After a while it is not about catching the fish its all about solving the puzzles.
Most of the experienced fly fishers I know and meet love the challenge when fish turn away from a fly, or can be seen feeding in some previously unseen way. The fish that are seen but are difficult to catch are the ones we really want!
The ones that get away or seem impossible are the ones we dream and scheme about. Flies are tied, casts are perfected, leaders, hooks and other hardware is made, purchased or adapted to the task. This is where the total picture is considered, time of day, season and tide are factored in, moon phase, barometric pressure are just some of the variables.
Observation is vital to unlocking these puzzles and seeing is achieved when all other distractions and ideas drop away. The understanding is often hard to explain and requires testing, more fishing is the only answer!
I started to see small flounder being predated on the flats several years ago, tiny bow waves would be drawn across the calm surface followed by clumsy snapper strikes. Recently I discovered kingfish with their tails in the air and it turns out these same small flounder are highly sought by snapper and kingfish alike. Catching them turns out to be more about presentation then fly design. However having a confidence in a good fly is paramount so the other varibles of getting perfecting the cast ,retrieve and action in the fly. On these particular fish my ratio is probably 50:1.
I am sure it will improve but if it was easy it would not be as much fun!