I've been reading posts here from time to time and finally decided to sign up and take it to the next level!
Growing up, Dad would take us fishing from time to time mostly using worms, and occasionally minnows, perhaps at times we would try some lures. Being immigrants from Eastern Europe, owning boats and lake fishing was not really on the radar.
Once I was old enough to fish on my own, it was mostly spin fishing for bass and whatever else I could find locally at ponds or the lower grand river within cycling range. It kept us kids out of trouble for the most part. This was sufficient while growing up, though we didn't go on any fancy fishing trips for huge fish, it always kept me interested.
After university, getting married and starting a family, it was harder to find time to fish, but occasionally I could squeeze it in.
What makes it harder now, is that time is at a premium, I've fallen in love with fly fishing over the last 4 years, and my kids are too young to join me on my excursions.
I hope you guys can help me out, as it is quite frustrating to self teach myself fly fishing using the many (sometimes conflicting, sometimes opinionated) YouTube videos. The frustration is compounded further because I get the feeling that I'm forced to do my own bushwacking southern ontario to find decent locations, while trying to determine if I can legally fish the locations I uncover (and honestly, it is difficult to pre-plan a trip while figuring out the legal aspect when I'm just discovering places while driving around), and prove to my family that I'm not crazy spending my free time "catching and releasing minnows". I tell them that for many it is a form of therapy, and I'm just being one with nature
In the end, I'd love to be able to catch larger trout, since so far I've caught plenty of 6-8" and an occasional 10" rainbow, some little browns in between, and the odd brook trout. The fly collection is growing, though I often stick with popular patterns (elk hair, light cahill, bwo, pheasant tail, etc), and mostly in the 12-14 sizes. I've gotten a hang of drag free dry fly presentations in various conditions, tried my luck with nymphing in the occasional pool or dead drifting longer range, and want to try more streamers. I even tried tying some simple nymphs using found-at-home materials, but no matter what I try, I keep wondering if the locations I'm exploring are holding only smaller fish that seldom test my 4 weight, barely register on my 6 weight, and will not be suitable for the latest addition, a 7/8 switch (for steelhead). Perhaps a big part of it is timing, I most often fish in the summer, and have a hard time getting out the door before 7am...
Watching videos of Graham, The New Fly Fisher, Tom Rosenbauer etc., just makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong, or if there is a huge difference between publicly available land and places that only a few can get access to, to really find those hidden gems.
Cheers, and tight lines. (and sorry for the novel)