They say all good outfits are properly accessorized. Well all good fisherman are as well. We all know we need a rod, reel, line, and a fly on the end to catch some fish, but what else should we have on us while fishing? Here's a few items and tips to help you be better prepared on stream. PLUS use code "accessory" and save 20% on all accessories through March 10th. Check them all out HERE!
The little stuff
Stuff that floats
Floatant - this is a big deal if you're fishing with dry flies. Gels and liquids to put on your fly before you start casting it (don't underestimate putting some on about a foot of your leader too) and powder to help get the moisture off after fishing a dry for a while or after catching a fish.
Indicators - Yes there's other types of indicators but having a few different styles can help on those times when you need a little bit of visual help to see that strike.
Stuff that sinks
Adding weight to your flies when you tie them is a great start but you may also want to add weight for different holes you fish. Split shot, with or without wings, and more modern items like tungsten putty are essential in getting the flies down to where the fish are. Carry a bunch and of many different sizes because you do lose them often and if you don't have any that may be the biggest difference between catching and not catching any fish that day.
A side note on not catching any fish, adjust your indicator (if you're using one) and your weight on your line FIRST before changing flies.
Other little stuff
Don't forget your nippers/cutters and hemostats. These are always needed to cut line and remove hooks.
The bigger stuff
Sunglasses - one of the most important items I feel I see often forgotten. Poloarrized glasses are a huge help in not only seeing fish by taking the glare off the water but also structure for lies fish may be holding in but also for watching your step while wading.
A net - Not everyone needs or wants one, but if you're going to handle many fish safely and return them back to the water, a net helps. Wet your hands before handling any fish and keep them safe in the net (and still in the water if you can) while taking the hook out and even snapping a picture or two. Also be sure to attach that net with a net magnet. Not only is it a great help in keeping the net out of the way until you need it, but that magnet is super helpful if you ever drop some flies on the ground to help find them a little bit quicker.
Wading staff - I can honestly say I've only used on a very few amount of times, but those times I am grateful that I had one. Sticks and stones can break your bones so keep a wading staff handy.
Headlamp - For those that fish early or late into the day this is a must have. I prefer one that has both white and red light to help see around when I'm on the stream and also walking back to the car.
Sun protection - sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, head and arm buffs, spf clothing, etc. Use it all. Especially if you're playing hooky from work or the spouse. HINT, HINT!
Extra stuff - You don't always have to carry it with you, but make sure you have some extra items just in case you lose or break one. I always print off an extra copy of my fishing license because I have lost it before. Other things like extra rods and reels, lines and leaders, even waders for the accidents that always seem to happen. That being said, an extra pair of clothes is always a good idea s well. Whether warm or cold, dry is always best.
Owner of Risen Fly