Fly Fishing Tips | Terminal Tackle Tips

How To Make Terminal Tackle Last Part 2

Flies Rust Fast

One of the fastest ways to lose hundreds of dollars worth of flies is to allow them to rust. Water has a way of invading everything we use to fish, and fly boxes are no exception.
One wet fly can infect any other nearby flies with rust so use a drying patch before returning used flies home to the fly box. After every rainy fishing day, I open up all of my fly boxes and lay them out on the kitchen table to dry. A fan will speed things up.

The thin steel hooks can rust incredibly fast even here in the dry Colorado air. Once a hook has rusted, it is no longer useable. Not only are rusted hooks weaker than good ones, but it is considered poor form and bad angling etiquette to stick a rusty hook into the mouth of a trout. The flies you will save by drying your fly boxes out each night are well worth the time it takes to do so.

Keep Your Fluorocarbon Cool

I was chatting with an old fishing buddy the other day and he asked me an interesting question. He told me about a particularly frustrating day he had on the South Platte River near Deckers, Colorado during which he hooked several huge fish, but broke them all off. He insisted that his fighting technique had not changed and that his knots were good.

“Any ideas?”, he asked. It did not take long for us to find the problem. When I asked him where he keeps his fluorocarbon tippet during fishing season, he replied, “In my truck.” That was the problem. All tippet material has a short shelf life at high temperatures, but fluorocarbon leaders and tippet seem especially sensitive to heat. It is very important to keep all of your angling equipment at a relatively steady temperature. This is often times hard to do during the heat of the summer, but taking small measures like bringing your tackle inside after every use will help prevent loss. Let the snickers bar you left on your dashboard melt before you leave your expensive fluorocarbon in the back seat.

It is important for everyone who fishes to learn these tricks not only to save money, but also to reduce our impact on the rivers that we love so much. Every inch of fluorocarbon and every gram of lead that we leave stuck to the beds of our favorite river has a permanent effect on the overall health of the water and the wildlife that lives in and around it. If we can all reduce our waste over time, it will make for a cleaner, healthier fishery.

No matter how much life you get out of your disposable equipment, you will eventually run out. Fear not. Vail Valley Anglers has you covered both in the shop in Edwards and at our online store.

Andy “Otter” Smith, Guide and Content Writer