Preparing Your Equipment & Boat
article and photos by Gordon Honey
At last, the angling season begins! What
a long winter!! If you are like me you have tied more flies
than you could use in two lifetimes, never mind, they make
great gifts for our non-tying friends.
Before heading out on the water, take time to prepare. You
have paid hard earned money for your tackle, spend a few
moments in the evening cleaning your sinking fly lines - with
clean water and a soft cloth. For floating lines there are
now cleaning products on the market that not only clean but
rejuvenate the floating abilities of the line. Clean lines
not only last longer, but they cast smoother and farther
Take your reels apart, and clean out all that accumulated
grime and sand from last year - a Q-Tip works well, re-grease
and oil, not only will they last longer but they will not
squawk and screech as that first BIG ONE of the season rips
into your backing. Check your leaders, organize your flies
into like rows or specific groups, for easy selection that
will reduce stress from those frantic and frustrating
searches, as the hatch and bites begin.
Boat set up; even with the ever increasing popularity of
pontoon boats and float tubes, the majority of angling on our
lakes is from boats. Boat setup for the fly fisher can make
your day on the water a lot more enjoyable. Here are some
tips on setup that many of you are already aware of, but
please bear with me, as there are a great many new anglers
joining our passionate pursuit of trout.
Be it an aluminum or fibreglass boat, cover the interior
floor areas with a carpet, rubber backed kitchen types or
turf type indoor-outdoor, glue them in if you wish but it is
much better if they are removable, allowing you to shake out
the accumulated sand, gravel, etc. that can ruin your fly
Why carpets? Two reasons, they make you quieter on the
water, especially in an aluminum boat, but more important,
they protect your valuable fly lines, cushioning them when
stepped on. Soft soled shoes help a lot as well.
Anchors: two is best, fore and aft, (bow and stern) keeps
the boat from swinging in the wind, thus allowing you
complete control of your line, as a result your important
retrieve is totally controlled by you and not the wind!
Anchor stays, and good quality rope make raising and
lowering the anchors easier and safer. i.e.: you can remain
seated, not balancing precariously, trying to haul in the bow
anchor. Don't rock the boat!!!. Why good quality rope? No
matter what you do, it will not tangle. Also, keep your rope
wrapped on a board or in a container of some kind such as a
bucket, it is much easier to transport your anchor systems
and it keeps the rope from under foot in the boat.
Stow your gear so that it is not under foot, there is
nothing worse than hooking a reel screaming godzilla trout
that breaks off as your line tangles on whatever it can find,
and find and tangle it will, right!
Preparing for your fishing trip not only heightens the
anticipation, but it's well worth the time you invest.
Properly maintained gear and a neat and tidy boat, makes for
more enjoyable days on the water!
Gordon Honey email@example.com