Never be afraid to experiment.
In my career life, I do nerdy tech stuff all day involving Salesforce, programming and data analysis. In my hobby life, I chase trout, tie fake bugs with fibers & feathers, and mix up my own DIY vaping liquids in my secret alchemy lair.
All of those things require experimentation. Different variables for different outcomes, with quite a bit of testing and measuring mixed in.
When I started fly fishing, I had no clue what I was doing so I would just experiment based on what I had read or viewed. When I started tying my own flies, I did the same thing. I experimented based on the materials I had or what colors I thought would work better.
I’ve tied some horrible looking flies in my day. And I’ve mixed up some vape juice that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But doing those things also allowed me to find what worked. Tying horrible flies ultimately led to tying flies that consistently caught trout. Shitty, odd casting eventually led to laying down some stellar dead drifts that tricked them every time.
You have to be willing to experiment. You have to be willing the buck the conventional tactics when they don’t work, or when you feel like they’ve become unfulfilling. You have to understand that it’s too easy to just give up and move on, but putting in the work to find the right combination will pay off in the end.
I seem to always be searching for the new and unchartered in my life. I suppose it’s what makes me tick, or at least keeps me interested in something. Fly fishing has taught me a lot about experimentation, and I hope it has for you too.
Don’t be afraid to experiment when it comes to fly fishing, fly tying or anything else that you’re into. I believe, just as I have, that you’ll enjoy it more if you do.