Avoiding The Pattern Fatigue Trap
I admit it. When it comes to my fly fishing life these days, I tend to be a little bit lazy. Hasn't always been that way, and I'm not for certain it is all due to laziness. Sometimes I look at it as a matter of voiding inconvenience.
Tying flies on the tippet these days is not as easy as it use to be. If, by chance, the reading glasses are left behind at the bunk house, then I've pretty much screwed the pooch as far as changing flies a lot on that particular outing.
So, my choices are to suffer from pattern fatigue or constantly keep moving.
All of us has experienced this same thing. We arrive at a particular stretch of water, a pocket, a run, a back eddy and we toss a fly into the punch and with the first cast bring a bow to hand. Then on the next ten casts we bring anywhere from seven to ten more trout to hand. But... then it all quits. Another dozen casts and not nary a bite. That's pattern fatigue.
Pattern fatigue is quite simple. The fish in a certain structure of water you are fishing simply get wise to the pattern being used. At that occurrence it's time for us to make a decision to change patterns or simply move to another body of water.
I've been inclined, here of late, to move to another body of water rather than tie on a new pattern. However, at times it is to wonder if I'm cheating myself. The pattern doesn't actually have to change - the color can, and then if that doesn't work then it's time to completely change the pattern. In other words, you started and did well with a streamer, then once that quit, changed color on that same streamer pattern and if there's still no improvement, it's time to consider a nymph or something else.
Of course if the trout are keying on midges let's say, there's probably no reason to move or often change patterns if you can find the right stage of midge life the trout are after. In this case you'll not change patterns, but, rather life cycle.
Pattern fatigue is easy to fall into, but, can easily be avoided by holding your spot (where you already know there are fish) and going into the fly box until you find what the fish want.