Fly Tying & Fishing: Rescuing Old Flies

Find those old flies left forgotten in old licorice tubs, fly boxes and plastic bags. I recently wrote about this. So, today, for drill I looked out in the shed. There was an old yellowed, plastic tub…the kind red vine licorice comes in.

The Old Tub of Flies in the Shed (SwittersB)

The tub was almost full and the plastic fairly brittle to the touch. I brought it inside and decided to sort through the flies to see if any were salvageable.

Mediocrity (or worse) spewing forth (SB)

Some observations of this inspection: most of the flies were rightfully tossed. Most of the flies for trout and steelhead were tied on too large of a hook. There were few bead heads or curved shank hooks. Most of the hooks were Mustad hooks. This gives the more experienced tiers an idea how old most of these discards were. So, I sorted through about a third of the flies and came up with a couple dozen ok flies that should be reinserted into the fly boxes. The rest need to be canned. The question remains…do I burn the materials off all those hooks and sort or toss them?

Salvaged from the Depths of a Shed (SwittersB)

In the bin, I found two dead yellow jackets. Many of the wings and tails had been eaten by moths. The flies were mostly god awful. But, a few peeked through the tangles of hooks and materials to say…’save me!’

3 Responses to “Fly Tying & Fishing: Rescuing Old Flies”

  1. September 2, 2010 at 13:41

    WOW!!! That´s a huge quantity of flies!


  2. 3 SwittersB
    September 1, 2010 at 13:40

    Burn materials off shank to reclaim hook, which I may do when time allows for such a tedious endeavor. These are not worthy of any charity, cause or club. Only the price of the hooks and probably a thousand flies (more or less) encourages me to salvage the hooks. Yes, we are our own worst critics, but in this case, I think I would have a unanimous verdict of “OMG, what a bunch of %#@&!” Yep, tis true.



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