Slow down, and read.
Read early, read often.
Writing’s the way we overcome a finite lifespan and a lot’s been written about fly fishing for a long time. If you’re new to the sport, you’re five centuries behind. So read.
It’s cold this time of year if you’re up in the northern hemisphere; in a lot of places fishing has shut down, or slowed. Sun sets early. Spend some time reading.
Make it a habit. Visit your local library, your local used book store, your local fly shop. If you’re hopelessly tethered to the internet find a quaint independent publisher or a legacy online retailer like The Book Mailer. If you’re too cheap for that or for Amazon, use a free resource like archive.org. And read.
Read about Rod Brown and Lee Wulff and Joe Brooks or Tom McGuane for that matter and immerse yourself in a time or place which no longer exists. Pay attention- less to how they fish and more to why they fish. It’ll be more interesting than the big fish dick-measuring competition over on Instagram. Promise.
There’s several great books- light science from well-regarded researchers about rivers and streams and conservation biology. The way aquatic ecosystems are put together. The threats they face. Be a better, more informed citizen. Read them. The fisheries you’ll learn to value depend on it.
But anything’s better than nothing and nothing’s worse than asking the question answered a day or a decade or a century ago.
So do better.