Organize that gear for opening day
April 18, 2008
Get those flies tied for the upcoming season. While fly fishermen are supposed to tie flies during the winter to prepare for the upcoming season, few seldom do that until just before the season begins. Personally, I have tried to do that in previous seasons but am finding it more difficult each year.
I’m not really sure why I don’t tie more flies during the winter, but I think it’s because I’m just getting lazy or because I am still fishing during the winter. It could also be because I have found that if I just organize my fly boxes, I will find more than enough of the flies I need.
You may want to try to organizing your fly boxes before this season. Just spend a morning opening all your boxes and sorting them. There are many ways to do this, but use a method that works for you.
I have seen many beautifully organized boxes separated by the types of flies, nymphs, streamers, dry flies and emergers. I have also seen it carried even further as to differentiate the types of flies by a specific species such as mayfly, caddisfly, stonefly, midges or terrestrials.
Sorting through the boxes becomes necessary because as we fish during the season we invariably change flies and mix them up in our various box types. As a result, if you have never done this, you have random mixed boxes. Personally, I know that I can never be so precise as to get the flies back in the exact box from which I took them. I would venture to say that many of you do the exact same thing.
If you do get the flies back into the right boxes, I applaud you. You may be a sick individual, though.
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The reason most boxes get mixed is that we are in such a rush to get that right fly onto our lines that the fly coming off the line loses its importance. As a result, they get put into the box almost as an afterthought. Couple this with the fact that you may have been fishing nymphs and you see the beginning of a hatch and fish actively feeding on the surface and reach for that dry box. You then take your nymph off and replace it with a dry and the nymph goes conveniently into your dry box. Repeat this over the course of a day, and then the season, and you have fly boxes that are well mixed!
Take the time before you go out this season and give your fly boxes some attention. I’m sure you will be very surprised at what you find. You may even save yourself some time in getting ready for the season.
Unfortunately, the other quirk that many of us have is that we never feel we have enough of the right flies. Therefore, we always tie just a few more. I tend to keep these separate until I insert them into a box. Which box? Any box that seems to be convenient, judging from the state of my fly boxes.
What a mess. No wonder I spend so much time on the stream looking for the fly I know I tied!