In my endless effort to find ways to avoid costs in what can be an expensive sport, I wandered through the Dollar Tree (aka “Dollar Store”) looking for bargains and found some! The Dollar Tree, as opposed to Family Dollar, prices everything at a buck. To find fishing gear, turn your brain sideways while looking cross-eyed at the products on the shelf and voila! Savings!
No, this is not about haute couture. No need to eyeball models in boots and waders clumping down a runway in Paris or Milan to see what is in style. A Kardashian might care about fashion; new anglers with limited budgets must pay closer attention to function when purchasing the first set of boots, waders, and vest.
After breathing a sigh of relief celebrating success in hiding the small fortune spent getting outfitted for fly fishing from your spouse, you put the gear to good use on a pristine trout stream. A few fly changes into your day, you realize the tip of your leader is starting to become stubby and must be replaced to maintain the taper from thick leader to skinny tippet. Congratulations! You just discovered the highest hidden cost of fly fishing – leaders!
Frustrated yet? It’s the tail end of summer. All the experts warn about fishing the small mountain trout streams that have probably warmed to the threshold of terminal stress for the sensitive brookies. “Fish someplace else,” they say. Where? For most of us, “someplace else” means the stocked trout water that is also terminally warm – nothing there but… bass!
Fly anglers are easy marks for every widget and gadget any expert claims will be the difference between catching enough fish to make their arms sore or being skunked. It’s easy to see who has fallen victim to the siren song – their fly fishing vests are so overloaded they look like a Sherpa hauling gear for an expedition. As always in these articles, let’s get back to basics.
Anglers have many choices since manufacturers produce waders from rubber, canvas, PVC coated nylon, neoprene and breathable material. Of these, most trout anglers use neoprene or breathable. Rubber, canvas, and PVC coated nylon are durable, but also stiff, horribly hot and damp as the sweat from normal streamside exertion turn them into a mobile steam bath
Stockers have been driving fisheries professionals insane for years with their central questions being the same as ours, “What happened to all the fish? Were they caught? Did they die? Did they leave?” Understanding the answers is crucial to their mission to provide a good angling experience that, in turn, stimulates license sales supporting hatchery programs.