Persistence can win you fish. But it is just one of the many ingredients. And sometimes it isn't enough. Sometimes you need the right fly, or you need to be there at the right time of day, or the other side of the lake...or you need to cast farther, or get your fly deeper. And sometimes you just need some good luck. But, if all else fails...if none of your best flies are working, you have walked around the lake three times already, tried top water, deep water, slow retrieve, spastic action, lighter leaders, longer leaders...then persistence (otherwise known as stubbornness) is all you have left. Just keep fishing. Keep putting your fly on the water and sooner or later something good might happen.
Today I fished with Erin, my buddy Brian and my sister Eva. We were looking for some big bass, but were finding nothing but little bluegill and crappie. Brian was giving some new Umpqua prototypes a thorough test drive, but had to leave early. And my sister and I kept getting distracted by the occasional small carp cruising by, so we spent too much time switching back and forth between Backstabbers and bass flies... Some of the carp were willing eaters, but we were having no luck with any of the bass. Not even any swipes at our streamers or swirls at our top water frogs.
In the end, it was Erin who finally hooked into the bass we were looking for. There were damsels and dragon flies flitting about over the water for most of the day and every now and again one would get tagged by a bass...but usually way out past our casting range. Erin kept working in close near some thick weed beds. And eventually her persistence payed off.