It’s tackle fondling time!
The snow’s pretty much gone so it’s time for the annual look at tackle fondling.
Let us check out the waders. Do they leak? Why yes, they do. Not so much a large tear in the Space Age breathable fabric, with frigid water gushing in. No, we are talking pinprick leaks, which inevitably develop in even the priciest waders.
John from Glastonbury passed on a helpful tip for finding leaks and treating them. First you fill a little spray bottle with rubbing alcohol. Spray the suspect area. If there is a hole, it will show up as darker. Just like those crime scene TV shows!
Then say, “Get these over to the lab, Fosdick. And tell them it’s a priority!”
Finally, apply some goo called Aquaseal to the suspect area and let it dry. When you later discover you missed the other six holes, repeat the process.
Next up, the fly reels. Of course, we all carefully cleaned and stored our reels back in December, when fishing started to look a tad impractical.
But just in case, take the reels apart and use one of those cans of compressed air to blow out little bits of river gunk, small birds, and whatever else accumulated.
Lines: Clean your fly lines. You should do this regularly. (Nobody does, except John from Glastonbury.) An easy way to do it is to make a light solution of warm water and Dawn dish soap. By “light” I mean one squirt into a sinkful of water. Just enough to get some froth going, but not a bubble bath.
Wet a clean sponge in the soapy water, and pull the line through the sponge slowly. Be sure to take the time to marvel at the yick on the formerly clean sponge.
As you respool your line, treat it with a line dressing. Lately I have been using a silicon paste, but there are many options.
Finally, take the opportunity to clean the kitchen floor, which has lots of soapy water on it by now.
Organize your stuff. I bought two small nylon tool bags to replace the metal ammo cans I used for years. One bag holds leaders, tippet material and Tenkara lines. The other holds all the doodads and gizmos, floatants and weights, and extra everything, from clippers to knives to hemostats. Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
Organize the flies. Hahaha. My fly boxes keep multiplying, because my solution to the mess (and mass) of flies is to get a couple of new small fly boxes and pick what I think I will need from the others.
You can fish now. Connecticut eliminated the closed season for trout, so there is no official opening day. (You still need a fishing license and trout stamp, however.) There are unofficial opening day-ish events around, though, including a fisherman’s flea market in Riverton, Conn., on Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the lot across the street from the Riverton General Store.
Closer to home, the Blackberry River in Norfolk and North Canaan received its first dose of stocked trout last week. This hard-fished stream is a good place to indulge in a little spring training, and the fish are generally cooperative.