The old President and Congress are out.
The new President and Congress are in.
The old car companies might be gone, who knows what the new ones, or one, will be.
The old economy is gone, and the new, scary one is here.
The lowest rating for any Congress is gone, with Illinois who knows how low government ratings will go.
Enough of this, I have to remind myself this is a fly-fishing column not a political soap box.
With the New Year upon us, we as people (have to start the year politically correct) who fly-fish have the opportunity to get rid of the old and replace it with the new.
Of course, I'm talking about gear and how you should go about this task.
When the weather is so bad, hard to imagine such a day, that you can't go fly-fishing, and your significant other is making noises about you helping out around the house, go get all your fly boxes.
Spread them around you, pull all the flies out, and arrange them in three distinct and separate piles.
The first pile consists of the flies you use all the time.
The second pile is flies you never use, but might, and are taking up valuable space in your boxes.
The third pile is all the flies that are too beat up to catch fish, but that you hate to throw away.
Put pile No. 2 in a new box all of its own, place it somewhere safe, and then forget about it.
Put the flies from pile No. 3 in another box and use them for your "casting practice" flies.
Pile No. 1 is now smaller by two-thirds. See where this is going? Now, refill the empty spaces in box one with new flies that you will use.
Another fun thing to do is get all your reels and check the lines. This might require several days of fly-fishing, if the weather permits.
You need to strip the line off the reels. If it stays coiled at your feet like an old roll of bailing wire, it will most likely cast like that and will need to be replaced.
If you notice your double taper line has been turned around four or five times, you have started to cut the abrazed parts off, and the 75-foot line in now 40 feet long, replace it.
If you notice your floating line is imitating a full sinking line, a new line is in order.
Your reels now have new lines to cast your new flies. Fly rods are a bit trickier to classify as new and old. This is because there is a market for old rods, especially bamboo.
Your loved one might not understand replacing old rods with older rods. This is one area best done in secrecy.
However, if handled correctly, and with a fair amount of good salesmanship, this should be no hill for a stepper.
If you're good, you'll be able to add at least one additional rod to your quiver.
Now, the real test of your skills is put forward, when to sell all this to your significant other? Watch the Weather Channel, or look out the window. When everything is bleakest, just before it goes completely dark, drag out all the above mentioned gear.
Surround yourself with all this old stuff and look like a puppy about to be whipped for wetting the floor.
At this point, he or she who-should-be-obeyed will say, "Oh for goodness sakes, finish this up and go fly-fishing."
It works; I promise.
I can't tell you how many times I've successfully pulled this off - yea right.
Anyway, what do you have to lose? Give it a try.
Have a great 2009, and I look forward to seeing you on the river with all your new stuff.
Reach Don Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org