Its only a week since the Grayling season ended and its now just two weeks before my first day of the river Trout season.  I’m looking forward to a social day fly fishing a great beat of the lower River Test with three of my Go Fly Fishing UK guide colleagues on 4th April.  Usually it is the last week of April before we start to get consistently good fly hatches on the chalkstream rivers but last year on 7th April, when we had our social day on the Test, there were clouds of flies and lots of rising fish.

This is the time of the year to make those final preparations of tackle.  Give your rods a good wipe down to get rid of any muck around the rings.  Likewise with your reels and maybe give them a drop of oil.  Time spent cleaning your fly lines will give you smoother easier casting.  Strip the fly line off the reel and with a sponge and warm soapy water grip the line in the wet sponge and rub up and down the line two or three times to get rid of all the muck that will have accumulated along the line.  Then do the same again but with clean water and a clean sponge to get rid of any soap.

Check your stocks of tippet and leaders.  After nine years of guiding on the chalkstream rivers this is what I use: Leaders – just 9′ knotless tapered copolymer leaders down to a 5X 0.15mm (5lb) tip.  Sometimes I will add a yard of  6X copolymer or flurocarbon tippet to the end of the 9′ leader to make 12′ in total. Tippet –  copolymer 5X 0.15mm (5lb) and 6X 0.13mm (3.5lb) and the same two also in flurocarbon.

Then of course there are flies.  My stocks always seem to get bigger.  I was looking at them yesterday and other than a couple of patterns where I am short – Adams and Tups Indispensable – I already have too many!

Maybe give your fly waistcoat a good clean.  I have two – a full multi-pocket version for use most of the year and a lighter netting version for use in the summer. 

Then of course, and actually most importantly, plan yourself some great fly fishing trips.  My plan so far is Yorkshire in early April, the River Eden in early June, Loch Lomond (Pike fly fishing) in early-June and Montana and  Yellowstone in August.  I’m really looking forward to all of these and to my river guiding season starting on 15th April.