I use to fish competitive tournaments for many years, now not so much. Over the years I have realized many things which have improved my angling both in my catch ratio as well as being able to appreciate an enjoy my surroundings while I am out on the water or in a river.
Being able to slow down has be my major obstacle for many years and since I have learned or rather forced myself to adapt to this new mentality I been able to reap the rewards on more levels than I expected. I use to fish streams for trout with spinning gear making cast after cast then moving along burning through a river in a few hours then going home both empty handed and frustrated. I now fly fish a great deal more and with my new mindset I have fished far less water with far greater success. Taking the time to make a few casts and look at the water. To see what is or isn’t reacting to your offering is paramount. Being able to rest a pool, retie or switch flies to make another presentation gives you the opportunity to view what is around you. What is hatching, what is the water like, how is it moving, are there any dead spots or current breaks, what about that undercut bank or the downed tree providing possible cover that you didn’t see at first.. all of these opportunities open up when you take the time to slow down.