Another summer is over. It went too fast, unless you
consider all the fires we had and the fact that cold weather
has put an end to that. I didn't get much fishing done, and
I'm not really ready for the cold weather. I don't even have
all my firewood cut and stacked.
Last winter I spent all my free time working on my basement.
I'm almost finished with that task, and maybe I'll get a
chance to tie a few flies and (hopefully) build a rod this
winter. Winter is a good time for those kinds of projects.
Unless you live in the south, you'll need something to occupy
your time when it's too cold to be outside fishing. It's your
chance to catch up on a few things that need your attention.
In case you run out of things to do, here are a few suggestions
to keep you entertained and curb the cabin fever syndrome.
Tie some flies. - Winter is a great time to replace
those flies you left in trees during the summer. If you don't
already tie your own, maybe this is a good time to learn.
There are several fairly extensive fly-tying courses here on
FAOL to get you started or expand your knowledge. When it's
cold and snowy outside, fly-tying is a good way to enjoy the
Build a rod. - Nothing starts a new fishing season like
a new fly rod. For some reason, new toys make the game more
fun, especially if you can start the year with a new toy.
Why not build your own this winter. It'll take your mind
off the blowing snow, and give you something to look forward
to in the spring. If you don't know where to start, look at
the rod building instructions here at FAOL.
Build something. - Do you like birds? I plan to build
a couple of birdhouses this winter. They don't have to cost a
bundle, and birds are entertaining all summer. I built the
birdhouses in this picture with mahogany scrounged from a
hardwood pallet I picked up at the lumberyard. They were
throwing the pallet out, and I saw a use for it. The
cost - free. Why not do a couple of similar projects around
your house. If you have kids, they will get a kick out of
watching the birds feeding and caring for their young next
summer. You might too. Sorry, no birdhouse instructions on
Plan a trip. - Most people take a trip or two in the
summer when lodging rates are highest. I know, that's when
the best hatches occur, but you could stay maybe twice as
long if you traveled in the off season. Still, summer is
when the kids are out of school, the weather is nice, you
don't have to worry about blizzards and icy roads, and photos
of rivers with lush vegetation are always more colorful than
the drab looks of winter. Look for ideas in the worldwide
section under features here on FAOL.
Join fly swaps. - A lot of people salvage their sanity
in the winter by tying and trading flies with other flyfishers
from around the globe. You could easily get in on one of those
swaps. It's amazing how differently people tie the same pattern.
It's a fun way to pass the dreary snowbound days and make new
friends at the same time. You can find fly swaps on the bulletin
board, and they get very active in the winter months.
Take up a new hobby. - I just finished a series on
macro photography and maybe you're ready to try it? How
about a new fly tying bench? Woodworking is a fairly fun
hobby if you don't have someone pushing you to finish a
project on his or her timetable (like a basement remodeling
project). If you do it right, you can easily spend at least
a month researching which camera or new tool you need to buy.
Take a trip to a warm place. - A lot of people venture
south for a bonefish or other saltwater flyfishing trip in the
cold months of winter. It's a good way to break up the drudgery,
get over cabin fever and enjoy a new way to catch fish. If you
do this right, you can incorporate the fly tying and rod building
suggestions into this idea. This kind of a trip will provide
lasting memories and lure you like a siren's song toward a
repeat trip another year. For ideas and destination possibilities,
look at the worldwide area under features here.
Become a gourmet cook. - If you do it right, and take
your time, you can be a great cook by spring. Sorry, we don't
have instructions or recipes here yet; but if you're not sure
you have it figured out, or if you just want a fair judge of
your work, send me samples of the sweet stuff when you think
you have it conquered. I'm a very good judge of that kind of
stuff, and I need something to do in the wintertime too.