrons; Erin, David, John, Elizabeth, Brandon, Christopher, Shawn, Mike, Sara, Leo, C, Franky, and Geof for making Connecticut Fly Angler possible. If you want to support this blog, look for the Patreon link at the top of the right side-bar in web version. 

Edited by Cheyenne Terrien


  1. Tough days happen. Hard to explain why, but I have had times I could not get out of my own way, normally easy wading becomes a struggle, knots are hard to tie, finally re-tied I get hung up on something on the first cast whether sub-surface or stream side brush. Ship finally righted, I get a hit that does not connect and the leader ends up in back of me once again tangled in brush. Amazing how some days go that way, but we still keep going back, don't we?

  2. Mojo or no mojo, I love reading these reports and appreciate the effort that you put into sharing them. I don't get out fishing and exploring nearly as much as I would like to but it means a lot to have these reminders that there is so much out there to discover.