Five Tips for Your BIG Year (Challenge Yourself in Fly Fishing)

Fly Fishing Big year, Texas Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing Texas, Freshwater Fly Fishing Texas, Texas Freshwater Fly Fishing

Do you want to improve as a fly angler?  Do you want to challenge yourself, push yourself, and experience new things?  Why not challenge yourself to a BIG Year?

What is a BIG Year in fly fishing?  Basically, it is a challenge to see how many different species you can catch in one year.  The idea came from the world of birding, but has been expanded into fly fishing through contests like The Big Year from The Drake Magazine and The BIG Year TFFF.  (You can read more about it here.)

But it is already February, is it too late to join The BIG Year TFFF or to start my own Big Year?  The answer is absolutely no, it is NOT too late.  As far as The BIG Year TFFF goes, there is a different BIG winner each month and the top 3 at the end of the year, so it is NEVER too late.

Here are five tips to help you in your BIG Year:

1) Get out there and fish!  The more you fish, the more shots you have at catching different fish.

2) Fish new waters.  Use The BIG Year as an excuse to fish new waters.  Waters you haven't fished before or different stretches of your same water.  The more water you fish, the more species you will encounter.

Make sure you know if you can legally access the water
you plan to fish before you go.

3) Think outside the box.  Focus on catching the out-of-the-box species.  Species that others don't usually target.  Every species counts, so think about smaller fish and different fish.  Minnows, darters, catfish, gar, drum.  The bass will come.

Spottail Shiner, like this one caught by Jim Gray,
count just as much as a Largemouth Bass.

4) Win a month!  Focus on winning one month at a time.  Don't get discouraged if you haven't caught a fish yet.  Many people currently registered for The BIG Year TFFF haven't entered a fish at all for the year yet, and nobody has entered a fish for February.

5) Be intentional with your fly choice.  Be smart about what flies you choose to throw.  Choose flies that will target a variety of species in the water you are fishing.  (The Overlap Score helps you do this.) Yes, big gamechangers are awesome flies, but how many species will they target where you are currently fishing.  If you are targeting a specific species with them, great, but if you want a variety of fish, use a system like The Overlap Score to help choose your flies.

Foxy Clousers are great multi-species flies

I hope those tips help you out and improve your Big Year.

For a chance to win monthly prizes and more at the end of the year, be sure to sign up for The BIG Year TFFF here: The BIG Year TFFF

Peace out-side, y'all.

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