I was fishing the Blue River at dusk on Thursday and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a rise in the shadow just downstream from me closer to the bank. Then I received this email from Anthony Surage:
"An important skill to develop is to see the bigger picture while fishing. I try to use my peripheral vision to pick up other fish that are rising outside of the main run I might be fishing. Out of the corner of my eye, I might catch a glimpse of a surface disturbance upstream or downstream or across or maybe even just behind me. I may even hear a gulp or the ripple of broken water. I try to pay attention to these cues and cast to these other fish for a few minutes before going back to the main run.
Beginner fly fishers sometimes have a difficult time paying attention to the big picture as they can get so focused on a limited piece of water. I guess we could say it is quite easy to be “short sighted." It can be difficult to see the “other” fish in the area because one can be so focused on a few fish in one drift line. Try to remember even a seemingly “small” section of river is quite large and can hold many fish in all kinds of places: in the seam, or just at the end of a riffles, tucked under a rock or in the weeds at the edge of a pool, or in a rock shelf at the bank.
Use all of your vision. Look around. Even while you have one eye on the drift of your trico, try to have another eye looking around for other rising fish. The river you are fishing, the world, and certainly life is all quite large. There are more fish than the immediate run you are fishing.
I think of a line of poetry from William Blake, “If the windows of our perception were cleansed everything would appear as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern."
Thanks, Anthony! Oh, and that rise I saw in the shadow of a tree on the bank of the Blue. Turned out to be a beautiful 17" Brown.