How To Store Your Fly When You're Not Fishing
Apr 23, 2019
I've often said that most of the biggest aggravations in fly fishing don't have much to do with either the fish or that actual fishing.
They're usually peripheral issues that keep us from fishing and enjoying our time on the water. Perhaps the most common I've seen in my guiding career is how to keep your fly rod rigged up when you're between fishing spots. In fact, I know this is such a valuable tip because I hear at least weekly how this simple little thing makes life easier for people we guide.
Most fly rods have a hook keeper just above the rod grip that is intended for you to hook your fly into when you're not fishing. The big problem with this is that when you use the hook keeper the butt of your leader comes inside the rod tip. When you're ready to start fishing again the leader to fly line connection has a way of getting hung up in the rod tip. Like most small annoyances this isn't a big deal, but over time it can really start to rub you wrong! I'm not sure when I discovered a workaround for this problem, but I know it's a big deal because every guide I've ever fished with from the Rocky Mountains to the saltwater flats of Belize uses to the same method to keep their rods rigged between fishing spots.
Simply hook the fly on a rod guide about halfway up the rod. It should be one that's within easy reach. After you've got the fly hooked in the guide take the leader around the neck of the reel and just reel up the slack. The end of your fly line should extend out of the rod tip and not snag up at all.
The second half of knowing this trick is de-rigging so you can fish. Most people want to unhook the fly first but that usually creates a minor tangle. Let's not do that since our goal is to reduce aggravation on the water! First of all strip a short length of line off of the reel. Next, pull the leader from the neck of the reel. Then last, after your line has been freed, unhook the fly and you're just about ready to start fishing.
This is a really simple means of getting more quality time on the water with less frustration.