Neil Travis - Februrary 28, 2011

Unless you have been living in a cave you are very aware that things are getting more and more expensive. Some of it sort of creeps up on you; the price of food, clothes, and similar items increase a few cents at a time but some price increases hit you in the face on a daily basis. If you have filled up your gas tank lately you are well aware that the price has increased dramatically over the last few weeks. It’s discouraging to think that we may soon think that three dollar per gallon gasoline was a bargain!

Many of our readers have endured a long and brutal winter and are anxious to get outside and get on the go. Unfortunately, just when we thought it was safe to get outside again gasoline prices are headed for new highs. Can you say FIVE DOLLARS A GALLON? The possibility that gasoline prices, along with almost everything else, are going to reach record levels this coming summer season makes it necessary to make certain that each outing is successful. You don’t want to drive several hours, and spend your 401K to buy the fuel to get there only to find out that the stream is unfishable, or the hatch you hoped to fish happened last week.

This is where websites like FAOL and fly fishing bulletin boards becomes invaluable. On our bulletin board you can find timely information on various fly fishing venues and you can post questions about anything from questions about fly fishing gear to requests for information on fly fishing destinations. Since we have readers all over the world it’s likely that you will find an answer to your question. Most importantly, you will get an honest answer to your question. These are fellow anglers answering a question put forth by a fellow angler.

For week-end fishing trips it might be profitable to consider finding a few friends to help share the expense. Two or three people sharing the cost of a couple tanks of gasoline will greatly reduce the impact on everyone’s bottom line plus you will have friends along to share the experience.

When you start thinking about a fly fishing vacation rather than planning on visiting several different places this might be the year to pick one location and plan to spend time truly getting to know one area. Since all aspects of travel are increasing in price anyplace where you can reduce your cash outlay is a bonus. This might be a good year to explore some waters closer than home rather than traveling to some exotic faraway place. However, where ever you go think about reducing your expenses. While relaxing in a first class resort between fishing trips might be appealing it will certainly increase the cost of your trip. Camping offers a several incentives to the angler, not the least of which is cost. You can normally find a campground that is either located right on the water that you want to fish or very close by. This will save you both time and gasoline – both very valuable commodities.

Try to pick a vacation spot that has a number of angling options within a short distance from your base of operations. If there is only one suitable piece of water where you are planning to fish you have limited yourself. If that piece of water is not producing, for whatever reason, you either have to relocate, taking up precious time, or spend your time on a piece of water that is not producing the desired results. I enjoy fishing both running and stillwater situations so an ideal location for me is somewhere with both options nearby. If you are planning to fish both types of water you should plan to have some type of watercraft that will allow you to fully explore the stillwater option. It’s quite frustrating to be stuck on shore when the fish are feeding out in the middle of the lake or just beyond your casting range.

Under the heading of “being prepared”, it’s a good idea carry a variety of rods and lines to accommodate a variety of angling situations. A sink tip or an intermediate sinking line might prove useful for stillwater angling, and a slightly more powerful rod might make throwing nymphs or streamers if the situation dictates the need for such things. I would rather have them and not use them than to need them and not have them.

Another way to maximize your angling time is to try something new. If you only “fish the hatch” you might try fishing nymphs when there is no hatch to fish. Fishing attractor patterns when there is no visible surface activity will often produce some outstanding action. On stillwater situations casting buggers and similar patterns into fishy-looking places or using a sinking line to plumb the depths during the time of the day when you normally would be setting around waiting for evening will certainly extend your hours of fishing and just might produce the best fish of the trip.

As the prices continue to increase we will all need to become more creative. We can continue to enjoy our favorite sport without bankrupting ourselves in the process but we will have to be wiser.

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