Last weekend was the opening of the Wisconsin catch and release trout season and many fly fisherman consider it to be a true sign of spring. I know many people who went out fishing last weekend and others who are planning on hitting the rivers in the coming days and weeks. I didn't get out last weekend, but I am planning on getting out in the coming days. For me this is a reminder to find all of my equipment and put it all in one place so I can get to the river and have everything I need.
This past winter I tied a bunch of flies to replenish the fly boxes just like I did last year. The one thing I have done different this year, is actually putting the fly boxes in with the rest of my fly fishing gear. This is a pretty simple task, but last year I forgot to do this before my first time out fishing. It meant borrowing flies from the guys I was fishing with as most of my flies were at home with my tying materials.
Fishing in March is also usually a little colder than in April or May which means that some additional clothing is often needed to stay comfortable. I like to put a couple pairs of wool socks in my wader bag along with some long underwear. This way I know I will have some warm clothes for the cool March mornings, no matter how fast I rush out the door.
Another thing I like to do is go through all of my equipment and check the condition. This again is based off past experiences of getting to the river in March and after wading for about 30 minutes having a damp foot. A damp foot in June isn't so bad, but in March it is not fun. If you do discover you have a leak now is a great time to go to your local fly shop (The Fly Angler or Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop) and buy some new waders.
Another important item is a fishing license. Of course you always need your license every time , but if you haven't gone fishing for since October you might need a little extra time locating it.