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Tips And Technique

Getting Ready for Spring

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Healthy hold over brown caught on 3/22/2015

Most of my winter fishing is focused on fishing for steelhead in the Salmon River.  My gear of choice for steelhead consists of spey rods,  floating lines, sinking leaders, heavy tippet and bigger,  sometimes colorful flies.  As spring approaches, in addition to steelhead,  I start to think about lake-run rainbows around Ithaca and early season brown trout fishing on inland streams.  There are a number of streams open to all year fishing around Ithaca.   The places I fish for rainbows and browns may require a different approach, as I move to swinging and dead-drifting smaller patterns much of the time, but may still swing a streamer. This  means I will  look over my gear and flies before the spring  season starts to take off and make sure I am ready.

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A couple outfits loaded with new lines, inspected and ready to fish

I will look over rods for damage, such as a loose guide or reel-seat.   I usually put together a few outfits and put them in a case for easy access.  Although I always bring extras in the car, a long hike to a stream to discover a broken rod would be a bummer.

I always look at lines for cracks.  Casting with cracks in the line will not only effect performance but it can also damage the guides.  The roughness of the cracks in the line can wear grooves in the metal of the guides.  Cleaning and treating  the lines is also a good idea, as it makes casting so much easier.

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I like to take out the reels I am going to use and see if they are in good working order.  I may even clean and oil them if I don’t remember doing any  recent maintenance on them.

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I fish various sizes of streams in the spring and the water clarity will vary depending on snowmelt and rainfall.  I like to have a good supply of tippet material in various diameters.  I check to make sure I have everything from 6X up to heavy stuff at 2X, you never know when you might encounter fish feeding on the surface in clear water, which requires a light tippet,  or a heavy rain may swell and discolor the water and heavy tippet is the order of the day.  Also something to think about is the age of the tippet.  Old tippet can become weak.

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Bead Head Wet Flies are among my favorites to fish in the spring

 

I have favorite early season flies I use for certain waters,  so I will look through my fly boxes and do a visual inventory.  If I see one that is worn or scabby looking I may get rid of it.  If I see some of my favorites are a little low in quantity I may go to the vice and tie a few.

Although there are many places to fish all year, some of my favorite spots to fish on opening day over the years have been Sauquoit Creek, Oriskany Creek, and down in Ithaca, The Cayuga Inlet.

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This Pheasant Tail Bead Head Wet with long partridge fibers took my first inland brown trout of 2015 on 3/22.

 

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