These are not easy times, and everyone is feeling the cabin fever and squeeze of businesses closing their doors, social distancing, quarantines, shelter in place, and everything else that goes along with the state of Spring 2020.
It’s hard, but it has been beautiful too! We have seen people reconnect with their dearest loved ones, others have taken time to pick up an old hobby or skill, and we have even seen many taking this time to learn something new. It’s not all doom and gloom.
We had a few ideas for you on how to pass this time you can find in our video or above or in the words below. There is no better time than now, with the extra free time you have, to keep your mind and body going in a positive way with these 5 Ways to Pass a Quarantine With Fly Fishing.
If you can, and where applicable…GET OUT AND GO FISHING. Fishing (and just generally spending time outside) is a great stress and anxiety destroyer. Spring fishing in our area is really picking up on a lot of our local waters and we are seeing hatches of Blue Winged Olives. If you are not local but have fishable waters, even if it is a local bluegill pond, get out there now! Even the tug of a panfish will do immense wonders for your spirit. Plus, it is another way to properly social distance…but maybe call a friend and meet them at the water. 6 feet or more apart on the water is far better than stuck at home without your friends or family.
Why the hell not fill your boxes and tie more to spare of your favorite patterns? Soon enough you will be on the water losing them to trees, rocks, and giant fish. It never hurts to have extra for the inevitable break off, or even run into someone you want to share a fly or two with.
For those that don’t tie flies you can also…
Improve or learn a new fly fishing skill
If you don’t tie flies but have the means and ability to start learning, there is no better time than now! YouTube is loaded with immense and informative fly tying videos, and our channel is growing every day! Start learning the art of tying your own flies now, it will make you a better fly angler in the long run.
If fly tying is already your thing, commit to learning a new fly or technique. Even if you have no use for it, try out a classicly dressed steelhead or Atlantic salmon pattern or two. I promise that these kinds of flies will teach you more about tying than most others.
Casting is also a methodical and relaxing activity that literally EVERY fly angler can improve on. No matter your skill level, we can all work on our casting. Whether it’s consistency, tighter loops, longer distance, better double hauls, or more accuracy; everyone can get better. If you have a yard big enough, or a park close by, there is no reason not to be getting better at fly casting. Check out the helpful videos from our friends at RIO Products and Orvis for pointers on improving your cast.
Learn about a new fly fishing technique and make a plan to implement it into your arsenal. There are a lot of “purists” out there: dry fly, Tenkara, spey, Euro nymph, streamer, etc. There are dogmatic approaches to every facet of fly fishing it seams, but don’t limit yourself. Pick up a book or find a video on something you may have only heard about, but know little on. The best anglers out there are not set on only one technique but have many tricks up their sleeve. For example, don’t be a EuroMando, while you may chant “this is the way” about your chosen tight line nymph method, there is more than one way to catch a trout. Learn them.
Finally, another way to improve is with your knots. It’s something we can all get better at, and there is always a knot or two out there that you may not know that will help you immensely. Speed in tying knots comes with practice too, and it will really help when you need to make a lot of fly changes to a selective trout who may be rising this summer. Again, there are many great videos out there, but RIO and Orvis have some of the best on learning new knots for a variety of applications.
Plan A Trip
It is scientifically proven that in times of hardship, you can truly change not only your attitude but also your health, by focusing on the good rather than the bad. A great way to keep yourself positively motivated and moving forward is to plan a fly fishing trip. Even if your trip is as simple as getting to your closest fishery, plan it out. Consider ways to better catch fish and make a plan to implement them.
Researching new and different waters to hit this summer is also a fantastic idea. Be it heading into the backcountry for a new lake or creek, or even a new travel destination. Start the research and planning process now! Maps and books are a great place to start, but Google Earth overlays and OnX hunt maps offer more in-depth information when it comes to finding sneaky fisheries.
One of my favorite ways to plan is to consider a hatch I want to hit or a migration pattern I want to get in on. Be it giant salmonflies on our local waters or the tarpon migration, do your research and homework starting now to make the best out of your time on the water in the coming year! Pay attention to moon phases and their effect on your chosen fishery too and get planning!
Last, and maybe the lest interesting, is gear maintenance. This is pretty straight forward but can save you heartache on the water later on. Patch and clean your waders that you have been neglecting. Clean and treat all of your fly lines, and replace the really damaged ones. Clean your rod cork handles to get all the grit off of them and check over your rod graphite for nicks and dings. Heck, even check the oil and tires on your chosen fishing vehicle so it is in prime condition for any planned trips.
Don’t forget to check your nylon tippet and leaders either. Old nylon will lose integrity over time, and can often be broken just by pulling it with your hands. If you have had a spool for a few years, check it now before you are ready to cast it at a trout, and replace as necessary. Don’t worry about your fluorocarbon though, it will last for about a million years.
I loved how you mentioned that you should learn how to tie your own flies to become a better fly fisher. My brother is wanting to get into fly fishing and he was wondering how he could improve his skills while he’s at home. I’ll be sure to tell him to learn how to tie his own flies when he’s not fishing.