Around the first of the year I finished (almost) a series of posts from my Q&A Expert Fly Fishing Panel. Somewhere in the process I overlooked a response from one of my panelists. I could have just brushed it under the mat, but I’d be cheating you out of Norman Maktima’s response to my Q&A. In case you don’t know Norman, you should know he is a former World Champion fly fisher. In 1998 Norm won the individual Gold Medal at the Youth World Fly Fishing Championships. He shortly thereafter made the adult team and has been one of the most consistent anglers of late. Keep in mind this isn’t a casting competition, Norman’s success stems from his ability to CATCH FISH. Stormin’ Norman finished 12th at the 2011 World Fly Fishing Championships in Italy. Norm knows a bit (a lot) about catching fish.
To his credit, Norman never asked me why I didn’t use his response. Sometimes I need a slap upside the head to keep me on track. ;)
I think Norman was so fast in replying to my original request that his response was separated from the rest. My apologies Norm, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!
To see all the Q&A responses visit: http://www.flyfisherman.com/blogs/rockies/
To see the original Q&A post visit: http://www.flyfisherman.com/2011/12/21/fly-fishing-qa/
Below is Norman’s take on my Q&A:
On a scale of 1 to 10 please rate each line’s importance in maximizing fly fishing success for Trout.
1 = not important, 10 = very important
How important are the following: (1-10)
Casting ability = 5
Knot tying skills = 7
Ability to read water = 8
Fly selection (available options in an anglers fly box) = 7
Fly pattern selection (Royal Wulff, hares ear, Prince etc…) = 4
Wading ability/technique = 4
Quality of the fly rod = 6
Quality of the fly reel = 4
Quality of the fly line = 6
Quality of leader and tippet = 7
Quality of hooks =6
For the statements below please use 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 for your answers.
1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = indifferent, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree.
Ultra fast action rods are best for Trout fishing = 1
Fast action rods are best for Trout fishing = 1
Medium-fast action rods are best for Trout fishing = 4
Slow action rods are best for Trout fishing = 4
Fly pattern trumps presentation = 1
Presentation trumps fly pattern = 5
Thin tippet is more important for dry flies than it is for nymphs = 2
Thin tippet is more important for nymphs than it is for dry flies = 2
Tying your own flies is crucial to maximizing success = 3
Fluorocarbon tippet is best for nymphing = 4
Fluorocarbon tippet is best for dry flies = 3
Fluorocarbon tippet is best for streamers = 4
Nylon tippet is best for dry flies = 3
Norman’s thoughts on the Q&A:
There are a couple points that are definitely overlooked, which is reflected in the questions that have been asked in this survey. Most fly fishers forget the value of knowing and learning the behavior of trout and their prey items and focus on gear…tippet, flies, rod, etc. In any new situation I come across, I try to learn as much as I can about what insects are present, sizes, hatches and color. Also knowing how the trout respond in that water system will allow you to focus on where the fish actually are, rather than fishing what isn’t prime holding water. I have fished many waters, rivers and lakes, and sometimes the fish are not where the books or dvd’s say they are. The gear will help get your flies to the fish and fool them, but if you’re not identifying where the trout are and what it is they are willing to take then your success will diminish.
A bit more about Norman:
I grew up in Pecos, New Mexico fly fishing on the Pecos River and other northern New Mexico streams. I have been guiding out of Santa Fe for High Desert Angler since 1997 and about the same time I was accepted to be on the US Youth Fly Fishing team to compete in the first World Youth Fly Fishing Championships in Wales, UK. I won the individual gold medal and our team came away with silver. Since then I have competed on and off for Fly Fishing Team USA. Currently I am a team member having competed in Sweden, Slovakia, and Italy. I have used competition personally to become a more efficient angler in adapting to the ever changing situations on the water. In doing so, I have gained more understanding about what it takes to become a more successful angler and am able to teach that to other fly fishers.
Competition isn’t the extent of my fly fishing. I have fished saltwater chasing bones, tarpon, snook, redfish, jacks, and whatever else I can throw a fly at. Living in New Mexico, fly fishing opportunities extend beyond trout. We fish for pike, carp, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass. Basically, if trout fishing isn’t happening find something else to fish for! Lastly, a few years back I became a member of the Umpqua Feather Merchant signature fly tyer family. Fly tying is a big part of my fly fishing and that has helped me understand aquatic insects and a trout’s response flies.
460 Cerrillos Rd