Preparing for another opening day
Opening day for the general trout season is a little more than a week away. While it has lost some of its luster due to the new winter angling regulations on a portion of the Truckee and Little Truckee rivers, many anglers will be fishing for the first time this season.
While opening day is not always productive, it remains a day that many will wait for with great anticipation each year. With so little snow this season, the early-season fishing will probably be the best time to fish this season.
Since many of you have not fished since the end of last season, be sure to check out that equipment to make sure it is well maintained. Make sure that the guides on you rod are good. After fishing with them for many seasons, small grooves can wear themselves into the guides. This can be a potential problem for your line.
Also make sure that your reel is clean and lubricated properly. Grit or lack of lubricant can cause the reel to not function properly.
Check the line on the reel. If it is a fly line, look for cracks that can make the line perform poorly. If you are using monofilament line, make sure that you change it out before the start of the season. Monofilament can become brittle and lose it strength, particularly if it has been stored somewhere warm or that gets a lot of sunlight.
Whether you use lures, flies or bait, make sure that you have enough of them and that they are in good repair. Also, if you are planning to fish in a special regulation area be sure and pinch down the barbs on those artificial lures or flies to be legal. If you read my column last week, the wardens are writing lots of tickets for not fishing with barbless hooks in those areas open for winter angling this season.
Speaking of making sure that you are legal, be sure that you get that fishing license.
If you have not already purchased one, this year a resident annual fishing license will cost you $37.30. A non-resident season license will cost $100. One-day, two-day and 10-day licenses are also available. These are $12.10, $18.65 and $37.30. Remember, an angler must display their valid sport fishing license by attaching it to their outer clothing at or above the waistline so that it is plainly visible.
There are also two free fishing days each year. This year they will occur on June 9 and Sept. 22.
Licenses can be purchased at most places that sell fishing equipment. The Department of Fish and Game is also working on an online purchasing system that will be available sometime in the future, perhaps as early as the 2008 season.
I will have a recap and outlook for the local waters in next week’s column. Be sure to get yourself prepared for the season opener.
Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.