Sunday, May 1, 2011

April 30th Meeting

May 1, 2011
Hello FlyChucker
The last meeting was very well attended with a lot of talk about going fishing. A lot of flies were tied and favorite spots for gills or bass were discussed. The next FlyChucker Meeting will be December 3, 2011 at the Black Bear Crossing Coffee Shop.
We are all waiting for the spring in Minnesota to come. Lakes are up as a result of the 7.5 inches of rain we have received so far this year. The rivers are coming down, and the water will soon break the 50 degree mark.
Spring will arrive soon and a new fly fishing season is around the corner. As you begin to dream of warm-weather activities, it's time to get your gear in order.
Spring-cleaning is a particularly important task for fly fisherman. If you're any kind of procrastinator, you've probably found yourself looking through your gear just before the first trip of the year and realizing it hasn't been cleaned since you put it away last fall.
Far too often we simply blow off a winter's worth of dust and take to the river or lake without a thought to the condition of their rod, line or reel. A little care in advance of the season will significantly improve the performance of your gear.
First, take a look at your rod. Start by running it through warm, soapy water, cleaning off any grime from last season. Be sure to use a mild hand soap rather than dish detergent. You can use an old toothbrush to clean off the guides, and around the reel seat. When you're finished, dry it well with a clean cloth.
You can use a small amount of fine oil on the reel seat. You may also want to add a little paraffin wax to the male ends of the ferrules. This will keep them from sticking and cracking.
Next, get out your reels. We all have a fondness for stuff. Start by removing the line and the backing. Coil up the line and set it neatly aside. Take apart your reel and rinse it in warm water. Remove leftover grime or sand as this material can quickly damage your drag discs and inner housing. Once clean, dry the reel, oil moving parts and set it aside.
Now, take a look at your line. Everything from water to rocks to sun will eventually wear on your line. A properly cared for line can last several years. If yours is showing cracking from age, it is time to replace it. If it simply looks dirty, let's get to work.
Start with a washcloth in hand, a bucket of warm, soapy water in front of you and the coiled line to one side. Run the line and backing through the water, gently rubbing it through the washcloth and coiling it again on the other side of the bucket. Fly line is porous, and this process will remove embedded dirt, allowing your line to float better and move more fluidly through the guides.
Next, use a fly-line treatment to finish cleaning the line. Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for the best product for your particular line and specific cleaning instructions.
You may notice that after a few months of rest, your fly line retains its tightly coiled position. Fly lines have "memory" and will stay this way if left on the reel too long. Before returning your line to the reel, simply stretch it out, using both hands a couple feet at a time. It's also a good idea to stretch your line before each time you fish. Then, if storing your line next winter, remove it from the reel, coil it in larger loops and secure it with a twist-tie.
Finally, take a look at any flies you have leftover from last season. Inspect the hooks carefully. If there is any sign of rust,  a broken or bent tip, discard the fly. At the beginning of the year and throughout the season, don't forget to inspect your flies for damage and sharpen any rock dulled points
With a little care at the beginning, during and at the end of each season, your equipment will last longer and perform better. There is a long list of things beyond our control that can cause us to lose or miss fish. Don't let something as easily remedied as equipment care cost you the big one. Care for your gear now and get the most out of this soon to arrive fishing season.

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