Well, winter seems to be moving right along. I haven't been able to get out fishing the past few days; it's been pretty cold and I've been substitute teaching. Instead I've been doing a lot of fly tying.
A view of my fly tying bench. I try to keep it pretty organized but after a few dozen flies, things start to get out of control. I recently got a new vise- a Regal Medallion with stainless steel jaws. It replaces a Renzetti I tied on for close to 20 years. While I have no complaints about the Renzetti traveler, I love the new Regal. It holds all hook sizes securely and doesn't need to be adjusted at all when putting differet size hooks in. Just squeeze the lever, insert hook and you're good to go. Plus, no plastic pieces to fail. Most flies I tie are trout flies in the size 6-16 range. I do however tie plenty of streamers (#2,4s, etc.) as well as smaller dry flies, nymphs and midges (#16-24). Any size I throw at is held in place like a champ.
Winter fly tying is a great way to scratch the fishing itch when you can't actually go fishing. Patterns coming off the vise this week consisted of some big, articulated streamers and classic nymphs. I've begun organizing fly boxes too, both for the boat and my vest.
Here's a completed Zoo Cougar streamer (non articulated). I really like these and they're pretty easy to tie. The duck flank feather really makes the fly look good in the water...
I splurged and bought some new thin orvis boxes for my nymphs in hopes of simplifying selections for carrying. The box below is getting filled with my go-to patterns for fishing the waters here in Jackson Hole, Dubois etc. There's a ton of patterns out there, but I always go back to the basics- Hare's ears, phesant tails, princes, copper johns and peacock soft hackles. I like to tie all these both with and without weight (beadheads or lead wrapping.) In addition to this box, i'm planning on having a box for tail-water specific bugs (scuds, rock worms, etc.), a box for still waters (damsel nymphs, chrionomids, scuds, etc.) and a box for the Firehole river. This way I can grab the right box for the situation instead of carrying everything with me all the time. Ofcourse my boat box will be stocked full of everything so no matter where I'm floating; Snake, Green, Big Horn, etc. I'll have what I need.