5 essential tackle tune-ups to avoid early-season fly-fishing disasters


Photo: Curtis Wright Outfitters

#5  Your Arm

A fly-casting instructor once told me that only casting a fly rod when you’re fishing is akin to never going for a run before you saunter up to the starting line of a race. Even proficient casters can find their timing and stroke get a little rusty after a winter off. That makes spending time on the lawn tuning up your arm just as important as getting your gear ready. After all, a high-floating line and smooth-running reel aren’t much use if you can’t put your fly in front of the fish.

Finally, if you want to get ready for the fly-fishing season with the minimum of blood, toil, tears and sweat, make a mental note—or even better, an actual note—to do all of this stuff in the fall before you put away your gear for the winter. That way, your preparations for the following season opener will be even smoother.