Stock Up, the Season is Right Around the Corner

I love going in to tackle shops this time of year.  I see the familiar faces of the guys in the shop, fishing buddies who are smiling more than they were last month when holiday bills were in our mailboxes.  It’s a fun time of year when we start guessing when the striped bass will arrive, the mayflies will start to hatch, and when the ponds and lakes will turn over.

I’m there for the camaraderie for sure, but I’m also there for a purpose: to restock my depleted gear bags.  I’ll take a poke through the rods and reels for sure, but for this visit I’m likely to head to other departments.  I’ll check out a new pair of waders to replace my old ones that have more patches than material.  They’re about due for an upgrade.  Then I’ll check out the synthetic lines and the monofilament.  I run some numbers to do the math about the difference between buying a bulk spool versus individual spools.

It goes without saying that I’ll pick up the usual suspects of hooks, snaps, swivels, hook hones.  I’ll do some damage in the lure aisle, picking out some new plugs, lures, stick baits and soft plastics.  Hook hones, split shot, and another plug bag are regular supplies as are floatant, strike indicators, and maybe a new fly line.  I’m sure that as I wander through the aisles I’ll find some additional things.  I always do.

Maybe this year I’ll get a new ball cap.  I’ve only got about 20 of ‘em that are sun-bleached, blood stained, and coated with some dried fish scales, just like you.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at