We are at the cusp of week three of stay-home orders and to say we’re struggling is an understatement. If you’re anything like me, time on the river is invaluable and the steps and prep leading up to a new season are pretty much embedded in our DNA.
Think about it. Winter is waning, water temperatures are rising, wildflowers are pushing through the no-longer-frozen soil and trout and general fishing seasons are opening up all across the country. That sparks something inside us. We purchase fresh licenses, reinstall rod carriers, adorne waders and hit the water early to beat the spring winds.
Unfortunately, this year is a little – well, a lot – different. But, there are other ways to kick off our season. Here are some ways to ready yourself for a killer season on the water while practicing proper social distancing.
ial distancing, self-quarantining and societal isolation being our “new normal” for the foreseeable future, now is a great time to take inventory of your gear – and, if you’re able to, support businesses that make/carry the gear you need to upgrade or replace! Has that old fly box seen better days? Or, maybe your winter Postfly collection of flies needs a new home while they wait to get smashed by fish. How about that old crusty tippet? Sounds like fly boxes and fresh tippet are on your restock list…
Ready the rods & reels
Our rods have missed us. Locked up in tubes and lined up or stacked in the garage or closet, they’ve longed for the light of day. Fortunately for them, we’ve missed them just as much. Now is the time to release them from their winter enclosure! Rig ‘em up and check your guides, cork, etc. for any issues. If you’re ready to upgrade your rode game or add one to the quiver, we can help you out. It’s also a good idea to check your line and if it has too much memory, consider replacing it.
Install the hardware
At the end of each year, the rod holders dismount for ski racks. Now, with April in full swing, it’s time to mount up! Rod holders make hitting the water easier and faster since you can keep your rod, reel, and fly setup and at the ready for a grab-and-go situation when you get to the water.
Pro tip: If you really want to keep yourself busy, skip the quick-buy options on the market and make your own! Now that is some dedicated social distancing!
Find a good whiskey and settle in
Sometimes, the best things in life are distilled. If I’m being honest, whiskey pairs well with just about anything fly fishing related. Pick up your favorite fishing publication – did somebody say the monthly Postfly Fly Guide?! – tie some flies or build that car-top rod carrier you were so stoked about all winter long. Whatever you do, socially distance yourself, grab a glass and do it well.
Based in southern Colorado, Ryan is a photographer, outdoorswoman, fish chaser, and proud mama to two wild Outdoors-loving kiddos. When not wrangling little ones or cattle dogs, you’ll find her on the water, on a trail or on the road looking for the next piece of water and (hopefully) high country trout.