There is no excuse for having your flies down! Winter allows us plenty of time to plan, prepare, and get organized for the upcoming fishing season.
There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a great hatch and discover that you have no more flies! All of the Gink in the world can’t bring back a drowned and wore out fly. Searching your pockets and fly boxes for just one more fly just wastes time and adds to the frustration.
This is the time to stock up on flies and get ready to fish! The first thing you need to do is empty out your fishing vest. You will be amazed at what you discover. Maybe that special feather you picked up, bottle caps, or cigar wrappers. It is ok to wash your vest. Shake out all of the dead bugs and dirt from each pocket. After washing, sew any tears, rips, or add a new patch. Lube the zippers lightly with candle wax or a paste lubricant.
Now you can organize your vest accordingly. Keep your boxes and accessories in the same places so you don’t have to think about their location. Get some fresh tippet, and make sure that you have a current license.
Empty your fly boxes into empty egg cartons. This will allow you to get organized and to inspect each fly for broken hook points, attached knots, or just wore out flies. Match patterns, sizes, and flies that may need repair. Now trim off any old knots, sharpen every hook, and head cement any flies that need it.
Clean each fly box and dry. Glue a small “Super Magnet” into each chamber. They are available at most hardware stores and attract the metal hooks perfectly. This trick will hold your flies in their spot even in a high wind. Now your flies are locked, cocked, and ready to rock!
Add a mailing address label inside your box. Use a Sharpie pen to write your phone number onto every box, net, and expensive gear item. Most of our fly boxes contain hundreds of flies and at a cost of $2:00 each…well you get my drift.
Tie one on now! If you don’t know how to tie flies, join a class and learn. Tying your own bugs adds to the fly fishing experience. Focus on just 6-7 patterns that you have confidence in. Tie each fly in various sizes and colors. Try not to jam and cram too many flies into a fly box. It becomes harder to find what you are looking for and will just bend the fragile hair and hackle.
Load one primary fly box with these special bugs. I call mine the “Whoop Ass Box”. In this way, I only need one primary box in my vest. Making choices takes less time and I can spend more time on the fish.
Carry a support pack that holds backup flies and gear in your truck. Extra fly floatant, tippet, flies, and spare gear will keep you in the game.
Become a student of the sport and watch videos, read, and attend local fishing clubs and shows so you can expand your knowledge. Find some new fishing buddies and maybe a kid or two that you can enjoy fishing with. Time spent organizing and planning now will pay off with catching more fish later!
Get ready to rip some lips!