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> > how to not run about in circles accomplishing nothing

CaseyPJanuary 15th, 2008, 10:24 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
how do you decide what flies to tie and how many? over and over i read in Dave Hughes' book Handbook of Hatches that just a few different flies tied in several colors and sizes will equip the angler with what s/he needs to match a hatch. this is seductive stuff if your fishing basket looks like a nightmare in a fly shop!

do any of the tiers on this site follow this idea? how do you make it work? how do you "sort" the flies to carry in your vest: by type or specie?
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
DanoJanuary 15th, 2008, 11:56 am
Vanderbilt, Michigan

Posts: 101
Casey,

Back in October there were a couple of discussions in this regard...

I put together a hatch chart (primarily for "The Basin") and go from that. During the off season I tie up flies that relate to those hatches. I made a fly case similar to the ones you see in fly shops, though not nearly as large, to hold my "inventory". When it's filled, I've tied enough....

My "basic" fly box (Okuma #155-10WHS) contains my standard dries (Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Coachmans, PMDs, and BWOs all in various sizes). On the clip side is where I carry my "standard" wets which consist of around 7 patterns all in various sizes. My nymph box (the smallest Wheatly clip) contains all my nymph patterns (5) in a wide range of sizes. My streamer box contains about 5 different patterns again in different sizes. These always remain the same. When the "super" hatches are going on I'll carry those flies in a small box (12 compartment) since some of these hatches do tend to overlap, plus the excess "standard" dries, namely Red Quills and Borcher Specials.

In my boxes, the flies are organized by pattern and size. My case is organized by type, pattern (in alphabetical order), and size...

My nymph box remains in the top right pocket of my vest, whilst the rest go in my duffle. For most of the season, I'm fishing out of my "regular" boxes and these are replenished out of the case as the season progresses. I try to keep 4 of each size fly in my boxes at any given time.

When streamside, my "basic" dry/wet box goes in the left chest pocket, steamer box in the right zipper pocket, nymph box, as mentioned, in the top right pocket, leaving the right chest pocket for the "hatch" box.

I don't tie as many patterns as it might appear; a total of 16 different dry patterns including terristials and what I call "specialty" patterns such as the Salmon Fly, Green Drake, Mighigan Mayfly, and Fall Caddis.

So, I would say that I do follow Hughes suggestion and have been for a very long time. The way I make it work is by concentrating on my presentation first, size of fly second, and having supreme confidence in both...FWIW.

Dano



Eventually, all things merge into one...and a river runs through it.
LittleJJanuary 15th, 2008, 8:42 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
i think the answer depends on where you fish and what the big hatches are. For me personally on the j and other central pa streams sulphers are probably the most fished hatch. So I cary about 7 or 8 different dry/emerger patterns for them. With all the pressure the fish get sometimes just throwing something different will get you a strike. But for hatches that seem to overlap w/ sulphers i.e. march brown, grey fox, and green drake, i only carry one or two patterns, because the fish don't see as many artificals, and they always prefer sulphers anyway. The same for the later hatches, it seems to me the fish are less pattern picky as the late season progresses. As far as organization goes i just use a bunch of those 12 compartment stackables i think cabelas sells them for like 3.50, and i keep species together, except for nymphs they all live together.
jeff
DanoJanuary 16th, 2008, 10:35 am
Vanderbilt, Michigan

Posts: 101
I will add that, in reviewing my logs over the past few years, I could reduce the number of dry patterns that I do carry considerabley.

But, I do enjoy tying and experimenting with my own patterns too much to reduce the number of patterns significantly. But....


If I were "forced" to do so, I would limit my dries to various extended bodies (deer hair), the Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Coachman, and Grasshopper (Orvis Supplement I). Though, during the Salmon Fly (Pteronarcys californica) hatch I wouldn't be without Bob's Bomber.

The top producing wets would be the Blue Dun, Pale Evening Dun, Pheasant Tail, and Royal Coachman.

Nymphs would be the Pheasant Tail Nymph, Prince, G.R. Hare's Ear, and Burk's Hex.

The most effective streamers would be the Dark Spruce, Light Spruce, and Muddler Minnow.

Where would be the fun in tying up just a handfull of patterns??? FWIW.

Dano


Eventually, all things merge into one...and a river runs through it.
CaseyPJanuary 16th, 2008, 2:35 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
Where would be the fun in tying up just a handfull of patterns???

well, see, at this time of year i suddenly realize that i've spent too much time on fancy swaps and not enough on the bread-and-butter of my fly boxes, so i'm desperate to streamline the process. then the rhythm of tying smallish things comes back and time stretches out again. and , too, my astrological sign makes it impossible for me to choose anything without agonizing, so if i can KISS the whole business, life resumes its even keel and the fishing goes back to being relaxing.
meanwhile, my fishing basket is LOADED with flies that seemed like a good idea at the time. so now with your good advice, i will have two kinds of fly boxes: those with flies to match the hatches, decently and simply housed, and other boxes with those peculiar choices, like size 8 Chernobyl Ants.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
DanoJanuary 16th, 2008, 6:45 pm
Vanderbilt, Michigan

Posts: 101
Casey,

I hear ya...

