10 Steps to a Successful Fly Fishing Season

By: Colleen Farrell

The off-season is here and our days on the ski hill are over. It's time to switch gears and start dusting off the fishing equipment to get ready for a great season - the next thing you know it will be the most "productive" fishing time of the year! You need to be ready for what is to come. Follow these tips today and you'll set yourself up for a successful season:

1. Fishing Bag / Boat Bag / Pack: 
First, you will empty out your bag(s) or pack and take inventory on what was and was not used last season. Remove the items that were not used and put them in a backup bag that stays at home. Take note of any items you need to replace or that are near their ends (tippet, leaders, indicators, dry fly shake, gink, split shot, just to name a few). Then repack your bags in a neat and organized fashion. 

2. Flies and Boxes:
Reorganize your flies and get a list going of which popular patterns you need to resupply for the summer season. This is probably something you should have done in the fall but nobody is perfect. This happens to be my eternal quest to have a completely organized and efficient system for my flies and how to organize them within their boxes. I will let you know when I figure this out. 

3. Waders and Wading Boots
It is a good idea to give your waders a once over and look for signs of wear and tear or potential leaks. You could turn them inside out and fill them with water to check and see if there are any leaks. Locate your wading belt and have it accessible for your next river adventure. Next you should inspect your wading boots and look for excessive wear. Make sure to check out the laces of the boots. It is always a good idea to have some back up shoe laces in your kit. 

4. Fly Lines and Leaders: 
Check all your fly lines for abrasions or excessive use. Pull the fly line out and feel with your fingers for any rough spots and look for cracking. At this point it is a good idea to wash your fly lines and then treat them with some floatant. As a final step you should replace all of the leaders on your everyday usage rods. 
5. Rods and Reels: 
You should check the drag systems to make sure they are in working order, then reposition the drag. I like to start my drag with functional tension. Pull your reel apart and look at the interior parts then lubricate if needed. Check your rods for any broken guides or damaged fittings, be sure to wax the rod ferrules for added strength and durability. 
6. Fishing License: 
Get your 2015 Colorado Fishing license. The annual licenses lasts from April 1 – March 31. It is required that anyone 16 and older must have a valid fishing license in their possession while fishing. You can get a Colorado fishing license at any fly shop, sporting goods stores, hardware stores, online www.coloradofishinglicense.org, or by calling 1-800-244-5613. 
7. Review 2015 Colorado Fishing Regulations: 
You should check out what might be new in the Colorado Fishing regulations. This will help you understand things like bag and possession limits for all areas of Colorado including State Parks and National Parks if you are looking to catch your dinner. It will also provide you with every rule and guideline that Colorado has for fishing. For more information check out their website at www.cpw.state.co.us 
8. Water Flows and Data: 
This is something you should check almost every day you go fishing. It doesn’t matter if you will be rafting the river or wading. It is always good to know the current water flows of your favorite fishing spot. Nothing is worse than driving an hour to get to your spot only to find it is chocolate milk or completely blown out. Knowing your flows can keep you safe and happy. www.waterdata.usgs.gov 
9. Sunglasses: 
Polarized sunglasses are a must for every fisherman and women. Consider having an extra set of polarized sunglasses in your glove compartment as back up. Although, there is no point in having sunglasses if they are really smudged up and dirty. Carry a lens cleaning kits with you in your fishing bag or pack for the optimal visual display. If you need magnification lenses make sure you have a pair in your fishing bag. 
 10. Reward Yourself: 
After all that hard work it is time to get out there and spend some time on the water. Visit your favorite spot from last year or try a spot you have never been. Now that you have everything in order the river is waiting….

Filed under: Tips & Tricks

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