Fly Fishing Goals – What do you want to do?

4 Mar

– Start a fly fishing blog and regularly add content each week.

– Improve my casting, practicing each week, focusing on the criteria for the Certified Casting Instructor.

– Improve my fly tying consistency, by implementing changes from AK Best’s book, Advanced Fly Tying.

These are my fly fishing goals for this year. This is the first year I have ever done anything this big.

Last year, I wrote in the front page of my journal a few of the things I had read or picked up through the winter. I wanted to try out these new ideas, and track their success.  Over the year I tried them all, with varying success.

I follow the Art of Manliness, a blog about being a better person.  The blog focuses on all aspects of a man’s life, actually life in general, and digs into how we can become better.  Better fathers, better at sports, better at our jobs.

One aspect of improvement that applies to sports, our jobs and ourselves is goal setting.  For most aspects of my life I would rather coast through.  I am not a planner, I set goals in my job because I have to.  I recently realized that in order to travel I was going to have to do some forward thinking. This is not something that comes naturally to me.

But, when I comes to sports, my coaches have always encouraged me to set goals in order to improve.  One second here, a few extra reps there, and maybe the ultimate goal of improving my scores against my toughest competition.

So goal setting for fly fishing? Why would I do that to myself? To take something that I enjoy, and make it a job, with deliverables, timelines, and expectations? Well I love this sport, and I am not ready to stop learning.

Why do goals matter? Well, I believe that improvement can happen over time, through a natural process of trial and error, and learning.  But I also believe that you can drive change. You can steer your progress to help you enjoy fly fishing more each year.

My goals reflect my urge to improve my casting technique, to improve my tying skills, and to get some of my ideas in a format that can be shared.  These areas are my focus, my attempt to drive change. I think by improving my casting I will have fewer on-stream line fouls. By making better use of my fly tying time, I will have more of the patterns I use and have better looking flies. And the most important part, by organizing my thoughts and sharing, I hope to learn more about this sport, and myself.

How do I set goals? When I set goals I try to use the SMART method of goal assessment.  SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Using these test criteria to evaluate your goals will aid in setting strong goals that you can realistically achieve.  If your goals aren’t realistic when you set them, you may have difficulties sticking with the work required to achieve them.  For example, an unrealistic goal could be, ‘I will be a top five Canadian distance caster in two years.’ That is impossible.  Well maybe not impossible but I don’t have the time it takes to train for the events with my current schedule.  I would probably end up single and homeless, probably one hell of a fly caster, but not one of the best.

Which goals might work for you? Your goals should be set in line with how you like to fish. If you just want to get out of the house and enjoy some scenery and fish, then maybe your goal is to relax on the stream and enjoy each day.  Seems too relaxed? Doesn’t fit the Smart criteria? Who cares.  It is your goal to fulfill and enjoy.  If you are a guy who wants to become a guide, or an instructor, then maybe some strict goals about fishing daily, and keeping a detailed log book is more your style.

Setting goals may not be your style, but if you want to change or improve something about your fly fishing try setting a goal.  It may just help you get off the couch, or find some new way to improve your game.

Do you set goals for fly fishing? If so, what are they?


One Response to “Fly Fishing Goals – What do you want to do?”


  1. Fly Fishing Log 2 – Use analysis to change the way you fish. | hydroflynamics - March 8, 2013

    […] the results of our fishing trips. The timing for the analysis is very flexible. Depending on your fly fishing goals you may review your data once a week, or once a year.  I recommend at least once a […]

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