New season is shortly upon us. Time to check our tackle before we go fishing. Let’s start at the business end first - flies.
We need some flies and the club’s rules dictate dry flies only till June 16th. The naturals we might possibly see could be Hawthorns, Grannom Sedge, Alder Beetle and Large Dark Olives. What flies could we use represent those? Lets go for a size 14/16 black gnat which could be taken for a hawthorn or Alder beetle. Size 12/14 retirer sedge pattern for the grannom and a size 14/16 Adams or Greenwells Glory to cover the Olives. Add on a size 12 klinkhammer and Mayfly pattern and we should be there.
Next we need some tapered (go from thick to thin) leaders to tie our fly to. Tapered leaders come in different lengths and sizes. The size is represented by a number with the letter X after it. This tells you it’s breaking strain and diameter. The higher the number the thinner and lighter the leader. Buy some 9’ 3X leaders for your size 12s and 9’ 5X leaders for your size 14/16s. Add to that a spool of tippet material in both 3X and 5X, so that when your tapered leader gets shortened by some fly changes you can just tie on some more tippet to bring the length back.
Next we join our leader to our fly line. If your buying a new one make sure it’s a floating line and it matches your rod. Lines are numbered with the higher the number the heavier the line. What number line you need is dictated by the size of fish your fishing for and the size of flies you are using. For chalk streams a number 4 or 5 weight line is good starting point. If you already have a fly line then give it good clean. Just run it through warm water mixed with a very tiny amount of liquid hand soap, then rinse with cold water. For an extra special finish treat it with a recommended fly line cleaner. Lastly when you go fishing give it a good stretch to get rid of any coil memory.
The fly line will be stored on the reel. Again check it’s working properly and the line comes off and on cleanly. It might need a little oil or grease added to the mechanism. If your purchasing a reel again match it to your fly line and make sure it has room for backing as well.
Then we come to the rod. Check all the rings for wear and tear. A damaged ring can cut through a fly line. Check the ferrules ( the rod joints) and reel seat. If you’re buying a new one then match it to your fly line and try and get the longest rod you feel comfortable with. An eight and half 4 weight is a good starting point.
What else do we need to do? Got floatant to help our flies float and to grease the top bit of our leader and sinkant to rub down the last 18 inches? Have we got nippers for trimming our knots and a priest to kill a fish for the table? What about a cloth to dry our hands? Is our landing net free of holes and working properly? And what about our waders, are they leak free?
If it’s yes to the above then let’s go fishing.
Tight lines and screaming reels for 2021.
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