Now that we are a few weeks into 2019 many of us are focused on football playoffs and the upcoming tax season. I prefer to focus more on football than the latter since it's gratifying seeing my team finally advance in the playoffs. Yes I am a proud Dallas Cowboys fan and I have been since I was a little boy.
Now on to a more serious topic, fishing. Our weather has had more twist and turns than the Tail of the Dragon and we have yet to complete the first two weeks of January. For some anglers the winter months seem to be a time to focus on other things that does not involve fishing and that is certainly understandable. Last weekend I found myself moving an electrical outlet rather than fishing and other shop employees have been trying to get things done at home too. I am here to say that some work and planning now can pay dividends in the upcoming months. In my opinion investing some time preparing for fishing now will help you maximize your time on the water this year.
The winter months are a good time to replenish the fly box. These are the months that fly tiers hit the vice hard. Stockpiling flies now will optimize your time on the water. Inspect your flies for unraveling of materials and importantly the condition of the hooks. Often new thread wraps and head cement can save a fly but dull hooks make landing trout difficult and frustrating. If you purchase flies comprise a list and purchase them over a period of time to keep the hit minimal on the wallet. Don't forget that fly boxes with foam inserts will wear out so inspect them to make sure they will securely hold your flies.
Check your leaders, tippets, and fly lines. Now is a god time to clean and treat your fly line. You will be amazed at how dirty a fly line can get and the negative affect it can have on fishing. A clean line cast better and is easier to manage while fishing. Leaders and tippets can go bad and finding out after you tie a knot that your stuff is bad can ruin a good day.
Start planning your outings now. Now is the time to identify new water you would like to explorer. Looking at maps and researching information will prepare you for that outing in June. Be sure to look at satellite images, flow gauges, and even whitewater rafting websites. These sites should aid in preparing you for that new piece of water. I have found that whitewater websites have detailed descriptions of the water and even flow rate information. Take the time to share your desire to fish with your significant other so no surprises arise when it is your time to escape. If you are traveling overnight lodging is easier to secure now versus any last minute reservation.
This is time to book any guide trips that you are planning to take. The sooner you book the trip the better your odds of securing your desired date of availability. It is not uncommon to have trips booked months in advance and some returning clients book a year in advance to ensure the same date each year.
In closing I want to share a snippet of knowledge that was passed on to me this past year. While guiding a particular gentleman he began sharing a story about him and his friend having lunch together. Basically the two were eating lunch watching boats come and go at the port. My clients says, "I would like to have one of those boats one day.". His buddy responds with why wait? The client bought a boat a few weeks later. The point the buddy was making is that if you have the financial means and health, then do it. One day we will not be healthy enough to get out and do the things we can do now. I am guilty of saying that I would like to that one day just like many others out their. In fact you may have said it yourself. Why wait for now is the time to try that new location or even take that special trip you ave been putting off. So will you take these next few months preparing to make it a successful year? We certainly hope you do.