3 Strategies for Spending More Time Fishing This Year

The magical moment when all your planning pays off.
Photo by Evan Jones

If your new year’s resolutions included going fishing more often, you may find that spending more time on the water is easier said than done. Despite starting off with the best of intentions, life happens, plans change along the way, and hobby days are usually the first to be canceled once schedules get crunched. It turns out that making time to fish is actually a lot harder than it might sound. But there are a few tried-and-true strategies you can use to help ensure that your fishing days won’t fall by the wayside as often this year. Here are three of my favorites:

1. Plan Ahead

Whether you’re planning a multi-day group trip or just a quick solo adventure, the farther in advance you schedule the trip, the more likely it is to actually happen. While it’s often tempting to wait for ideal conditions and then try to put something together at the last minute, it’s less likely that all the necessary pieces will fall into place at the 11th hour, and you may end up not being able to go at all. Better to get stuck fishing during bad weather than to get stuck having to cancel a poorly-planned trip during nice weather.  

Time flies these days, so get your fishing dates reserved before something else comes up.
Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

2. Establish a New Tradition

Planning ahead is even more effective when taken to the next level: setting aside one specific day each month to go fishing. This works best if you establish a regular pattern–taking off the second Thursday of each month, for example–so that family and co-workers can predict your absence and schedule around it. You may encounter some resistance at first, but after a few months, people will begin to accept this new feature of your schedule just as they would any other recurring obligation, and you’ll have an extra day on the water each month.

Not only are local ponds convenient, but they’re also great places to introduce kids to fly-fishing, making them an excellent option for quick day trips.
Photo by Evan Jones

3. Fish When and Where you Can

If your schedule simply won’t allow for taking entire days off, you can still manage to spend more time on the water by taking advantage of brief windows of opportunity throughout the week. Put together a small fishing kit to keep in your car, and watch for parks or other public lands with ponds or creeks on them during your weekly commuting. If you’re in a more urban area, check the outflow of the nearest water treatment facility. These won’t be the most scenic outings, and the catching might be sub-par, but getting out consistently will keep your skills sharp and your interest up until you have the time for a real trip. (This is one of the concepts behind our annual “20 Days in September” campaign.

Evan Jones lives in Colorado.

2 thoughts on “3 Strategies for Spending More Time Fishing This Year”

  1. I never understood why the “20 days in September” ends up being a photography contest. These seem like two completely different things to me. I do my best to complete the 20 days, and I have once. I’ve been close other times. I don’t submit photos because I’m not going to win a photo contest.

    1. The photo contest is simply a way to keep the “20 Days in September” message alive for the entire month, and it’s a great way to give folks just a little more impetus to get out on the water. I, too, would never win the photo contest.

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