Column: Gearing up for spring fishing, uplifted by glimmer of hope

Great Outdoors by James Murray

It’s something I look forward to with the coming of spring.

Often as not though I try to get as early a start as possible – usually sometime towards the end of February or the beginning of March. The sooner I can get a start on getting all my fishing gear ready for the upcoming season, the better.

It’s hard to explain, but when I’m touching and handling all the gear, it somehow makes the start of the new fishing season seem, well, not all that far off.

I usually start out by going through all my fly boxes to see which patterns need to be replaced and/or replenished. Then I go through the rest of my fishing gear to make sure everything is in order.

I clean all my fly lines with a commercially made conditioning line wipe (although you can also use a mild soap and water solution), and then check my leaders to make sure there are no ‘wind knots’ in the leaders or tippet from last year. I prefer to have the line on my spinning and casting reels replaced at the local tackle store. Their equipment assures tighter line loading and, subsequently, smoother casts. I also go through my tackle boxes to see just how many lures I managed to lose last season, and which ones will absolutely have to be replaced for the coming season. This way I can also start saving money early – lures and plugs aren’t cheap.

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These days some of us have plenty time on our hands, so I’ve started spending more time searching for fishing sites on the internet in order to make plans for a couple of fishing trips to lakes and streams I’ve never fished before. There is a wealth of information out there on everything from angling techniques for specific fish species to the newest in gear, not to mention hydrographic maps that you can print out and all sorts of websites for fishing lodges that guys like me can only dream about.

The best part about going into websites for those fancy fishing lodges is that there is always a glimmer of hope that a person, even a guy like me, might actually get to go to one of those places some day. And it seems to me that we could all do with a glimmer of hope right about now.

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