|Almost there, but still some work left|
All is not lost. If you're paying attention, you'll notice that the days are measurably longer than those darkest days of December. The sun shines more- it lifts my mood. The ice on the lakes is at its thickest, which tends to make for some slow ice fishing, but also allows for some decent walking or cross-country skiing conditions. If one was so inclined, it's the mating season for coyotes, so February is the month for coyote hunting.
For the fly fisher and tyer- knuckle down, it's time to flex that work ethic. Look at your boxes- you started the tying season doing the fun stuff- your favorite patterns, creating streamers, perfecting that difficult dry. Look at your box and figure out what you really need. Are you ready for steelhead season? I go through a couple hundred flies in steelhead season alone, and I give away a lot. So, love or hate it, it's time to do an inventory and set a schedule, so you don't get caught pants-down in April. I don't know about you, but spring is my busy season- I won't have time to tie in May, so you might as well look at your summer boxes and get to work on those. Be professional and analytical about it- give yourself assignments, set goals.
|Two of my hardest worked planning tools|
Pick out one of the color coded streams you've never fished, research it, research the local resources- fly shops, hotels, campgrounds, local guides, and make a solid plan to try something, someplace new. If you're a steelheader and haven't figured this out yet, the blue colored streams in the book are managed for steelhead. Pick one. Go. Inventory your gear and figure out what you need, or how you'll get by with what you have. Patch those waders, clean out the fly boxes. Clean out the candy wrappers, old leaders, tattered flies and that peanut butter sandwich you forgot about in your vest or pack.
It's also time to tend to other non-fishing matters. Take care of the honey-do list. Take your wife to Florida (sneak in that travel rod). Paint the kitchen. Do anything you can now that could interfere with your fishing season later- those days will be precious enough. Rent chick flicks and watch them with your significant other (if you're a chick, you're going to be making him do this anyways, so I have you covered in that sentence.)
|mid-winter steel, size 16 micro egg|
So it's February, so what? Deal with it. Brace up your mind for the rest of the year. Get ready- the frantic pace of spring and summer will be here soon enough; you'll wish then that you had a moment to breathe. If you don't prepare carefully now, another spring and summer will flip by with you being only half prepared, frustrated at the missed opportunities and disorganized gear, the expensive flies you're buying instead of smugly fishing your own.
It's February. Get cracking.
|Are you ready for this?|