Waxing poetic thoughts with the advent of autumn about the passing of another summer fly fishing season seems to be the major pastime around Stillwater these days. Outside our windows the gold leafed Aspens are quaking in the soft hues that accent this time of year. The kids have made their way back to the classroom. Hunters have started roaming the woods, canyons and marshes looking for deer or elk or fowl. Anglers have pulled out the fleece and Gore-Tex, readying themselves for the hoary mornings on the river. Fall has arrived – a crescendo of all things outdoors before the white curtain of winter falls.
A lot of us, those that work at least, are limited by only having a couple of days a week to pursue the activities we love. As the lack of light shortens our days, the sense of urgency becomes almost overwhelming to the average man or woman who lives to fish or hunt. Fortunately, seasonality doesn’t have to dictate your mood or outdoor pursuits.
Make a List
I hate lists. A list is structure, a formality of plans that must be adhered to that reminds me of work. The last thing I want to be reminded of is work (although I truly love my job here at Stillwater Fly Shop). But a list of the fishing or hunting you want to do for the next month or two gives you the ability to organize your time and prepare.
For example; I make a list and then throw it onto my mobile device’s calendar. This way I can set reminders days before to get my gear together. Most of us won’t forget when a hunting or fishing trip is happening but a reminder gives a gentle shove to get your act together. Having your Spey rod and waders ready or getting a new pack for your hunting stuff the day before you leave makes the day you leave go so much easier.
I have gotten busy and forgotten that I had leaky waders to patch. Forgetting this makes for a long, miserable day of steelhead fishing when the water is 45 degrees. Even worse, I have forgotten one of my fly boxes – the one with the flies that worked! A long, cold day of no fish that could have just been a long day if I would have made a list.
Spend the Money
Time is not unlimited. Money for most of us isn’t either. Together, the lack of these two things can pretty much prevent you from having a great hunting or fishing trip. Maximizing both is the key.
If you don’t spend your cash wisely you can end up wasting or wishing for more time. This means buying quality gear. I am talking about clothing primarily. Staying warm and dry should be first and foremost of your concerns. The lack of these two things will make the best fly fishing or hunting of your life miserable.
Base layers and outerwear should work in tandem. Socks that wick away moisture are something that I can’t stress enough. The outer layer should be also made of a breathable material to prevent moisture from building up next to your body. Sitka, Simms and Patagonia have great clothing that is very comfortable and warm.
Get OFF the Couch!
It is easy to use bad weather as an excuse not to go chase fish around the river. The advent of the Simms Guide Jacket years ago is one example of game changing outerwear that has been developed for fishermen. I can list numerous clothing innovations that no longer let you look out the window on Saturday morning and decide that you would rather watch football then get outside. Stillwater Fly Shop can help you find the hunting and fishing clothing to keep you off of the couch.