If you are new to fly fishing and you are fly fishing in the driftless area of Southwest Wisconsin, here are a few tips that I had to learn the hard way( and the long way) or just plain ol' tips that will help you catch a few trout.
1. Practice casting! Try to practice every day. Grab your rod, something to aim at, and cast away. The more you practice the better you become and the more confident you become. Try to also put yourself in different situations you might find on the river you fish. Obstacles, long casts, short casts, etc.
2. Knots-Learn some basic knots and practice them so you can become efficient at tying them quickly. I learned most of my knots online via youtube.com or fly fishing websites such as flyfisherman.com
3. Indicators: Indicators help you detect strikes. I just recently started using an indicator and I couldn't be more happy with the results of catching many more trout!
4. Mending your line: this is a very important aspect that you need to pay attention to. Mending your line correctly will decrease drag and increase your hook ups. Ex: This past weekend I went fly fishing w/ my girlfriend and she didn't know how to mend correctly. I showed her a few scenarios how/when to mend and within an hour she had caught a couple of fish due to mending her line and maintaining a drag free drift that she wouldn't have, had I not shown her how to mend correctly.
5. Fishing locations: Maps, maps, maps. Spend time online looking up areas to fly fish. Putting in the extra effort of finding new streams is beneficial. Check your state DNR website, trout phamplets, and also many trout fishing states have a book created just for the Trout fisherman/woman naming all of the good trout fishing areas, along with public access and directions.
Hopefully some of these tips will prove to be helpful. This past weekend the area streams were very murky, but one stream in particular was fishable. This particular stream fished well because of the water conditions causing the trout to "let down" their guard a bit.
On the downside, the section I fish on Big Spring holds no trout and all of the construction that was done on it is now washed down stream...bummer. A crystal clear stream, just way too shallow. Stay tuned for some more fishing pics soon!