As we eagerly await the arrival of springtime fishing here in the highcountry, it can be a frustrating time of year to be a fisherman. With the local rivers and streams finally starting to thaw out after the deep freeze we were under for the past couple weeks, I’m sure everyone is itching to get back on the water (I know I was). However, these frozen weeks don’t have to go to complete waste, as this makes for the perfect ti me to organize your fishing gear and fly tying materials. It’s also a great time to clean your waders and boots and help us in preventing the spread of whirling disease in our local waters.

To do so, first rinse them thoroughly. You can then wash them with a mixture of water and either powdered laundry detergent, or dish soap, using a 5% solution mixture. That is 1 cup of either detergent or dish soap, per gallon of water. Then be sure to let them air dry completely for at least 48 hours. Make sure to let them dry completely and do not store them while moist as this can lead to mold or mildew growth.

As for the fishing, now that the waters aren’t frozen solid, there are plenty of trout to be caught here in the Highcountry! On my first trip out since the rivers thawed out, zebra midges and small pheasant tails nymphs saw a lot of success when dropped below a size 10 salmon egg pattern. Additionally, our float trips down on the Tennessee tailwaters are doing exceptionally well with some great brown trout action. Don’t let a little cold weather keep you from getting out and catching the fish of a lifetime!

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