Archive for November 24th, 2011


Fly Fishing: Organizing The Flies….Hmmm?

Cal N's SwittersB


Truth be told, I have become a bit of a hoarder with regards to fly boxes and flies. I love to tie so much, that I probably have way more flies than I could possibly use for the rest of my days on the water. 

As a beginning fly fisher/tier, you most probably have less than three or four fly boxes filled with store bought flies and your own creations. How to organize those  flies?

If you check out the Mid Current link, above, you will see that renowned fly fishers have varying methods of sorting, storing, carrying their flies. My random thoughts regarding this subject are as follows: lake fishing or river/stream fishing; time of year and probable hatches; trout…bass…steelhead/salmon…pike fishing?; what are the probable hatches on that/those body of water? 

I most often carry most of my flies in a central repository in my rig (there is a risk here of losing everything with a vehicle break in). From there, I usually in advance, load 1-2 fly boxes with the probable food sources for the fish, in that particular location, at that time of year. I have tried to refine this over the years, so as to not carry a ridiculous amount of flies.

This method usually works and the simplified selection process eases the mind (mine anyway) and lets me relax and focus on presentation, observation and relaxation. I get the ‘what flies to carry/use’ out of the way, in advance, if I can. I don’t like to be sorting through fly boxes at the location, unless I note something on the water and have the luxury of heading back to the rig to grab some flies I now see I need, given my observations.

You are at a slight disadvantage when you stop at a location and have no clue about the typical insects in that stream or lake. Eventually, you will have a general sense of the probable insects at different times of the year and carry basic dries, nymphs, emergers, streamers that will work in a pinch: Parachute Adams, Hare’s Ear Nymph, Wet/Soft Hackle flies, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Elk Hair Caddis, Woolly Buggers, San Juan Worms, Ant pattern……….. OK, we are filling up one small fly box already. 

This whole process, begs for you to study and identify what food sources are probably available at a given time on a lake or river. There are plenty of online resources about hatches, patterns, timing, locations to help you fine tune your plan. This is all part of the fun, I think….sorting, studying your patterns, wondering if this or that would work, envisioning your presentations and the take…’the moment’. 


Happy Thanksgiving & Blessings to All

Give thanks for all you have. It may be a lot and you take it for granted, or it may seem like you have nothing and pass on the finding something to be thankful for self quiz. Yesterday, I overheard three men talking. They were considering this year and what Thanksgiving Day meant for them.

One remarked that he had lost his wife after four, seemingly continuous, years of fighting cancer. He dreaded the holidays this years. He didn’t want to deal with his older kids that were attempting to draw him into their celebrations to ease his loss and loneliness. But, he said he was going to go to ‘keep his daughter happy. She was having a rough time this year’.

A second man said it was just his wife and himself. He was looking forward to just enjoying a quiet Thanksgiving because he had spent the last three years in prison. He had lost the support of his family. His wife had stood by him. He was thankful this year to feel normal and ‘taken care of’.

The third man complained about the gathering being at his home this year and all the kids that would make racket and the cleanup. He wasn’t looking forward to all the noise and being around people he didn’t really ‘have patience for’ . He didn’t comment about the other two men’s conditions.

The conversation wound down and the men turned away from each other. The facial expressions on the first two men revealed much to me. They were a mix of emotions that fanned across their faces in seconds to disappear. I think they were thankful. The third man seemed oblivious to his blessings. This brief snippet of eavesdropping made me reflect upon my blessing this year. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Kitchen Science Bacon & Turkey Prep


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