Salomone: Keeping connected during the winter months
Vail Valley Anglers
For the most, part fly anglers take a break from their favorite pastime during the frigid months of winter. Some areas experience a seasonal closure for trout fishing altogether. Anglers longing to remain connected to fly-fishing during the winter have a lot of choices to fill their time while maintaining a connection to the sport we immerse ourselves in with passion.
Here are three topics to keep you connected during the winter months:
Read about fly-fishing
The vast amount of fly-fishing literature could fill weeks on end with valuable and useful information. Anglers can choose to read about helpful hints that can be taken to the water to improve their angling, or to page through a collection of reflections on a lifetime of fly-fishing. The following list of fly-fishing books will fill your winter while sitting on the couch next to a fire.
Classic books like Robert DeMott’s “Angling Days”, a recollection of a lifetime of fly-fishing journal entries. Bob’s writing on the pages of Angling Days provides a bank of goodies waiting to be devoured. Look for the second edition as it contains part three, with four additional chapters. “Trout Tips” by Kirk Deeter is a compilation of helpful information any angler can benefit from reading during the winter. Erin Block’s book, “The View From Coal Creek” is a wonderful disconnect for any fly angler. Curl up with a heavy glass holding a stiff drink and this book for an evening that will melt away.
The last book is from author Steve Ramirez. He is writing a trilogy around fly-fishing but dancing with a deeper meaning for each reader. The first book is “Casting Forward” and centers around the Texas Hill Country but is full of universal connections. The second book, “Casting Onward”, is available for preorder with a release date of May 1, 2022.
Gear heads should be taking their time reorganizing, repairing and replacing in preparation for the first warm days of Spring. Fly boxes have a way of becoming a cluttered collection of hooks and feathers if not given the proper attention. Nymphs stuffed inadvertently into dry fly boxes need to find their way back into the correct box. Bent hooks, rusted points and fraying threads are all reasons to discard flies.
Terminal gear has a way of disappearing during the season without the angler knowing it. Leaders just get used up, there is no better way to put it. Tippet spools manage to fall thin when you need them the most. Replacing consumable gear during the winter is a great idea. Better to stock up from your local fly shop during the colder months. That spool of 5X might not be on the shelf in the spring when you want it.
Waders tend to form leaking spots from folds, creases or wear points. Winter is a prime time to take stock of the condition of your waders. Addressing minor leaks now adds new life to your waders. Nobody likes a leaky pair of waders. Luckily, winter gives anglers a time when you can afford to have waders hanging to dry and waiting for repairs to cure without feeling like you are missing a day on the water.
Plan the next angling season
One of the most attitude-pumping activities a winter angler can participate in is planning a fly-fishing trip. Local trips can be a treat and highlight the area where you live. Trips close to home are economical. However, anglers looking to venture out for a trip to distant waters can choose from myriad locations in the lower 48 for unbelievable fly-fishing.
Whether it is a Rocky Mountain adventure, a saltwater trip or a Boundary Waters excursion, fly-fishing trips take some planning. Anglers can fight off wintertime woes by dangling the carrot of travel in front of their face. Anticipation is a mighty powerful tool for keeping anglers excited and focused until the trip arrives.
Anglers looking to travel a little farther need to take this time to renew passports. Accommodations need to be arranged. Travel plans secured. Airline tickets purchased and rental cars reserved. The list of priorities grows increasingly large when overseas travel is involved.
Winter months need not be depressing for fly anglers. The list of activities keeping us connected to our sport but not centered on the water is rather large. Reading fly-fishing literature is a great way of broadening your skillset. Paying attention to the gear you rely on heavily is better taken care of now. And for the adventure travelers, planning for a trip to far-off destinations keeps fly anglers connected until the springtime temperatures arrive.