As winter is slowly unleashing its grasp on most of us and our thoughts change from skiing to fishing, it is important to take a few moments, gather our wits, and ease into our spring fishing.
Here are some tips—some oldies, but some newbies—that will jump-start your angling curve this spring.
Make sure you are properly lubed: At least once a season lube all the moving parts of your reels. Use “reel lube” made for fly-fishing reels. Do not use WD-40 or motor oil; should they get on your fly line, the line will be ruined in no time.
Over winter did you find your waders developed leaks? If you don’t need them for a while, fill them with water to find the leaks. Then use your factory wader-repair kit.
Are your felt-soled wading boots on their last leg? Take some hot glue, a pair of old shoes or boots, and some replacement felt and create your own wading boots. This won’t last forever, but will work for a while.
Be Properly Loaded: When loading a new line onto a reel, be sure to tag it with a permanent marker so you know its type, weight, and whether it floats or sinks. For example; WF-5-F. That’s a Weight Forward, 5-Weight, Floating line.
Get good with your memory: If it’s been awhile since your fly line last saw the light of day, take a few minutes to stretch out the memory. This piece from Carl Richards and MidCurrent.com is worth reading. Fly line coils become progressively tighter the longer they sit on the reel.
An ounce of prevention this year: after each fishing day, whether fresh or salt, rise your gear, especially your fly line, with mild soap and water. This little extra effort dramatically increases the life of your gear.
Not wild about your new rubber-soled “non-slip” wading boots? Carefully drill small holes only into the rubber and base of the boot. Next, thread the holes with a threader. When you need cleats, use small screws. You now have two pairs of boots instead of one.
Finally, you’ve sorted-out any pre-season gear issues, now it’s time to get down to fishing—and catching fish!
Big Fish Require Big Bows: If you hook a big fish and it jumps out of the water, be sure to add some slack in the taut fly line with your rod. You do this by “bowing” or leaning forward with your arm extended like you were bending down to bow. If you don’t, you just broke-off the fish and the fly.
Mind Games: When fighting a fish, confuse them. Apply diagonal pressure with a good bend in the rod, and move them from side to side. The changing of directions keeps them guessing, which keeps them confused, thus making it easier to bring them to net quicker.
In case you still need some more advice, here is another point-to-ponder-before you head-out this spring:
When you reel, should you reel Right- or Left-Hand Retrieve: Which is the best? Whatever you prefer. The pros of a right-hand retrieve reel: If you are right-handed, casting a lot, and catching a lot of big fish, you may want to now cast and fish all with the same arm, and you may be able to reel faster with your right hand. The pros of a left-hand retrieve: You don’t have to switch arms if the fish gets on the reel. It is a matter of personal preference.
Ensure the DTF remains high? What is the DTF? The Domestic Tranquility Factor. Even pros don’t try to teach wives, husbands, or significant others to fly fish. Why should you? Invest money into instruction, not marriage counseling. Hire it out your fly fishing instruction. Money spent will be money saved in the long term.