Preparing for the start of the season is all part of the build up to the big day. There is no way we want to spoil it all by forgetting some essential item or finding that something is broken or not functioning properly. Rods are checked for damaged rings or tyings, that the joints are a good fit and not liable to work loose. Reels need to oiled and line checked for cracks are abrasions. Leaders are retied and a new tippet attached and flies are sorted and checked for damaged or rusty hooks. It is also a good idea to check the landing net to make sure there are no holes in it, at least ones that are not supposed to be there. Any repairs to waders need to be sorted as it is a bit of a downer to remember that leak from last season that we did not get round to fixing.

Fishing vests are useful but often get pockets filled with discarded nylon or food rappers and may do not smell too good either. Check all the pockets and repack only with stuff that is meant to be there and maybe wash it before repacking.

A change of clothing in case of involuntary immersion is well worth carrying. I have a plastic crate with a permanent spare clothing in it for all possible weather conditions which means I only have to remember the crate rather than individual items of clothing.

All the above is easy to do leading up to opening but is just as important for any fishing trip and is well worthwhile to help avoid catastrophes which may lead to an early return home.

Above and beyond the suggestions already made it is a good idea to carry  complete set of tackle, rod, reel and line in case one of these major items are damaged in the course of a day on the water. It would be a shame to have to pack up after an hour’s fishing due to a d broken rod especially if you had driven 2 hours to get there.  I have only needed my spares a few times over the years but in every case they saved the day.

If you fail to plan you plan to fail.