When people go out fishing with other enthusiasts, one of two things can happen. Either both parties leave with the same number of catches, or one person dominates the other. To a new angler who struggles to get a catch, this can be frustrating, as they may not understand what it is that makes them less successful. On the other hand, a lifelong angler who is rusty may become embarrassed when their skills do not match up to their expectations.

In either case, the angler with less catches may feel as though they are inadequate. In reality, this is far from the case. Fishing, just like many other skills, is easier after consistent practice. There are many different factors that play into a person’s fishing abilities, and each of them can be improved with practice.

For example, proficiency in casting (especially with a fly rod) can make a big difference in effectiveness. After all, you want your lure to be noticed, but not to startle the fish away. Additionally, you’ll want to use the optimal type, size and color which can vary widely by season/geography even for the same species of fish. Both of these skills can be learned intuitively with some regular practice.

However, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Solicitation of local experts can be a valuable resource. Someone who has been fishing in the same spot for years with much success is someone you want on your trip. There can be small nuances that they have picked up and that you may never notice on your own. 

Although you can read up about fishing and watch videos, sometimes it is best to get out to the water and give it a shot. One person’s experience may differ from another’s, so actual experience is one of the best methods for honing your skills.

Some people may feel like successful anglers have a gene that makes them great at fishing. However, with enough experience, anyone can become an expert. Just as is the case with any hobby or skill, practice makes perfect. Aside from that, the best thing you can do is to have fun and not take it too seriously. Stressing yourself out over no catches will only ensure you make rookie mistakes. Instead, think of your trip as an opportunity to relax and spend a day out in nature.