Sure it is cold and snowy. We are sure to come out of this with some really great spring fishing. The fish are experiencing a difficult winter as well. Hard freeze and lots of ice. They always seem to survive, and come open water, they will be looking for food and lots of it. Let’s be ready!
1. Check your rod. Make sure guides are secure with no nicks or bends. Check your reel, clean and lubricate if necessary. Make sure no sand or mud has gotten in the drag. Check the reel seat. We never want a reel coming loose, especially during landing a fish.
2. Check your lines. Make sure there are no cracks or breaks. If they are ok, most important, clean them. Put a small amount of detergent on a warm damp towel and pull the line, from the reel, through the damp towel. Apply enough finger tension on the towel to remove the dirt from the line. When one direction is complete repeat the process in the other direction. Coil the line on large loops on the floor. When the cleaning is complete, run the line through a dry part of the towel to dry and polish the line. The line will definitely cast and float better. I’m always amazed how many dirt marks there are on the towel. Now wind the line evenly, with some tension back on the reel. Do this with all your lines. If there is damage, it might be a good time to try some newer line designs.
3. Check or replace your leader. Might be a good time to learn to tie your own leader. Check for Harvey leader designs on the internet. I quarantee that this type of leader will improve your fishing.
4. Wader check. Look for wear and abrasions or maybe seams that have pulled away. A flashlight or light bulb inside will show light through the weak spots. Good time to patch or consider a new pair.
5. Inventory time. Enough back-up leaders, tippet, split shot, floatant and flies. Now is the time, before your favorite fly shop is sold out of your favorites.
6. Take a casting lesson...that’s right, it is not necessarily better equipment you need, but a lesson from a pro. Having trouble with that 40 foot cast especially in the wind? Help is out there. Seek out a FFF certified casting instructor. Get off on the right foot. Really.