Going through the fly boxes…

My mid-winter ritual has begun. Yesterday I started going
through my fly boxes. What once were full and organized have,
over the course of last season, turned into a motley crew of
hair, hook and feathers. Now, a size 16 PMD can be found
sharing a compartment with a hackle-less Royal Wulff, while a
chewed up Double Humpy conseals my last size 20 Blue Wing
Olive. Flies that were organized by size, type and use, now
intermingle freely.

Looking into the boxes is a bit like reading a fishing
timeline. I see a Parachute Adams with a midge dropper,
reminding me of the stellar fishing that occurred last spring in
the Flaming Gorge; the mangled PMD that took quite a few
cutthroat from a certain riffle on the Snake every summer
morning, and the big, mottled woolly bugger that was a last
ditch effort for stubborn browns in the Lewis channel. Flies like
these will be picked out and returned to there rightful place,
or more likely than not, retired to the trash.

Going through these boxes gives me reason to tie new
flies for the upcoming season and helps me see what patterns
are needed and what aren’t. Over the years, I’ve tried to
simply my fly selection. I’m now convince that all I really need
are a few different size Parachute Adams and a Double Humpy
or two (I just don’t have the courage to test this theory).
Despite this, I’ll tie a variety of flies just in case I find myself
in a bind. Below is my favorite fly box. It contains nothing
more than various Adams patterns, parachute Hare’s Ears,
Royal Wulffs, Trudes and Double Humpies. It’s the first box to
get refilled every winter….


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