Bruce Ajari: Winter makes a great time to re-stock the fly box
December 4, 2009
The late fall and winter can be a difficult time of year for fly fishermen. The cold weather can make it hard to get out and enjoy our sport. Cold feet and hands and freezing equipment issues make it quite challenging.
While many of us continue to fish during the winter at places like Pyramid Lake in Nevada, many anglers just go ahead and wait for the spring to begin fishing once again. It does take quite a bit of fortitude to get out there on some of the very cold days.
Winter is an excellent time for those fly fishermen to re-stock their fly boxes for the upcoming spring. It is also an excellent and productive way to pass the time during those cold snowy days.
If you are like me, you have probably used many flies during the General Trout Season, and the fly boxes are pretty depleted. I also have the tendency to let my daughter and her boyfriend use my stuff when they go out to fly fish.
I have been surprised when fishing after one of their outings. Those flies to match the hatch have somehow all disappeared. Itand#8217;s a small price to pay, though, since it promotes their enjoyment of the sport. It can be quite frustrating, however, when you know what the fish are eating and you do not have the fly you need.
Hereand#8217;s an important point and#8212; all of us should find this a very good time to take an inventory of our flies. You may just find that you need some more of those special fish-catching flies that you need.
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Whether you tie your own or not, you should go ahead and replace them before spring. This is a really good time to replace them if you do not tie yourself with Christmas approaching. Flies are something that a fly fisher would really appreciate, because we do tend to need replacements constantly.
If you are considering buying some flies for that special someone, you can either find out what they need by having them make a list or by checking with one of their good fishing friends.
Now if you are going to tie replacements yourself, there are a couple of things that you need to do ahead of time. First, make a list of the flies that you need to replace.
Second, you need to do an inventory of the materials that you will need and make sure that you have them before you can begin tying. I have been surprised on occasion when I have run out of certain hooks or materials because I often tie for some of my favorite local charities.
Once you have your materials on hand, plan to tie a number of flies of one type. This makes your fly tying efficient, and you will be able to quickly fill your box with the flies you need.
Winter is a great time to prepare for the coming spring season if you cannot get out and continue to fish. Making sure your fly boxes are ready for the coming season is not only a great way to pass the time, it is really a productive use of your time.
and#8212; Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.