fly fisherman

What is the biggest question that fly fisherman have? Better put – what is your biggest struggle? What’s one thing you could learn or resource that would help you most with steelhead fly fishing?

I recently ran a survey and collected data on this very question. Of this question – What is your biggest struggle with fly fishing – 50% said finding the time to go fishing. That’s right, not reading water or presentation…..but finding time. Is this you? I know I struggle with this, especially with a growing family.

This is not your typical steelhead fly fishing article and instead of giving you tips to catch more fish…..I’m going to give you tips to make more time in your daily life – So you can fish more.  More time on the water means more fish.

Pretty easy, right? I know, not really — but trust me, I have a few tips that will help you find more time to fish.

Keep reading below to take a look at 10 Tips to find more fishing time.

My Story

A quick refresher of my story and struggles – 4 years ago, I was childless and partner-less. I fished as much as I wanted. I was always either doing a trip or planning my next. I lived on the river, so it was easy to get out. In fact, one winter I fished for steelhead 30 days in a row.

How did I do? It was amazing. You will never know a river, for a season as well as when you can fish it every day. I did. Some days it was just an hour or two after work, and somedays it was from light to dark – but it was everyday.

I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I caught a lot of winter steelhead that year. fly fishingAnd then, I met my partner, and a year later we had our first baby girl. Then two years later, we had another little girl. I am now the father of two amazing girls and a lot less time on the river.

I have been slowly trying to discover things I can do to get out more often.

What have you learned from your experience?

If you are in this same phase, I want to help you understand that this is just one phase of life, and fishing opportunities will come easier with time.

What have I learned from all of this?

There are a few lessons, and one of them is that you have to find time during your 9-5 to make time to get out and go fishing. Even those of you who have no kids will benefit from implementing one or two of the tips below.

Tips and Tools to Find more Fishing Time

 

1.  Make a Challenge

I love challenges. a 30 day no coffee challenge, a 30 day smoothy challenge or a 30 day fly tying challenge.  Click here and send me an email if you are interested in this challenge.

How about a once a month challenge? Quitting chewing? Yes, I used to chew tobacco. I quit 3 years ago, and used a challenge to get myself through it. Here’s a link to the article.

Whatever you think you can do, set a goal, and give yourself a challenge. Make it fun and reward yourself. Can you challenge yourself to fish once per week, or per month. Find the time and stick to it.

2.  Become a Morning Person

I know some of you hate to hear this, but getting up early to get your day started should get you home earlier and get you out fishing sooner. Can you change your 5 day work week into 4? Can you leave early one day a week to get time in on the water? These are the types of things that will help you get out.

3.  Add it to the Calendar

Do you use a calendar at work or home for scheduling? If so, why not add a regular fishing trip to the schedule. Putting it on paper will put it up front and center. Your stress level depends on it. I’ll bet you have a phone in your pocket or within 3 feet of your right now. Grab that addictive thing and add a reminder to recur each week or month to make sure it becomes a routine.

Putting your big trips down on a calendar as an annual trip is a good way to plan. That way you know what’s coming.

A routine is amazing. At first, it seems hard to stick with it, then it just starts to come naturally. Try it for 3 months and see how its going.

4.  Learn to do things faster

Learn to do your daily routines faster or eliminate things. Have you ever tried skim reading . This is one way to get the same amount of work done in a shorter time. dec hoganNow use this time savings, and add it to your fishing calendar.

What other things can you do faster? Think of the things you did today or yesterday, and which you can do faster or eliminate all together.

5.  Cut the Fluff

I know that some of you will hate to hear this, but that basketball, baseball or football game might not be that important.

At the end of the day, what do you really want to do? Get out on the water, connecting with nature and a fish, or burning brain cells and life behind a TV. I gave up TV 3 years ago, and don’t miss it one bit.

Are there other similar things you can cut out of your daily life? Things that don’t give you anything back. Think hard about this one. Write down 5 things you can eliminate.

Life is short, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  -Steve Jobs

6.  Work Less

A good friend of mine works 32 hours a week and gets done on Thursday. I know it seems impossible, but can you get by on a few less hours of work each week?

7.  batch your work

When you are out doing daily things, can you batch? Instead of taking 2 trips to the store, get it done in one. Can you get groceries once per week and save driving time, and money?

How about tying flies. Next time you sit down, tie twice as many as you did last time. Then do it again. Not a fly tyer? Check out this post that will get you started.

8.  Do the hardest task first

Look at your daily to do list, and take away everything except your top 5 items. Now, do the hardest first. This will assure that you don’t put off this task till the end, and will speed up the process.

Now, out of all of the items that didn’t make the top 5, can you delete those items. Is there something that has been on the calendar, but hasn’t got done. Maybe it’s not that important.first fish

9.  Bring the Kids

Are your kids stuck to there devices at home? Take them out of that crazy reality, and get them out fishing with you. Can you put the little one in the carrier on your back and cast? To extreme for you? Maybe have them hang out at camp while you run out for an hour. Then take them out later.

10.  Don’t use excuses

Every person on the planet has 24 hours to use in the day. Don’t spend your time complaining about not having enough time. Make it a priority to do what you love, and do it. Start right now.

Here are some other tips that will help you save time.

Conclusion

If you want to find more time for fishing, you are going to have to make some hard choices. Grab 1 tip from the list above and try to put it to use this week. If that works, grab another tip and do that one the next week. I challenge you to find a little extra time this month to get a little more fishing in.

 

 

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I'm Dave Stewart, a passionate fly-tying mentor, course teacher and writer. I want to take risks, meet interesting people, go hard, challenge myself and explore the world.

8 COMMENTS

  1. An interesting and well-written article and it is sometimes even a problem for retired folks. I can remember talking to guys at our fly shop who wanted to fly fish after their retirement but could never find the time. This might have to do with having a passion for the game. D.E.S.

    • Waiting for retirement, to think your going to have all the time in the world to fish, is the wrong mindset. We’ve got to find ways to fish more now because there are no guarantees in life. Get on the water, stay with it and live your life now. I’m working on a plan now that will put me out there more often. More time with the kids, familiy and friends on the river is my goal.

  2. Spot on, Dave. Although I long ago prioritized my fishing time, I’ve known a ton of guys over the years who just didn’t get it. Although your article is full of truths and smart logic, I have found that most guys live their lives from one excuse to the next.

    • Thanks for providing the feedback Steve. Yeah, I feel like I’m as busy as ever, and still struggle, but know it’s so important to keep that outdoor connection. It’s a weird cycle when you get stuck in the city for too long, and find yourself loosing that connection. Good to hear you are able to prioritize and stay strong!

  3. Great teaser question and I thought I was going to out smart you. But you had the answer. You and your responders nailed it: passion, excuses, time, kids, …. I made it a whole family affair, wife and kids. Share the love, share the enjoyment, share the passion. Fish on my friends.

    • Ha ha, the teaser was effective.

      Right on Brother. It takes a little effort but the rewards are well worth it. Thanks for checking in and connecting!

  4. Like Pennsylvania Outdoorsman, I prefer mmolfinaoent over fluorocarbon and braid myself. So yeah, thumbs up for that.Fishing for panfish (crappie included) and catfish are two entirely different feats unless purposely fishing for small ones. For crappie, bluegill and redear (here in SoCal, we don’t call em bream ), I use 2-, 4-, and 6 pound test. For cats, whether they’re big or small, I use nothing less than 25 pound test. Realistically, 8 to 10 pound mono is too heavy for the sunfish as it’s usually not needed.-B

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