Tie some flies while you watch football

Don’t just sit on the couch this weekend watching NFL playoff games. Do something productive while you’re sitting there.

While you’re parked on the couch watching football this weekend, put your hands to good use. Instead of just watching the games, pull out the fly-tying gear and get a start on the flies you’ll need when spring comes around again.

Tie at least six of each pattern you like to use. A dozen is better, and if you fish like I do, you might want twenty or thirty of each. There’s nothing worse when you’re fishing than finding a fly that’s working, then realizing you’ve just snapped off the last one you had on an overzealous backcast.

If you’re not a fly-tyer yet, this is a good time to get started. For the next several weekends, there’ll be plenty of good stuff on TV to provide some good background entertainment while you’re learning. Take a trip to a store that sells fly-tying materials and load up. Then head home, park yourself in a comfortable chair, set up your vise, and start tying.

The danger of tying flies while you’re watching football is that if the game gets exciting, you run the risk of screwing up your fly. The key to a well-tied fly is keeping consistent tension on the thread, so if you start flailing your arms, you’ll probably wind up with a fly that’ll shed its wings, legs or other parts starting with the first cast.

That’s why I think DVR was invented by a fly-tyer. If something on the screen catches your attention, you can ignore it until you get to a good stopping place on the fly you’re working on, then rewind the game and see what all the fuss is about without worrying that you’ll lose all the work you’ve already done.

If you get started now, you should have a pretty good assortment of patterns by the time the ice melts off and the open-water fishing season gets going again.

So don’t just sit there like a bump on the couch. Do something productive. Something that’ll actually help you catch some fish in the spring.