Is your fishing gear ready for summer? – Journalist from Los Alamos
The Chironomid flies on the left must be replaced. The one on the right is still in good condition. Insert: Fly boxes with assorted flies. Courtesy Photo NMDGF
BY ROSS MORGAN
Public Information Officer
New Mexico Department of Hunting and Fishing
North West Zone
We’ve been going on a family fishing trip at the start of every summer for over ten years. We usually go around mid-June, and we’re always very successful as the outdoors begin to wake up. The insects begin to emerge and fly. Fish are active all over the lakes and streams in pursuit of these insects. The weather is about perfect, neither too hot nor too cold.
In anticipation of the new fishing year, I like to pick a nice weekend and get out all my fishing gear and get ready for the trip. It’s also a great time to start thinking about what to replace in your tackle boxes. I’m a very aggressive angler, mostly fly, so I like to try new things and take my fly to places that can be a bit tricky. That being said, I usually end up losing quite a bit of flies to the trees and brush. It’s also a good time to inspect your flies and lures and replace any that have taken a hit over the years. Maybe it’s time to replace your favorite fly or lure.
First of all, I like to take all my flies and their decoys out of their boxes one by one and watch them. I don’t want to lose this once in a lifetime fish, so if the fly or the lure has any issues that I think will cause me to lose the fish or prevent the fish from biting, they go into the waste. By doing this, I feel like I increase my chances of catching a fish every time I go. I can’t go there as much as I want, so when I go I want to maximize my chances. I take inventory and buy new flies and lures as needed and make sure to pinch all my barbs. Because not only are barbless hooks easier to remove from fish, but they are also easier to remove from people.
The Chironomid flies on the left must be replaced. The one on the right is still in good condition. Insert: Fly boxes with assorted flies.
Then I switch to my fishing line, my tip and my reels. I usually replace my fishing line on my fishing rods every two years. Some of the new fishing lines will last a long time, but the New Mexico sun can be a bit tough on things. I want to make sure my line is in good condition every time I go out. On the other hand, I always replace my tippet every year. Maintenance of the reel is also essential. Every year I make sure to use a compressor to blow dust off my coils. If I feel a bit of sand when winding, I’ll take the reel apart, clean it, and put some new grease on the gears. If you don’t feel comfortable taking your reel apart and cleaning it yourself, you can take it to an outdoor store.
Finally, I like to take all my fishing rods out, wipe them down, do a flex test and examine them to make sure there are no broken eyes or loose parts that can cause failure during the Peach. The tip of the rod is usually the most vulnerable and the most likely to break. More than once I have placed my rod in the bed of the truck and then put something on it, accidentally creating a crease in the rod which ended up breaking when I hooked a fish; therefore a visual inspection is essential.
By taking a little time in the fall or early spring to make sure your fishing gear is in good working order, the more time you can spend fishing. By doing this not only will you become familiar with your gear, but it will also give you the good peace of mind knowing that you have the right fishing gear you need and that it is in good working order.