Some of us have been tying trout flies all winter. We’ve also been reading, or simply going through gear, new and old, tossing out the ratty leaders, trimming the unkempt flies, and agonizing over whether to toss an old reel or spool or a formerly favorite vest.
Winter is over, and so too is the quiet time for most trout anglers, so it is time to get ready for the season opener on April 28.
Fret not, however, whether you have been prepping all winter or you have only realized recently the days are growing longer and brighter. Here is an incomplete but useful list of necessary considerations:
- Pull out your reel or reels to assess the shape of your line. Cracks or frays? Time to replace. Pay attention to the tippet too, in the event that you nipped it too close to the butt end last fall. Probably should replace last year’s leader regardless the shape.
- Take care to look over the ferrules and guides on your rods. These connections are critical once you start casting, so take care to find any imperfections and repair where necessary.
- Open your fly boxes. Remember those last trout of the last season? And how you nipped your fly and put it away wet for the winter? Best to toss any ratty or frayed flies to make room for new ones.
- Take your waders off the hook in the garage to look for any leaky spots. Few first day irritations are worse than cold wet legs because the waders leak. Shoe Goo or neoprene patches can keep this from happening and soon enough you can chuck the waders for shorts as the air and water warm.
- It never hurts to visit your favorite river access sites before you actually put in to fish. Winter storms commonly fells branches and more, making last year’s easy wading more difficult. It’s always nice to know before you go.
- Time for a new fishing license. This is also the best time to check any new regulations or limits. It is always best to be informed rather than surprised where the law is concerned.
If you were looking for me to give away one or more of my favorite casting spots, sorry to disappoint. The best part of a new fishing season is the excuse to explore. Happy fishing.