1) Start fresh with a new organizational system.
2) Check your leaders and tippet.
While your fluorocarbon will literally last forever, Mono has an expiration date. The expiration date can vary depending on how much sunlight and temperature exposure the leaders have received. I recommend that if the leader is on its way out, test it by tying a clinch knot around a key ring and pulling it with a smooth steady pull. Basically, you are just checking to see if it breaks with ease. Expired tippet will break pretty easily. Another way to tell if it’s on its way out is to check if it’s coated in a white, chalky residue. Some manufactures will provide an expiration date, otherwise just write the month and day you bought your tippet if you don’t empty the spools quickly. Do an inventory and fill in the holes. I recommend 3x-6x fluorocarbon tippet, 4x-6x Mono tippet, 9ft 5x-6x leaders, 7.5ft 4x leaders, and 12.5ft 4x leaders.
3) Get a Simms Taco Bag if you don’t have one.
Change in and out of your waders and boots without touching the ground! This smart bag is large enough to hold waders, a pair of boots, a 4 piece rod, a fishing pack, and more. Once unzipped it and doubles as a ground mat. The best part is that it only sets you back $30. This is my fly fishing “go bag” and at this point I consider it to an indispensable piece of my fly fishing life.
4) Clean or Replace Your Fly Line.
Life is too short to fish with a crappy or dirty fly line. Lines are the most critical component of your outfit and vary depending on your application. For example, the Rio Trout Lt is designed to fish dry flies to trout. The pale finishes and long front taper play perfectly in to the presentation demands of dry fly fishing. Conversely, the Rio Indicator Line has a brightly colored tip and a short front taper help to keep an eye out for strikes, kick over indicator rigs, and split shot. Then you have the “do it all” Rio Gold. This line does well throwing streamers, nymph rigs and dries. Here is how you clean your line.
5) Check Your Waders and Boots.
Were your leaders springing a leak? Assuming you own Gore-tex (if you don’t… you should) you can spray rubbing alcohol on the waders to find all of the pin holes and fill them in with aquaseal. If you are contemplating new boots or waders G3’s waders and boots are impossible to beat. C'mon in and let me fit you for a pair of Simms G3’s or Redington Sonic Waders.
If you are thinking “where could I possibly find one these awesome things George is talking about?” Stop by the store at 550 Montgomery in the back of wingtip or give me a call - 415-483-2278 - and I’d gladly ship you anything.