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Getting Ready for Winter: What's on Your Fishing To-Do List?

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December 17, 2012

Getting Ready for Winter: What's on Your Fishing To-Do List?

By John Merwin

Every year about this time, I have the same problem. First, our area fishing has pretty much shut down for the winter. I never got much into ice-fishing, so that’s it until next spring. Instead, my fishing thoughts turn inward to all the things I might accomplish over the winter. 
Fly-tying is foremost. I’ve been tying since I was a little kid. There are some voids in my fly boxes I need to fill or replace. And I have an ideal spot—a desk next to a window and also near the wood stove. So I can gaze out at the snow while also being warm and comfortable.

Maybe too comfortable. Because despite my early winter resolutions, by early spring most of them remain undone. All my thoughts about rod-building, tackle-sorting, fly-tying, lure-making and more haven’t produced much. I might have made a dozen or so hare’s-ear nymphs, and that’s about it. And the same thing happens year after year.

I do tend to various household repairs and chores that seem imperative. I go for walks in the winter woods, shovel snow away from the barn, and haul firewood inside from the woodshed. But beyond that I am frequently seduced by a comfy easy chair and a good book in which I might lose myself until dinnertime.

This is indeed a very nice life. But it’s not very conducive to fishing projects or other things that are easily put off. One thing at which I excel is procrastination. And I know I’m not alone in this.

So what do other people do? That is, besides always putting off until tomorrow.... Is there a winter to-do list in your life that involves fishing-related projects? Do you get them done according to some sort of self-determined schedule? Or are you more like me, with lots of good intentions but a bit short on follow-through?

Comments (13)

Top Rated
All Comments
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Tying flies is my main winter hobby but I will admit I do not do it as often as I use to. I have enough flies to last two lifetimes.

After this weekend I have decided to concentrate on designing a snag-proof steelhead rig. Also looking into a snag-proof steelhead fly. Things like this excite me. I'll probably end up with something that has already been done but it's fun trying.

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from MattM37 wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I spend a lot of wintertime evenings looking at topo maps to find little cricks in the state forests that might hold some brookies, then I'll go and have a look at them the next time I'm out for a winter hike or small-game hunt. It doesn't often lead to much success come springtime -- most of the woodland streams on the maps can scarcely support a chub -- but when it does pay off, it's like scouting all summer and fall for a big buck and then seeing him right where he's supposed to be on Opening Day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I need to tie flies, and I put it on my list, but the rod building gets in the way of that, then the fly fishing and ice fishing gets in the way of the rod building. It's a vicious cycle, I never tie enough to stay stocked up. I might need to start looking into trading flies for rods since that consumes most of my hobbies-that-support-my-fishing-habits time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Besides tying flies, tying furled leaders. Short ones for sinking lines, and longer ones for floating lines...ones that utilize a small barrel swivel at the end for wet fly fishing. You just tie your tippet onto the swivel..no twisting..pretty cool.

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from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Hopefully I will be moving into a new house with more space available for setting up a tying station. I would like to do a lot of tying this winter. I would like to get a nice surplus of the top 5-10 flies that I use.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SonOfDitka wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I don't ice or fly fish but I usually spend the winters slowly overhauling the tackle box...replacing or sharpening hooks, identifying gaps, cleaning stuff. Nothing crazy and it keeps me sane until bass opens up again in June. Yes, June. The joys of living in northern Canada.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

My goal for this winter is to inventory my assortment of rods, reels, tackle boxes and lures, one group at a time. The rods and reels are to be cleaned and listed along with approximate value for insurance and estate purposes. The lures date from the 1940's to the turn of the century. Those of exceptional value will be identified so as to alert the wife since I will likely depart this life before she does. Anything that is destined for a grandchild should have a hand written description of the story behind the item. In order to accomplish the above, I figure that we will need enough bad weather that lasts to sometime in June, an event not unheard of here in Missouri.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Reading is one of my favorite winter past-times. Any on have a good recommendation?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Reading is my biggest problem during the Winter...I read too many menus.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from langyanzi wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Winter fishing, a lot of fun, ha ha ...

www.lilydating.com

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Some of my greatest catches are during the Winter. I just about get a lunker landed, and I wake up on my recliner, and put another log on the fire.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Go West (and a little south), young man. January steelhead are anything but 'shut down' in Western New Yawk. Big, and biting hard.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tuna0410 wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Overhauling tackle and mending nets (cast and landing, not gill) is the fun of winter. I try to hunt a little but it just is not the same. Want to try ice fishing it seams like a lot of fun, but around here we do not see much snow or ice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from SonOfDitka wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I don't ice or fly fish but I usually spend the winters slowly overhauling the tackle box...replacing or sharpening hooks, identifying gaps, cleaning stuff. Nothing crazy and it keeps me sane until bass opens up again in June. Yes, June. The joys of living in northern Canada.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Tying flies is my main winter hobby but I will admit I do not do it as often as I use to. I have enough flies to last two lifetimes.

After this weekend I have decided to concentrate on designing a snag-proof steelhead rig. Also looking into a snag-proof steelhead fly. Things like this excite me. I'll probably end up with something that has already been done but it's fun trying.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattM37 wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I spend a lot of wintertime evenings looking at topo maps to find little cricks in the state forests that might hold some brookies, then I'll go and have a look at them the next time I'm out for a winter hike or small-game hunt. It doesn't often lead to much success come springtime -- most of the woodland streams on the maps can scarcely support a chub -- but when it does pay off, it's like scouting all summer and fall for a big buck and then seeing him right where he's supposed to be on Opening Day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I need to tie flies, and I put it on my list, but the rod building gets in the way of that, then the fly fishing and ice fishing gets in the way of the rod building. It's a vicious cycle, I never tie enough to stay stocked up. I might need to start looking into trading flies for rods since that consumes most of my hobbies-that-support-my-fishing-habits time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Besides tying flies, tying furled leaders. Short ones for sinking lines, and longer ones for floating lines...ones that utilize a small barrel swivel at the end for wet fly fishing. You just tie your tippet onto the swivel..no twisting..pretty cool.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gtbigsky wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Hopefully I will be moving into a new house with more space available for setting up a tying station. I would like to do a lot of tying this winter. I would like to get a nice surplus of the top 5-10 flies that I use.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

My goal for this winter is to inventory my assortment of rods, reels, tackle boxes and lures, one group at a time. The rods and reels are to be cleaned and listed along with approximate value for insurance and estate purposes. The lures date from the 1940's to the turn of the century. Those of exceptional value will be identified so as to alert the wife since I will likely depart this life before she does. Anything that is destined for a grandchild should have a hand written description of the story behind the item. In order to accomplish the above, I figure that we will need enough bad weather that lasts to sometime in June, an event not unheard of here in Missouri.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Reading is one of my favorite winter past-times. Any on have a good recommendation?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Reading is my biggest problem during the Winter...I read too many menus.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clinchknot wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Some of my greatest catches are during the Winter. I just about get a lunker landed, and I wake up on my recliner, and put another log on the fire.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Go West (and a little south), young man. January steelhead are anything but 'shut down' in Western New Yawk. Big, and biting hard.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tuna0410 wrote 1 year 16 weeks ago

Overhauling tackle and mending nets (cast and landing, not gill) is the fun of winter. I try to hunt a little but it just is not the same. Want to try ice fishing it seams like a lot of fun, but around here we do not see much snow or ice.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from langyanzi wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Winter fishing, a lot of fun, ha ha ...

www.lilydating.com

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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