Better Safe Than Soggy, Fly Fishing in Highlands

It’s that time of year again, time to head into the attic, basement, or garage and get your fly fishing gear out and get ready for another season.    

Unfortunately, the first time we think about cleaning and checking our gear is when we are already in the water. Do yourself a favor and get your gear out early to give it a proper inspection. 

Waders: If you didn’t hang your waders on a hook in a dry room all off season, you might need to check for flaws. The easiest way to do this is to unroll and make sure all of the straps are secure and sewn in. Look to see if the neoprene boots are not compromised in any way.  Turn them inside out to check for mildew or rot. Funny things happen in storage, pin pricks, scrapes becoming holes, all kinds of stuff. Most leaks aren’t visible to the naked eye and only get exposed once we’re out on the river, so fill up the tub, strap the waders on, and get in. If anything gets wet you’ll be able to pinpoint the leak and fix it with your patch kit. 

Line: Storage can dry out and crack good floating line and leader, so make sure it can still support a strike. Has your line gone all telephone cord on you? You can try to straighten it out by just pulling it through a device or, if that doesn’t work, just bite the bullet and replace it. Kinked line will make it hard to present your fly correctly.  

Dry bags: Make sure you didn’t leave a wet pair of socks or shorts in them for four months. Yuck. 

Boots: Is the felt still workable and attached to the sole? Vibram sole? Check for any cracks or deterioration. And of course make sure the laces won’t rip. That’s one of the worst things to find out in the water. 

Vest or sling pack: Still got your nippers and forceps attached?  All right, once the check list is complete, you’re ready for the season!