Have you noticed that it’s the little details that often make the difference in success or failure. We will discuss below some of those details that will enhance the experience and perhaps add to the day’s catch.
We can’t change the weather, but we can be aware of the effect that it has on our quarry and concentrate our efforts when conditions are correct. One thing that will add to your stream knowledge is to use a stream thermometer to determine the temperature of the water. Trout are most active when the temperature of the water is above 40º F. A stream thermometer will allow you to monitor the stream temp and store that knowledge for future use. If the temp is 40º F. and rising, you may be in luck. If it is in the lower 40’s and dropping, it’s time to pack it in.
The use of forceps will allow you to release fish with less damage and possibly remove the hook without even taking the fish from the water. The attached photo shows a selection of forceps in leather retainers with straps for hanging from neck. This is a hand-made item of Ross’ leatherworking.
Magnetic Net Retainer
In the event that you catch a trophy and want to net him for a photo, a magnetic net retainer is a very convenient way to carry a net. It can hang behind the fly fisherman, yet is easily accessible by applying enough force to separate the magnets. After use, shake excess water from net and the magnets may be rejoined without looking.
Net with Rubber Netting for Gentle handling of fish and magnetic release retainer Another detail that will possibly save wildlife is to avoid leaving pieces of mono, tippet or leader on the stream. There is a product called ®Monomaster that has a small, enclosed spool that may be used to wind small bits of broken tippet, leader or mono and later, the spool may be removed from the housing and scissors used to clip and remove the bits for proper disposal. Also, note the five spools of tippet. Each is a different size/wt. allowing a choice, depending on size of fly, conditions, or fish being targeted.
A photo is attached of my homemade lanyard with a ®Monomaster, hook sharpener, clippers, multiple tippet spools with a selection of tippet weights, nail knot tool, floatant, desiccant and various other useful items.
Additional Useful Items
The list of useful items is almost limitless, but you should definitely consider safety. That includes safe wading enhanced by the use of a good wading staff and felt soled wading shoes. The felt soles allow more stability on the algae-coated rocks, so often encountered on trout streams. A consideration of comfort might also suggest the use of a good hat, sunscreen, insect repellant and polaroid glasses (reduces glare and allows anglers to see more fish), Speaking of comfort, waterproof-breathable waders are a good choice for those not wishing to feel like they are trapped in a sauna during warm weather.
Fly Selection and Presentation
Having these items will not assure you of catching fish, but if you are a skillful angler with a good selection of flies, they will certainly make your day on the water more successful and enjoyable.