by Aaron Kelly, Rock Solid Fishing
This month let’s talk about planning a fly fishing trip. With the cold and snow keeping us off the water, now would be a great time to think about planning some fishing trips for the year.
The first thing to do is to settle on what you would like to catch and then do some research to determine what types of water would contain these fish. Then you need to find out when the best time to catch them would be. Books, the internet, and friends are all good sources for this information.
After getting this information together, you need to determine where the closest waters that contain your target fish can be found. Hopefully, you will find some water close by to reduce travel and increase the number of times you will be able to get out on the water. Remember that there is no substitute for time on the water as you should learn something new on every trip. Of course, that would require keeping a good log book and taking good notes every trip. After a half dozen or so of these trips and if you try something new on each trip, you will be amazed at how much you will have learned about how to improve your catch.
Once you settle in on where you plan to fish, explore the area to find water access, locate any fly shops in the area, locate the bait shops that can be visited to obtain local information on tactics, flies or bait to be used or imitated, and best times and locations to fish their waters.
If there are no fly shops in the area, bait shops are a very good place to get information. Remember, you are looking for information on the fish you will be targeting, like when and where to fish for them, what they will be feeding on, and the tactics the locals use to catch them. They are usually more inclined to give you this information if you purchase something. If I am fishing a river, I like to take along a floating bait bucket that I tie onto the end of a short rope that is attached to my fishing belt. I like to purchase a couple dozen of the local baitfish that I can then toss into likely looking places to see if they hold fish. If they do, I make a cast. It is also a good way to turn on the fish in an area.
Now all you need to do is find some time to go fishing. With all the down time you are now experiencing, it would be a good time to get in some brownie points by completing as many of the items on your ‘honey do’ list as possible. That way it will be a little easier to get away when the fishing will heat up again.
There you have it, do some research and planning and then get out on the water. There is no substitute for time on the water, so even though it may not be the best time to go fishing, you will keep learning with each trip.