Thursday, February 19, 2009

First Things First - Fly Fishing Beginner Fly Fishing

Be Prepared & Have A Great Time Fly Fishing Beginner or Seasoned Pro.
It is winter. And, when the snow stops, the arctic blasts subside and the snow slowly starts to melt, our hearts turn to fishing. Latitude and sun combine with the bright blue winter skies
to make us feel spring is just around the corner. But before we toss our rods, waders, and other equipment into the trunk and head for our favorite fishing spot, lets consider a few basics which should be the start of any new fly fishing season.
Photo Strawberry Cut Throat Trout
Photo Utah Cut Throat Trout

What Condition Is My Rod

Photo Strawberry Cut Throat Trout

First, take a moment to carefully inspect your rod. Any scratches or dings warranting our attention? Are all the windings and eyelets ship shape? If you have ceramic inserts in your eyelets, be sure to inspect them carefully for cracks or chips which can cut your line. And, don't forget to check the reel seat as well. It is far better to find and repair any problems now rather than when you are on your favorite the river, stream, lake or pond where you may not have your tools or resources to fix the problem.

Nail Polish Helps Seal Reel Screws & Scratches
Next, check your reel. Make sure it is lubricated and that all the screws are tight. If you should find a loose screw, now would be a good time to use Loc-Tite or clear nail polish on the screw before carefully replacing it. Also check for scratches on the reel and use touch up paint (I use flat black nail polish) and cover those. It's just cosmetic but I always feel better when my reel looks new rather than all beat up.
All Dressed Up Your Line Is Ready For A New Season Now check your line. I like to clean and dress mine at the beginning of each year and as needed through the year to make sure no problems exist. I check my line-end loop very carefully and replace it as needed.
Choose A New Leader & Check Your Backing
Photo Strawberry Cut Throat Trout

(Don't Want That Big "One To Get-Away)

If you still have last year's leader attached, take it off and chuck it! Grab a new fresh one and put it on. For my trout fishing, I like a 9' or longer leader down to about a 4 lb tip and then add the tippet I need for the conditions. Use whatever works best for you. You might even un-spool all your line and double check that your backing line is still good. Replace it if it is discolored or fraying in any way.
Photo Strawberry Cut Throat Trout

Check Waders For Leaks & Nets For Holes
(The Bathtub Makes A Great Imitation Of A Warm Body Of Water)

Don't forget to check your landing net, waders, flies and everything else you carry and make sure it is in good shape. There are few things worse than discovering a leak in your waders while on the stream in February or March - believe me I know!
Take Some Memories Home To Share Photo Utah Fly Fishing Utah Carp

Everyone Loves To See A


And A Grandpa & Grandson

Don't forget your camera so you can make a record of your trip (cell phone camera's work great, but set the pixels high for the best quality) ! Include some scenery for the best framed shot around your subject and you will have a great memory of the subject as well as the surrounding beauty.

Hows the P.M.A. ?

You are not quite ready...there is one last piece of equipment to check. It is the one between your ears. I am convinced that your attitude is the most important tool in your possession. Have you thought about how you will make this season better than the last? Have you managed your expectations so that regardless of the outcome, you come back from fly fishing restored and refreshed? P.M.A. (positive mental attitude).

Photo Trout Stream
Take In All Of Your Surroundings

Your time on the water is a priceless and an extraordinary gift. If your quarry is gracious enough to let you catch them; and, in rare cases, even give its life to you, are you prepared to cherish and care for your stewardship? If catching trout and/or possessing them is your only objective, by all means, go and help yourself. My suspicion is you are missing something vital and important. Just as if you went with a cracked rod or broken reel, you may be going to the water completely and totally unprepared.

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