Winter is the time for fishing preparation
On the Fly
It’s finally time to take a deep breath, reflect on what an awesome summer it was, and get your game plan together for the winter to come. Maybe you need to send a few broken rods in for repair, book that trip to warmer climes for bonefish or redfish, or take inventory of those nearly empty fly boxes and get a tying plan together. Fall and winter certainly provide respite for the weary fisherman, but there is plenty to keep us busy all year here in the valley.
This could be the winter you build that fly-tying bench you’ve been designing in the back of your mind. Those chine cracks on your drift boat probably need some attention, and your trailer might need a little love, too. Perhaps this is the winter you dial in the upper Fryingpan, stubbornly casting dry flies to a sporadically rising fish. Or this might be the year you finally knock down an elk and fill your freezer, and in turn, have a lifetime supply of elk hair for caddis dry flies.
This might be the winter you join the Roaring Fork Valley Fly Fishing Club, Trout Unlimited, the Roaring Fork Conservancy or the Roaring Fork Guide Alliance and start giving back a little. Maybe you will get a few close fishing friends together and do a river clean-up on your favorite stretch of water. Your local Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop could probably use a volunteer to teach the next generation a few knots, how to cast, or how to tie up some pheasant tails and foam hoppers, too.
Those rods you never use any more might end up in a neighbor kid’s hands, along with a few flies and a promise of a fishing day or two in the spring. Maybe you’ll check out some of the sportsmen’s shows down in the big city and cast all of the rods in next year’s lineup. Whatever your plans are to keep your sanity until we thaw out again, make it a great winter, get out there and fish, and get that fishing project that has been gnawing at you underway!
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Wayne Hall took a job as an air traffic controller at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in 2003 thinking he would stay for a short time. Instead he stayed for nearly 17 years and was promoted up to the position of air traffic manager. He reflected on the experience upon retirement.