Confidence, it can be as easy as that
For myself confidence is found on my home waters. It's a place where i don't need to worry about identifying the fishy areas or whats on the menu. I have spent my time here in all months of the season observing, fishing, and enjoying its many surprises. It's almost like playing a home game in sports. It's your home field advantage. It doesn't have the sense of urgency and uncertainty that fishing a new piece of water often conjures up. It's a place where you can pull out that new fly that most would look at you puzzled, but you have seen too much to not think it may offer up a tug.
This previous weekend we set out on our final stillwater trip of the year. Wanting to end on a good note we traveled to what we consider our home lake. With cold weather and snow in the forecast we were looking forward to working leeches off the shoal. With sunny skies and frosty temperatures we set out to stalk the many shoals for hungry trout. We went to the usual spots with some bites, but not the fast fishing action we have become accustomed to. While cycling through our leeches we decided on trying a balanced leech we had picked up from Trout Waters. These patterns are tied on a jig hook, with a bead biasing the weight forward, tied on a pin, so the fly hangs horizontally under an indicator. It only took 2 casts to bring 2 trout to the boat to know the trout had a particular interest in this new offering. We caught fish all day and had a fantastic finish to our stillwater season.
Truth be told, had i been fishing a new lake I probably would have passed by the balanced leech. Fishing a new piece of water always has me fishing my confidence patterns. The ones I have caught fish and feel confident in my choice. Fishing a pattern that you have no confidence in on a new piece of water will have you second guessing yourself instead of trying to wit a wild fish. The opposite plays true when fishing at home. Confidence in your location allows you to try new flies and work on catching fish and not re-tying every 15 minutes in self doubt. Spend some more time fishing your home waters becoming more familiar with them building your own confidence. That confidence in return will help you be successful on your next adventure to unfamiliar waters