Ten Tips for Learning New Water

New water is something that all anglers encounter at some point in their lives and for most of us there is a learning curve when fishing water that is new to us. Major flooding and other events also change the bodies of water we fish.  This can change a river that an angler was once comfortable fishing, into a battle. I hope these tips I used and learned while on my most recent new water adventure helps you with yours.
• Research the techniques that are used on the water you will be fishing. If there is nothing in writing about techniques that are being used go to a Fishing Forum that has members in the area you will be fishing. Look at photos from guides and read their websites. It is easy to learn a lot about the water you will be fishing.
• Get a regulation book and keep it with you or download one onto your phone. This will provide maps and important information. Being knowledgeable of local regulations could save you an expensive ticket.
• Listen to locals and watch how they fish. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
• You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. Try not to force new water to adapt to your techniques. It will not work very well and may end up being a waste of your time.
• If you have the opportunity to look at a few fishing holes from above do so. Dissect the water in your head and decide if you are prepared to fish the water you encounter. If you are not prepared find a local tackle store and purchase the tackle needed to fish effectively in that area.
• Be open to trying new techniques. This is a great opportunity to learn something new that you will possibly be able to incorporate into the techniques you use at home.
• If at all possible go fishing with a guide for the first day. This may be the best money you will spend on your entire trip. You will have time to learn effective techniques, ask questions, and the odds are good that you will catch a fish.
• Setting high expectations can lead to disappointment. Catching fish is the goal, but having the opportunity to learn new techniques on new water is a great way to increase your skill level.
• Be courteous and don’t litter. When fishing new water you are a guest on someone’s home river and probably don’t like it when there are rude guests making a mess on your home river.
• Most importantly have fun and enjoy your adventure.