By Chris Henderson
The older I get, the harder I find it to be to go out into the cold for any reason whatsoever. That makes me rather susceptible to the rather well-known cliche known as cabin fever. If you are anything like me, the following suggestions may help to keep you from going totally bonkers until Old Man Winter finally releases his iron grip on our lives for another year. I’m not saying that most of them are fun, mind you. I present them only as some outdoor-related activities to put in your time. In fact, some of them are pure drudgery, but it’s better to do them now than to put them off until the night before your first outing of the season.
Unless you count sucker fishing, where gear is not really an issue, trout fishing is the first major form of fishing of the year. In fact, it’s really only a couple of months away. . Anyway, I use two rod/reel combos for nearly all of my trout fishing. One is an ultralight Herter’s spinning reel on a little Eagle Claw rod, and the other is a tiny fly rod that my son built for me. Since both the spinning reel and the fly reel are in good shape, and the rods are fairly new, little if any maintenance is needed on them. I do, however, always change the line on the spinning reel before the season starts. As for the fly reel, I always start out with a new monofilament leader each season. Actually, I usually use bait when fishing with the fly rod, so the fly line gets little use, and lasts a long time.
I also like to give my trout fishing vest a good once-over, including a washing. I also discard all of the old salmon eggs in the pockets. A while back, my Old Bub and I learned that, if you attempt to use eggs that were opened the previous season, you are going to be frustrated and disappointed. Most of the time, they just get too soft to stay on your hook. Your best bet is to throw them away and get new ones.
For some reason, I absolutely love to use a wicker creel for trout fishing. Mine is about thirty years old, and still going strong. About the only thing that can really go wrong with one of these is the latching mechanism for keeping the cover closed. This is important, as a trout can easily flop out if the cover of the creel is not latched. I know because it happened to me. Due to the absolute simplicity of the creels, any needed repairs are really easy to make. In fact, I actually rather enjoy working on the old creel. It evokes a lot of memories for me.
In the near future, we will look at some steps to getting ready for other types of fishing. I hope you enjoyed this little look at preparing for trout fishing. There is, however, one nasty side effect. This sort of thing can lead to a horrible case of spring fever, an affliction from which I’ve been suffering since oh, about late October.
We often talk about the good memories from the outdoors. In the near future, we’ll take a look at some bad ones.