I had hoped to have the final counts from the various barriers, but they are not available yet. Next week will be the final column for this season with my annual Christmas Shopping suggestions. If the stats are available, I’ll include them.
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With the season over it is time to start on next year. An excellent first step toward a successful 2017 season begins today by properly putting equipment away and getting repairs done so all is ready for next April 15.
The wise angler will take a few minutes to examine his equipment and properly prepare it for winter storage.
First take a look at your waders. They should be thoroughly checked for leaks, dried and stored in a cool dry place. A good hint I picked up from Everett Mosher is to take them into totally dark room. Take a flashlight and insert it into the waders and look for any light coming through. Then patch the lighted area.
Stephen Pond of Doaktown suggests avoiding storage in the furnace room as the high heat could cause them to crack and produce an unpleasant surprise next spring. Pond even suggested putting some newspaper in the boot part. If they are moist, mould will set in. If the waders are the type without a boot, make sure they are rolled and not folded, as the creases will crack.
The late George Routledge formerly of George’s Fly Shop in Renous suggested hanging them up side down, or if they are hung by the braces, make sure they barely touch the floor with no wrinkles in them.
Next comes the rod. It definitely should be taken apart if still together or it may never come apart. Dry it and wipe it down removing all dirt and dampness. Make sure the cork handle is dry and then store out of the way it in a place with moderate temperature until next spring. This will ensure it does not get other stuff piled on it so that it can get broken. A bit of parawax on the male end will make it fit better next year. This is even a good practice several times throughout the season.
Be sure to check all the guides to see if they need repair or that there is no fraying of the binding. If a touch up is needed, now is the time to get it done rather than next spring the night before you plan to go out in the morning only to find it still in need of repair. If the rod has to be sent back to a company or taken to a local fly shop, do it now rather then be without it a month or so next spring when you need it.
Next check the fly-line. It should be reeled off including the backing, stretched, cleaned and let dry. Once, dry, it can be coiled loosely and stored for next season.
To clean it, you may use plain water, and Pond added using silicone to grease-clean it. Cortland puts out small pads which sell for about six for a dollar. These can do several lines. This helps against cracking.
Pond suggested removing the backing and throwing it away if it is over three years old. This might save losing a nice bright grilse or salmon (not to mention the line itself) next June.
Turning to the reel, some suggest taking it completely apart, letting it dry and cleaning all dirt from it. Then it should be given a covering of light oil that is heat resistant, such as 2 in 1, Singer sewing machine oil or a light gun-oil. Do NOT use WD-40 as it is a penetrating substance.
Now look at the fly box. Take out all flies so that both the flies and box can dry thoroughly. This will stop them from rusting and ruining them as well as the metal boxes. Make sure the box is clean.
Then organize the flies as you put them back with the spring streamers in one area or a separate box, the larger flies for June and early July in another, the summer flies and smaller hooks for late July and August together, and then the fall patterns together. Starting the season will be a lot simpler.
Pond then suggested that some even put the open box in a Tupperware container with a couple of mothballs to make sure nothing eats the hair and feathers. Make sure everything is completely dry before sealing.
Don’t forget the flies, which are still on the vest or in the hat, or where ever you keep them while on the river.
The vest itself should also be dry, pockets emptied of all debris and minuscule lunches, bottle tops, old fly dope containers and any other garbage which remains. It may even be washed or dry-cleaned to remove the ring-around-the collar from fly dope or what ever.
Then replace all the equipment and make sure the covers are on tightly on such bottles as gink or xink, dry fly sprays, fly dope, or scent, etc. so they don’t destroy a perfectly good vest.
Throw away any leader that is no. 6 or 8 as it may rot causing you to lose a bright grilse next June. That is not worth the cost of a new roll. Number 10 and up can be kept providing it is not too old.
Even the landing net should be dry and stored. Don’t forget to put the polarized sun glasses and glasses holders back with the vest where you can find them next season.
If all of these simple things are done, it will put you in fine shape when the fever hits again next spring.
If a canoe, boat, trailer or motor needs tuning up or repairs, get them done now.
To pass winter nights, and still be in a fishing mode, maybe enroll in a fly-tying course, or learn to tie with a buddy. Catching a fish on a fly that you have tied doubles the pleasures, and a lot of stories, and maybe even a few lies, can be shared at the tying bench. Visit your local tackle shops for equipment and suggestions.
A reminder not to forget to send in our catch reports for the season.
If these are followed, then you’ll be ready to get out and “on the water” next spring.
Next week: The angler’s Clip and Save Christmas shopping list.
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Naugatuck River Stocked!
Connecticut Atlantic Salmon Legacy Program – Update –
The State DEEP found conditions improved enough to also stock the Naugatuck with 2+ year old non spawned salmon on 10-21-16.
So….. there is salmon fishing in a second Connecticut River. Catch and Release of course.
Anyone wishing to report suspicious fishing activity anonymously is asked to contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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Until next week