Being on the water/river every single day has it’s benefits, that’s for sure. The season starts out with a trip here, a trip there and then sometime around late May things get rolling and all of the sudden, there is no time for anything else….except maybe for date night with my better – there must always be time for that. The women who share their lives with fishing guides are true gems of the world, without them we would be a sad bunch. Anyway, my point is that time on the water will always yield better results – for the guide and the angler. During the early part of the season, when I am not guiding everyday, I get out and spend at least a few hours on the water each day. Scouting out different sections of water on different rivers is a season ritual. It absolutely must be done when one lives in southwest Montana. Trips to the Fork, Betwixt, The Wade Stretch, floats around Ennis and Twin Bridges and also YNP allow me to sharpen my angling skills prior to guiding season. Even during the busy season, I manage to get out and fish on the Madison. One must practice in order to become a solid angler. Within minutes of being on the water with a client, a guide can tell if they have been casting that rod of theirs prior to the trip….sometimes it only takes a second or two. Fly fishing is not like riding a bike at all. Dry fly fishing requires some muscle memory and if you haven’t done it in a while, it shows rather quickly. Spending the day a boat with a fishing guide is not cheap. So, why waist the first hour or so remembering the basics? It is a good idea to get that fly rod out and actually cast it before that fishing trip of yours. It’s also a good idea to get a lesson once in while to help you break those bad habits…..breaking the wrist…..NOT waiting on the backcast…….you know. I have been teaching the Reach Cast everyday during the past 2 weeks on the Madison River. Some folks pick up on it quickly and others need a bit more coaching. Regardless, the Reach Cast is the most important tool when fishing down and across. Master this and you will hook piles of trout on the dry fly. The timing of the reach and just far upstream one should take the rod tip is confusing for most. So, check out this great video, from my buddies Craig, Montana where they teach the Reach Cast.