10 Tips To Prepare For Spring Fly Fishing
We are finally getting some warmer weather as we approach Spring. For some, we’ve been fishing throughout the winter and can’t wait to get rid of the multiple layers of everything we have to be warm.
For most though, it means it's time to get ready to start the season. Here are the 10 things a guide does to get ready to start the season that you should think about too:
Check Your Leader And Tippet
Did you get lazy last year and not put away all your gear properly for the winter?
Do you even remember what leader and tippet size you had on your reel the last time you fished? Take off that old leader right now and throw it away. Make sure you have plenty of leaders for the waters that you fish.
Get New Tippet
Now, you might be saying I have some... If your tippet is a year or older, then consider buying some new tippet for the season.
It can be expensive, but the last thing you want to do is lose the fish of your life because you didn’t want to spend the money on a new spool of fresh tippet.
Try this test, grab a few inches of your tippet and give it a good pull. See if it breaks easily.
Then, get into the spool a little more and do the same.
Tippet that is old will break pretty easily.
Clean Your Waders And Boots
As guides, we may have 20 pairs of waders to inspect and clean. Take the time to clean your waders and boots.
Read the directions for care on your waders and clean them. You may want to check them for leaks by filling them up with water, BUT NOT ABOVE THE KNEE! Anymore and you put too much strain on the waders and can create a leak.
Every season, I would change out the screws on my wading boots.
I would take out the old ones, put a little Shoe Goo on the new screw and screw them back in. Also, if you have laces, check your laces.
If they show the slightest wear, replace them or carry a set of replacement laces in your gear bag. The only time I seem to snap a shoelace is when I am already in the water, a hatch on it and fish are on the surface.
That’s when my laces tend to break.
Clean Your Fly Line
Since you have a new leader and tippet, you should inspect and clean your line. Riverbum carries a new product called Ass Wipes.
I know, I know... but the reason why we carry them is that they got tested by the guides and they work.
Grab your Ass Wipes and clean your line.
Get Your New License For The Year
Enough said. Don’t get caught without one and don’t be that guy that thinks they don’t need one. Get it.
Check Your Fly Box
Now is the time to refresh your fly box. If you have been tying flies all winter, then you know exactly what you tied and what you need.
Now is a great time to check your flies.
The first thing I do is make sure I have them organized the way I want them. I know that in the heat of the moment, you may not put your flies away in the exact spot that you want to.
So, they get disorganized.
Reorganize Your Fly Box
Throw away flies that are ratty, loose, and have bent hooks, etc. If they are that way because of fish, reorder them, but don’t leave them in the box. Throw them out.
Try Some New Flies
Have you tried any of the Jiggy Flies that Riverbum carries?
Jiggy hooks are all the rage with competition fly fishermen because they drift with the tip up and don’t get caught on rocks that easily.
They still do, but not that easy.
I know trying a new fly can be scary, but these flies just work!
Check Your Other Gear
Last year, the webbing and straps to hold my accessories on my pack broke, so I lost a ton of stuff that I had attached to it.
Check your pack for rips and tears, check your zingers for damaged or frayed wire, check that you have the right size split shots, and make sure you have a good selection of indicators.
The size of indicators for one river may not work well for another.
Finally, check your net. Does it have holes? Is the net still attached to the frame? Ask me how I know...
Think about this rule: One is none, two is one.
As a guide, I carry a spare for almost everything.
You don’t have to but if you lost that one thing while you were fishing, would you still be able to fish?
Explore New Water
I know we all like to go to the same spots and the same rivers because we “know” where the fish are.
My hope and challenge to you this year is that you will try a new place!
If you go to the same river, then make a deal with yourself that you won’t fish a hole or area that you have already fished. If you want to try a new river, go for it.
Yes, you may get skunked! But the feeling of catching a fish, in new water, on gear that you have prepped in advance will make you feel like a hero.
You may even have a different perspective on fishing.
As a guide, I love fishing new water because I work much harder to hone my skills in looking at fishy water, sight fishing, selecting the right flies, etc.
You just get better.
So, as we move into Daylight Savings and the weather begins to warm. Get your gear ready. Check it, clean it, and organize it!
See you on the river!