I began fly fishing while attending Western Carolina University. In the fall of 2001, I netted my first trout on the fly. Ever since then I have never stopped learning. Life circumstances and career choices certainly dictated physical location to streams and opportunities to fish. The longer I sat in urban sprawl traffic jams and stop lights, the more I saw my angling skills fleeting.
At this point, I made a decision. I let the golf swing get rusty. Sold my camo, deer and turkey hunting gear, and even gave up Church League Softball. All in the name of becoming a better angler. When I made those decisions I was staking a claim that I wanted to be better, learn more, and ultimately enjoy fishing opportunities more.
I found myself, buddies, and father-in-law traveling great distances for fly fishing expos, guided trips, or new waters. The expos we the greatest resourcesof knowledge for me. Masters of casting are always at these events, representing rod companies, and chomping at the bit to teach someone how to cast their rod. Networking opportunities abound... These are the single greatest events where anglers don't mind telling you what works! The WNC Fly Fishing Expo held in Asheville every December is a great example of this spirit.
A final way to never stop learning is to never stop asking...questions. The ones whom are in the sport for the right reasons never mind sharing information on casting styles, setups or knots. There is not a day goes by where I do not learn something from a guide or customer that comes in the shop. Trust me! Never stop learning about this amazing sport and you will always net fish!