If you are like me winter can get you down a little. Its a problem for fly fisherman, for any fisherman for that matter. Winter weather is horrible and we can’t fish or don’t feel like fishing. The days are shorter and darker. There is no beautiful sunset to inspire me to stop at a small stream on my way home. So in the winter I tend to fish less, the weather might hold me inside for a few days at a time ,and when I do get to plan a trip it is often times ruined by more weather which can be very frustrating. Not to mention if you live in a state where there is a season and you have to wait for opening day. (I am not sure how folks in those states survive for months with out fishing, it would be very hard to do)
So here are a few things that I try and do during the winter to keep sane..
1.Get everything out – Clean it, organize it and put it back.
It sounds like work I know, but it’s like giving your fly fishing gear an oil change. I will have to admit I am horrible at this, but sometimes the act of cleaning, organizing and storing stuff can make bad weather bearable, at least it might distract you from staring out your window at the frozen tundra wondering when the next nice fishing day will be. Take your time, look at everything, clean your fly lines and your reels, wax your ferrules, clean your waders and boots, organize all your fly boxes. This could take several hours, and at the end you might have a better idea of what kind of flies you need to be tying, if you need to send a rod to be repaired, or what you need to buy on your next visit to your local fly shop.
(this is my boat bag after my last trip I wonder why I can’t ever find anything!)
2. Tie some flies and when you are done tie some more.
Can you ever have enough flies? My answer is always no, and guess what? I never have enough, so finish what you think are enough and then wrap a few dozen more of the most common patterns that you fish.
Winter provides a nice opportunity for learning to tie new patterns and inventing new twists to the ones we fish regularly. Check out the vast array of fly tying videos on You-Tube for new patterns and tweaks on old ones.(i like these guys on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/user/tightlinevideo)
Be social and invite some folks over and have a few drinks and wrap a few bugs.. This is important unless you enjoy being a hermit.
Involve your family. Last year my daughter began learning to ty flies at nine years old. We make it fun, she creates what she wants, lots of feathers and eyes. She likes learning and its a nice break from tying production.
3. Do get out and fish.
Make the effort and go out for a while. It’s good to be out on the river just to be out! When is the best time to go? We can sit and look at weather maps, try and guess which edge of the next front to fish on, and take a good guess…..But the old adage still applies – The best time to go fishing in the winter is when you can go fishing!
You might have to do a little work to go out in the winter, like digging out your truck and boat. But some times working hard to go have fun is worth it, especially if there are no crowds on the river.
Enjoy yourselves this winter… stay warm!
Thanks for reading!