For those of us who spend the winter socked in with snow or freezing winter weather, we spend these first months of any year anxiously looking forward to the upcoming spring fishing seasons. Whether that’s spring trout, the striper run, early-season bass, or ice off Esox, now is the time to start getting your gear and fishing buddies ready, so the moment the bite turns on, you’re ready to get out there!
Gather Your Gear
The first step of preparing for an upcoming fishing season is getting all of your gear together and organized. If you’re anything like me, your gear always starts out the beginning of the off-season organized and then slowly descends into a bird’s nest of fishing gear. Getting it all in order before the fishing season begins will pay dividends. Not only will your gear be prepped and ready the moment the bit turns on, but you’ll also be able to identify any new gear you need to pick up, like leaders, tippet, flies, etc…, because nothing is worse than pulling up to the first great fishing day of the season and realizing your leaders are knotted and kinked, or you’re missing your favorite fly patterns out of your box.
Check & Clean Your Fly Lines
Once you’ve got all of the gear you’ll use for the next fishing season, you should first check your fly lines. Even though they haven’t been used since your last trip, your lines and leaders probably need some tender, loving care to get them back to prime fishing form. Spending a few months on a spool without being stretched by casting or pulling fish, your lines will probably come off the spool a little curlier than you would like, this can easily be fixed while you clean them. Cleaning your line will not only improve their casting performance, but you will also ensure they last longer, saving you time and money. So next time you have some spare time, grab your reel, a bottle of our Slick Willy Line Treatment and get to cleaning!
Clean and Lube Your Reels
After you’ve taken care of your fly lines, it’s time to give your reel some much-needed attention. Since you only need to lubricate your reel around once a year (more if you fish frequently), it’s best to lubricate it before the start of the season, so you don’t have to think about it. While you’re getting the reel into smooth, working shape, wash the external components. Dust, grit, salt particles can all impact the performance of your reel, and you should make sure to keep them as clean as possible to ensure a gunked-up reel isn’t responsible for a lost fish.
Start Tying/Collecting Your Flies
Now for the fun part, gathering the flies you’re going to need for the coming season. Re-organizing my fly boxes and identifying which patterns I need to replace is oddly cathartic for me. Memories of the fish landed on well-worn flies sitting in my box never fails to get me excited and antsy for what the next season will hold. Once I identify which patterns need to be replaced, I get to work tying flies using the materials I’ve gathered from my fly tying subscription. If you’re a non-tying Postfly subscriber, we’ve taken great care to make sure your fly boxes stay full of effective flies, to get you on the water the moment the first signs of fish activity appear.
Make a Game Plan & Execute
Now that you’ve got all your fishing gear prepped, it’s time to start setting some goals and preparing your game plan for the season. Having a rough game plan for the season will make it easier to plan out your precious free time to maximize your fishing opportunities. Do you want to endeavor to fish at least once a week? Or perhaps you maybe want to get out of your comfort zone and fish a new fishing spot at least once a month, or learn a new fly fishing technique? By setting some rough goals for yourself, planning and anticipating the coming seasons fishing adventures becomes far more exciting and rewarding.
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!