Fly Fishing Tips | 5 Common Angling Errors

Fly fishing tips from the pros

Professional guides get to share time with many anglers and experience many things. We've collected five come so here are some observations that could help your own personal fly fishing experience and reduce the tears. We all screw things up at times, but some mistakes are much more prevalent than others. Here are 5 of the most common errors guides see with anglers that we are sure you experience too.

Fix these and you’ll catch more fish

  1. Remember the line will follow the rod tip, so all those half-hearted flicks and jiggles to reposition the line, or move the flies away from your body before you cast are likely to become a mess if they collapse. If you need to reposition the line, accelerate, use a decent stroke length, stop and make sure you’re not just sending your flies on a collision course with your rod... that trout won’t wait for you to sort yourself out.

 Brown Trout

 Martin Langlands from Troutlands 

  1. Tracking. Quite simply, a parallel loop where the fly leg travels directly along the rod leg ensures all the energy from the cast travels down the line, through the leader and turns over the fly. Your rod tip should travel in a 180 degree straight line away from, and back to your target. Like throwing a ball in a straight line. If your rod tip moves back, or forward in a shape resembling a drunken, horizontal rainbow then chances are your cast will suck, lack energy and accuracy, and your net will stay dry. 

 Adam Priest TNT Guides

Adam Priest from TNT Guiding  

  1. Practice attaching your fly to and removing it from the rod quickly and easily without tangling. Don’t carry messy coils of line while you’re walking upstream. Attach your fly to the rod cleanly and when sneaking into position behind a fish, remove it, and get it on the water without making your guide cry. On a similar note, relax your hand when winding in your line. If you death grip the rod, your tip will bounce, and the line will twist around, and around, and around your rod.

 Rob Vaz Brown town

Rob Vaz from

  1. False cast less. Much, much less. You don’t need 22 false casts to deliver your fly 30 feet.. Aerialise your line, back yourself, shoot line for distance and put that fly in front of the fish. Accelerate, stop and deliver. Because the more time your line is in the air the more chance you have of fluffing things up and catching that tree...and making your guide tie on another fly.

 Yoshi Fly Fishing Rotorua

 Kiyoshi Nakagawa, the only guide for Rotorua

  1. When you hook a fish, please keep the line under your trigger finger. Picture this - you set the hook, your line hand is down as far as it can go. You need another strip of line to maintain contact but if you let the line go, all will go slack. Do you hold the line in your mouth? Just for a moment? Damn it, just keep the line under your trigger finger the first place and land more fish!

Jason Bethune Creel Tackle Shop

 Jason Bethune, find him at the Creel Tackle Shop

If you really want to fish better, then you really need to spend some time with a registered guide. To find the best fishing guides New Zealand has to offer visit the New Zealand Professional Guides Association website here: 



Thanks to Chris Dore - another great guide worthy of your time!