I could go on and on, but I think what it really comes down to is catching fish and doing what ever you have to do to catch them, hopefully nice fish like these:
Madison River rainbow trout caught on a size 20 midge in March
Some people will spend hours and hours working on their casting techniques. I never quite got that. I feel like there is definitely no such thing as a perfect cast. Only a cast that catches trout. Even if you have a line tied on to a tree branch, Huck Finn style, as long as your bug somehow gets in the middle of the shipping lane, the fish are gonna look at it, and maybe even eat it! This could be argued by the Trout Unlimited-Orvis wearing-net hanging off the back-has every fishing gadget ever invented-dry fly fisherman.
Living in a fishing community, all summer long you can see the buggy whipping fools out there on the front lawn of their hotels and motels working on their casts, less than a half of a mile away from the actual river, where they might have a bit more luck catching fish during casting practice.
The bottom line is good presentation, reading the water, and of course, fly selection. If you start trying to feed the fish some kind of bug in June that isn't active in the river til August, your odds are pretty slim.
Winter time fishing is tough. About the only bugs you'll see on the river are midges. If you include that on your rig, your chances will greatly increase.
Here's a step by step to tying a midge. You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it:
|I use a size 20 hook with a natural bend, put a small white bead on it, and wrap the hook with some black 8/0 uni thread|
|Tie on some silver/gold tinsel, then a few strands of peacock herl|
|Twist your strands of peacock herl (I only use 2 strands on this pattern) and start wrapping.|
|Then I wrap my tinsel with some even spacing, all the way to the head|
|Add a whip finish to tie it off and.....|
|There's your finished midge|
|The length of the feathers may be a bit long in this one, but it'll still work|
|This guy ate the midge mere hours after I tied it up.|