2023 Certified Guide to Tackle Fondling
Here’s what happened last time I decided to organize my fly boxes. It’s called “mission creep.” 
Photo by Patrick L. Sullivan

2023 Certified Guide to Tackle Fondling

It’s early March, and that means it’s tackle fondling time.

Connecticut and New York have both eliminated closed seasons for most inland trout fishing, but cold respects no human regulation.

And after the subzero temperatures on Feb. 3 and 4, I have not been in any big hurry to suit up and go fishing.

Instead I have spent a large amount of time dozing on the couch while watching “Ancient Aliens.”

Have you seen this show? To call it “preposterous” is an insult to all those hard-working souls who sit around thinking up preposterousness.

In a nutshell, the show chalks up just about everything we don’t understand to extraterrestrials.

And the host looks like he combs his hair with a fork, just after he stuck it in a plugged-in toaster.

The beauty of the show is I can doze off at any point and when I wake up, nothing has changed. It’s still the extraterrestrials.

Let’s be kind and call crashing out on the sofa with “Ancient Aliens” in the background a “winter coping mechanism.”

But it will soon be practical to fish again. So let us review the steps that make that first outing a success.

Success means the waders don’t leak. I used to fill them with water in the bathtub to look for leaks, and clean the tub while I was at it.

This is called “multitasking.” It never worked out well. I didn’t spot the leaks, and the tub wasn’t that bad to begin with.

Far better to use a flashlight from within the waders to look for those pinhole leaks that cause much misery.

When you find them, deploy a glue-y substance called Aquaseal.

Boots: Do they need new laces? Are the soles coming apart?

This is a good time of year to find new boots. Manufacturers are rolling out their new and improved products, and the old and lousy models are on sale at fly shops and from discount outfits.

Check your lines. I bet at least one of them is cracked, and should be replaced. I’m also positive they are dirty. Clean them with warm water and a bit of Dawn dishwasher detergent, and then dress them. I use Mucilin Red for this, there are plenty of similar products.

Take your reels apart and blow the gunk out with a can of compressed air. A toothbrush also comes in handy.

Use reel oil or some other light machine oil to lube them up. Use it sparingly, a very small amount goes a long way. A Q-tip is your best friend here.

Organize the fly boxes. Hahahahaha. My traditional solution to overstuffed fly boxes is to buy more boxes and overstuff them, too.

You need a large, flat area, such as a table,  to properly organize flies. Do not do it on the floor, or sometime in July you will get a Royal Coachman in your foot.

If this happens, and you have to go to the emergency room, someone will ask you how the accident occurred.

Pro tip: Blame it on the ancient aliens.

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