Five Useful Fly Fishing Accessories

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The sport of fly fishing is known by many for its myriad of accessories, tiny tools and tricky gadgets. The accessory sections in most fly shops are overflowing with magnetic net holders, elastic floatant caddies, and spring loaded tool retractors. Although a lot of these tools may come in handy from time to time, not all of them are completely necessary for the every day fly fisherman. Depending on the bag you carry, the tools you like to use, and the waders you wear, the little extras up on the shop shelf can either turn into occasional life savers or become dead weight. Here are a few of my favorite fly fishing accessories that you may actually find useful on the water.

Waterworks-Lamson Ketchum Release Tools

Healthy trout are covered with a protective mucus designed to fend off viral and bacterial infections
that could spell disaster for the fish. Once a part of this mucus covering is removed, the fish becomes
much more vulnerable to infection. Even with a rubber net and a wet hand, it is impossible not to
inadvertently remove some of the trout’s slime. It is for this reason that we should try to handle as few fish as possible. The Ketchum Release Tool is a great way to remove your hook from a fish’s mouth without ever grasping the fish with your hands. It takes some practice and getting used to, but once you have mastered the technique, it is much faster and easier to get the hook out with one of these release tools than with your pliers or fingers.

Fishpond Swift Current Thermometer

Water temperature is one of the most important pieces of information an angler can gather. It can
help you find fish, predict hatches, and take better care of the trout. No matter what anyone says,
there is no good way to accurately find the water temperature without a reliable thermometer. The
Fishpond Swift Current Thermometer is my favorite because it is affordable, tough, and accurate.

Fly-Rite Stomach Pump

These days, stomach pumps are not as popular as they once were. The common belief is that if
you already have a fish in the net, there is no need to invade its stomach with a plastic tube to see
what it has been eating. While this is true most of the time, there are plenty of exceptions. I keep
a stomach pump in my bag when fishing in unfamiliar locations, and it has saved the trip on more
than one occasion.

 Simms GORE-TEX Repair Kit

The Simms Gore-Tex Repair Kit is one of the more useful accessories on this list. Nothing ruins a
day of fly fishing like leaky waders. Luckily, this quick drying, waterproof breathable patch will
keep your repaired waders functioning like new and have you back in the water in time to fish the
evening hatch.

 Scientific Anglers Tie-Fast Knot Tyer

When the factory welded loop on the end of your fly line finally gives in, there is no better way to
attach a new leader than with a new loop section secured to the line with a nail knot. These are not
easy to tie well unless you have a nail knot tool, and the Scientific Anglers Tie-Fast Knot Tyer is
my favorite. I keep a few of these around and they get used every time I need to reconstruct the loop
section of a fly line. I like to bend one of the wings on the end slightly outward to keep the knot from
slipping off the end of the tool before it is complete. You may not use all of these tools every time you fish, but if you keep them in the bottom of your boat bag or chest pack, you will most likely end up reaching for each one of them a few times during the fly fishing season. Stay prepared for anything with fly fishing accessories that you may actually need and keep in mind that the Vail Valley Anglers shop is loaded with every fly fishing tool, gadget and accessory you will need on the water.

Andy “Otter” Smith, Guide and Content Writer