Since my brain is fried, I may as well organize flies.
Here I go.
Winter is not over. It feels like it is just beginning. And flies do not sort themselves.
As a fishing guide I have lots of flies. I don’t get to keep them, I only get to house them temporarily until they are lost, broken off, used up, or sent away at the end of every day to the fly fishing guest. Along the way many of them do catch fish! But just like wanna be Olympians…not every fly makes it to the final race!
I am the keeper of client flies. And so is every fishing guide. The keeper.
Some guide have boxes of flies that guests never see. They have their own fly boxes. And I like that idea. Flies that you claim as your own. I really don’t have any of those anymore. All for one, one for all in my boat.
I remember fishing with a young buck from the neighboring shop I once worked for. I had a cancellation, the shop FNG had the afternoon off so in the boat we went with one other trout bum I cannot remember.
The kid caught a fish in the first couple hundred yards. A dry fly, I think some sort of caddis pattern…I was at the oars. I, out of curiosity, asked the kid what fly he was using. Just curios. He held it in his hand, hidden, and said he wouldn’t show me. I laughed and said, “OK pal, let’s see it.” He couldn’t show me, it was a secret.
So I rowed to the bank and ushered the kid from my boat. And that was that. I heard a couple weeks later he was released from his duties at the shop.
Hah! Last laugh. When you are in the boat with others, it becomes a team sport. That is my belief. You can roll however you want to. But in my boat, TEAM. Just like Olympians!
So as I start the annual fly sorting process I think about a new angle. Fewer patterns? A reduction in the bullshit? A smaller boat bag?
Nah. I’m going with hyper organization again. Sort-of. Within reason. Same fly boxes though. Not an overhaul of boxes. That is an event. I want to keep the re-org inside of a week. Sorting more like. Boxes spill, turn over, get jostled around, Mitch Kowalski steals a few key patterns, and the like. Fly cups jammed with tippet laden nymph balls with dangerous SJW hooks protruding from the mystery rats nest.
I know I will toss a bundle of rusty, broken, thread dangling, and ineffective patterns in the dead fly bin. It is good to go through the entirety of your fly inventory annually. It lets you know where you are at, what you need, what you should tie, and to add to the long list of mind numbing February activities whilst the outdoor temps rarely rise to acceptable levels!
I’m wishing myself luck that by the time I’m done the Mariner’s Spring Training games are on TV! Come on Spring!