More in Sports
River Valley Outdoors
Avid anglers, like anyone else pursuing a passion, can get a little carried away with purchasing too many new gadgets. When it comes right down to it, all one needs for catching fish is a line, a worm, and a fishing license.
From there, the long list of extra gear for fishing can take anglers well beyond any reasonable budget. As an “old school” angler, I attempt to stick with the traditional gear. Besides looking foolish while outfitted in the latest fly fishing fashion, a lot of the “improved” gear just doesn’t help at all. Nobody wants to look like they just stepped out of the latest fly fishing catalog, and the old stuff has always worked in the past.
As an outdoor writer, I feel I have an obligation to sift through all the new stuff and report on what works and what doesn’t work. While absorbing this information, remember that these thoughts of mine are completely drawn from my own personal use of the items – laced with my biased opinions. I dislike high-tech gear, and only use it if I find it so wonderful that I have to include it in my narrow list of fly fishing accessories.
Number one on the list of have-to-have items for fly fishing has to be my new hat. I used to wear regular cotton ball caps and got tired of the sizzling heat of a hot summer day being encapsulated within the cap. Even on semi-warm days, my noggin would get overheated by wearing the heat-absorbing ball cap.
Now I wear a vented hat with a wide brim. The mesh vent lets air circulate and cool my head, and the wide brim keeps the sun from burning my ears and neck. For those folks that just can’t give up the ball cap, some companies now use newer materials that wick moisture away from the skin. UnderArmor, and several other companies, offer a cooler way of covering the anglers head.
Many anglers, me included, have difficulty seeing small things up close; like teeny flies, fine tippets, and little aquatic insects. Constantly changing between sunglasses and reading glasses slows down the fishing action, so why not combine the two.
Several companies now make polarized sunglasses that include a magnified section on the lenses that allows far-sighted folks to see small objects up close – what a relief. And don’t forget, wearing polarized sunglasses not only helps an angler see underwater better, they protect the eyes from wayward hooks.
Last, but not least on this list, has to be the pocket-sized book, “Hatch Guide for New England Streams,” by Thomas Ames (Frank Amato Publications, Inc.). I can’t begin to count the number of times I have been on a stream or pond and found some kind of new (to me) insect.
Ames’ handy guide book explains bug life in easy to understand terms and helps anglers identify aquatic bugs in this region by using some awesome macro photography.
I took an insect identification class with the author several years ago and found him to be very cool and calm, but this didn’t stop him from passionately pouring forth loads of information about his passion – the bugs that fish eat.
The three items listed above work perfectly for me. Although my vest happens to be full of all sorts of tools that help me fish, the hat and glasses provide me with great comfort while fishing. I stay out longer because of this extra comfort.
And the bug book provides me with an endless amount of information on a topic that offers me a lifetime of learning – all in the name of fishing.