I want you to think about the best angler that you know. Better yet, reflect back on a day of fishing where you could do no wrong. A day where you were on fire, and the fish seemingly could not stay away. Can you say specifically what it was that accounted for this stellar performance? Most would attribute it to fly selection, casting ability, or even chalk it up to blind luck. Even if you cannot pinpoint the exact reason, the fact of the matter was, you were in the zone.
What separates the consistently productive anglers from the rest of the river crowd is their innate ability to "get in the zone" as soon as they step into the water. The zone that I am referring to is not related to depth, but rather a mindset. That mental place where you feel like you are swimming right alongside your fly, guiding it to the perfect spot where the fish are holding. All distractions are gone, and all that is left is fishing. Great anglers find themselves mentally relaxed from the first cast to the last, maintaining the confidence that they are always right in front of the fish.
This simple mindset is the tipping point that will take your fishing to the next level. Next time you are out on the water, check your baggage at the door. Leave all the stress and worries of day-to-day life behind, and focus on each cast individually. Better yet, don't focus on anything at all, and just fish.