I’m excited! Tomorrow (April 1st), is the first day of New York trout fishing.
However, the conditions are pretty disheartening: Ice still covers areas of running water, snow is still falling, stream banks are mucky or frozen, water is very cold and still high, etc.
In other words, my expectations are low. Nevertheless, I’ll be on the water all day.
Here is a general list of items I take with me for casual trout fly fishing, and pretty much any other species smaller than pike or huge salmon.
*You can get away with a lighter rod, but if I could only have one versatile setup in my car, it would be a 6 weight with a floating line.
-6 weight fly rod and reel (Diamondback rod, STH reel)
-weight forward, 6 weight floating line
-2+ tapered leaders: Size 3x, 4x, and 5x
-tippet spools: Minimally 3x and 4x, but I like to carry 20lb test, all the way down to 5x so that I can build entire leaders if necessary (20lb, 0x, 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x)
-nail clippers for cutting tippet
-nail knot tool
-small knife and a multi-tool with pliers
-polarized sunglasses, and a ball cap
-waders and/or sandals
*Its always a balance when packing for any outdoor activity. There’s no reason to carry around more than you need, but other items to consider are:
-sun screen lotion
-water and snacks
-dry fly floatant/treatment
-split shot and other sinking aids
-I don’t use strike indicators, but you may want to bring some along.
*Fly selection is an intricate subject. I like to take a small variety of sizes and patterns in 2-3 boxes. Nymphs, dries, streamers and buggers.
Whatever your setup, don’t be afraid to mix it up. The early days of spring are about experimenting, trying new spots, and getting dialed in for better weather.