Fly anglers can have success on 4 flies during much of the year. The 4 that should always be in your fly vest are the BH Pheasant Tail #16, Black Ant #18, Adams #16 and Olive Hare's Ear #18. Having these 4 flies give you a fighting chance each time you hit the water whether there is a hatch (one you can figure out) on or not.
After a year long of fishing, whether your an everyday angler or just a weekend puddle jumper, your fishing rods take some abuse. Most anglers take care of their fishing reels, but most anglers do not even think about caring for their rods. Fishing rods need maintenance just as much as your reels or other gear.
Spring is a great time to clean up and inspect your fishing rods as waters clear and you prepare for peak fishing season. Clean the guides, inside and out, with a q-tip to remove any gunk that can build up and damage your fishing line. This is especially important with fly rods as mineral deposits and debris can cut through your fly line. For heavy dirt, dish soap or WD-40 works well. Use a light rubbing alcohol and water solution to clean the handles and reel mounting hardware. This removes any fish slime, dirt and the occasional lunch drip from your rod so that your hand is not stuck to your handle for your next cast. Finally after cleaning, store your rods properly. Use rod sleeves or storage cases to protect them from damage and additional dirt and grim. Maintain your fishing rods and they will last longer, giving you more days from the house to water.
Buying jig heads already painted increases their cost. Is that added cost worth it or is it worth the time to paint your own? Some anglers only use painted jig heads, matched to each bait color. Others fish with both painted and non-painted with little difference in catch rates. In most cases it is worth the extra money or time spent painting your jig heads. Colored jig heads add to presentation and in turn add to more fish in the boat.
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