City in lockdown? Putting yourselves in self-quarantine? Batten down the hatches and prepare yourself for activities to keep your fishing fire burning throughout this trying time.
This self-quarantine and lockdowns are just for our health and safety and the most responsible thing to do is to comply and let the experts do their jobs. I understand that it is affecting everyone negatively, but we all have to survive this situation and it won’t be easy. Luckily, I am an expert when it comes to acquiring “free time” and finding things to do to entertain myself as an angler. So here are some things that we all can hopefully enjoy whilst the world is in lockdown.
1. Clean and organize your fishing gear
This is the most opportune time for all of us to give our fishing gear a little TLC. We won’t be travelling to far flung fishing destinations soon so let’s give our equipment some well-deserved TLC.
RODS: Check all your rods’ guides for any damage and mark any guides that need repair or replacement to make it easier for your favorite rod builder to find them.
REELS: Removing all your line from your reels to check for spool damage, then reversing your line to get the unused inner portion of your line to the outside. Having a line respooler like the Daiichiseiko line recycler would make the job easier.
LURES: Check all hooks if they are still sharp and free of rust. Replace rusty split rings and dull hooks as needed.
ORGANIZATION: Organizing and categorizing gear into different areas in your tackle room can make it easier for you to locate the gear you need when preparing for your next fishing adventure. This will allow you to be more efficient with your tackle prep.
2. Tie flies
Really, this doesn’t even have to be included in the list as we all know that the fly fishermen reading this blog have already been tying flies even without any international pandemic occurring. Fly tying is a great way to keep your mind clear from all the negative energy spewed from social media and traditional media about the world’s current health situation. In all honesty though, being in a lockdown situation has allowed me to spend a couple more hours tying flies and I am totally loving this. It won’t be long until I have a few boxes of full fly boxes ready for any expedition that may come in the future.
This is the time to catch up with your reading. No, you don’t need to head out to the bookstore and physically buy a book but shipping and deliveries do have some delays Check out Amazon books as they have a really vast selection available for purchase at very good prices. If you have a Kindle, then better as you can download the books upon purchase and read away without breaking a sweat. A warning though, once you get into their collection, it is hard to actually stop looking at the books to finally buy and download the copy. Here is a list of books that I highly recommend the average angler should have in their Kindle e-book library or even a hard copy if possible:
‘The Longest Silence’ by Thomas McGuane
A book fully focused on fishing with 40 stories about different species from freshwater to salt, the stories are all fish all the time which is so fun to read! Note that Thomas McGuane is regarded as the best fishing writer in the history of mankind. Go on, get a copy. It’s worth it.
‘A River Runs Through It’ by Norma Maclean
Forget about the movie guys, I know it is long and drags for ages, but the book is an easy read that can light up the fires of our fishing appetites. Short and sweet and beautifully written. Worth getting for the collection.
‘The Old Man And the Sea’ by Earnest Hemmingway
A timeless classic and one that I am actually re-reading for the nth time already. Even my kids enjoy the story and I make sure to read them some Hemingway before I leave for my own fishing trips (gets me excited every time). As an angler, you’ll surely feel the plight of Santiago as he battles this giant marlin without anyone’s help and sub-par equipment.
‘GT – A Fly Fisher’s Guide to Giant Trevally’ by Peter McLeod
My current guilty pleasure and my favorite to recommend to anyone wanting to catch GT on fly, this is an in-depth and amazingly detailed resource for anyone considering fishing for GT. Fly or conventional, no matter what technique you prefer, this book has so much invaluable information that we can peruse when chasing for this brutally strong predator. So much technical information and firsthand reports from different destinations around the world. A must have.
4. Learn – Binge watch educational videos online
There are tons of learning opportunities on the internet right now and we should take full advantage of the FREE Youtube tutorials available for all and the amazing selection on Fishflicks.. Check out detailed product reviews of the rod or reel that you’ve had your eye on for so long. Learn how to tie flies if you haven’t already.
5. Workout at home
No excuses now. You’ve got time and you’ve got nothing to lose, except a bit of weight around your belly area. Getting fitter not just for your own health and self-confidence but for your next big fishing trip can be done at home. We previously discussed how fishing can keep us in great shape but now that we are forced to stay home, why not work on increasing our strength and endurance by doing body weight exercises like pushups, squats, lunges, burpees and planks. Can’t use “I’ve got no time to workout” excuses anymore.
Just a few activities that can keep our minds and bodies active and productive even during the lockdown or quarantine. Might even turn into habits that can only be better for us in the long run. I love doing all of the above activities even without being in quarantine and I hope you learn to enjoy them too. Who knows, after this fiasco is over you might be stronger, leaner and tie great flies, plus all your gear will be so clean your mates might think they’re all brand new!