My off season is a fairly long one, so a few hours a week at the bench usually suffices to load up for the upcoming season.

I'm reminded of a fishing trip my buddy and I took to the Allegheny National Forest (I think we camped at Minister Creek S.P) 20 years or so ago. Any who, we didn't tie up any special patterns and fished with the same basic patterns we used back in Michigan. The conditions were lousy, it rained the entire week we were there, but we caught fish.

With a few exceptions, I'm still fishing the same basic patterns here in Oregon that I fished back East. But my "system" has remained pretty much the same.

I've always considered wet flies as my "emerger" patterns and I often fish 'em dry. If I've got a dry on that's hatching and I determine that the trout are hitting the emergers I'll often clip the wings and hackel and start fishin' em wet rather than take the time to change flies. The only terristrial I carry now is the above mentioned Grasshopper. Nymphs and streamers have remained unchanged...

Dano


Eventually, all things merge into one...and a river runs through it.
CaseyPJanuary 16th, 2008, 7:44 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
With a few exceptions, I'm still fishing the same basic patterns here in Oregon that I fished back East.

AHA! not only do trout not speak Latin, they don't know where they live!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
DanoJanuary 16th, 2008, 7:48 pm
Vanderbilt, Michigan

Posts: 101
ROFLMAO!!!!

Dano


Eventually, all things merge into one...and a river runs through it.
Shawnny3January 17th, 2008, 4:25 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Without even reading any of the posts in this thread, I could already tell by the title that I had quite little to offer Casey. I've been tying obsessively for awhile now, and my flybox is an embarrassing chaos interspersed with precious few flies that have actually passed a fish's inspection. My only advice is: Learn to enjoy running about in circles accomplishing nothing.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
FlybinderJanuary 21st, 2008, 12:06 am
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
Dave is a member of my local fly club. I've seen his fly boxes, both fishing with him and at club tie ins.
So, all I can offer on this topic is two old sayings that fit it perfectly .............. "Like the local newspaper, don't believe everything you read" & "Not, everyone, practices what they preach"!
Dave's a great, great, guy but like the rest of us, he has his "own circles"!
Flybinder:
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
TroutnutJanuary 21st, 2008, 2:59 am
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2723
i read in Dave Hughes' book Handbook of Hatches that just a few different flies tied in several colors and sizes will equip the angler with what s/he needs to match a hatch


I don't really buy that idea; it's part of my larger philosophical objection to oversimplifying the sport too much. A few different flies in several colors and sizes will serve you well for most hatches, but there's a lot of fun in pulling out just the right "secret weapon" when educated fish spurn the usual patterns, or when an unusual bug makes a strong showing.

Also, as someone who ties the flies I fish, I've got to consider how boring it is to sit at the bench tying hundreds of practically identical flies! I can tie about three of something before I get bored and want to tie something else.

I say, embrace your fly shop nightmare fishing basket! Sort it if you like, but don't give up on unlimited variety. That's part of the fun!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
FlybyknightJanuary 21st, 2008, 4:14 am
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
Casey,
The hatch chart for my home water (E.Br. De river) calls for 30 mayflies, 11 caddis, and 5 stone flies. Now if one would factor in appropriate larva, pupa, nymph, wet, emerger, dun and spinner, one comes up with 152 individual ties in 1 size. Throw in another size, and some color variations for BWOs', various styles of emergers, not to mention midges! and attractors and terrestials; and the result on the stream is that I get an extreme case of "pattern anxiety" searching my 11 crammed fly boxes.

I shake, I sweat, genuflect, offer incantations, and throw out a dozen or so different offerings. All the while I just know those monster trout are in trout parlance, LTAO!

Dick
Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
FlybinderJanuary 22nd, 2008, 8:52 am
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
And my most depressing moment, is when I've dropped a fly box of 2 dozen of my "creations" into a stream..............watch the flies scatter all over the surface of the water and then........as they disappear around the bend, I suddenly realize, that NOT ONE FLY had attracted a rise!?!
Flybinder:
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"
Shawnny3January 22nd, 2008, 1:27 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
as they disappear around the bend, I suddenly realize, that NOT ONE FLY had attracted a rise!?!


That's just divine providence saving you a lot of frustrating hours on the stream by destroying the fruits of your many frustrating hours at the bench. I think the Calvinist term for this is 'Limited Atonement'.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
FalsiflyJanuary 22nd, 2008, 2:41 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
And my most depressing moment, is when I've dropped a fly box of 2 dozen of my "creations" into a stream..............watch the flies scatter all over the surface of the water and then........as they disappear around the bend, I suddenly realize, that NOT ONE FLY had attracted a rise!?!


Flybinder-
That's called an artificial hatch. Next time try 4 dozen, if that doesn't work try 8 dozen, if that doesn't work try 16 dozen. If that still doesn't work, change patterns and start the process all over again untill you get it right.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
MartinlfJanuary 22nd, 2008, 3:57 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3159
Falsifly has it right. The fish have to key in on the hatch. But they can't do so without any nymph action to let them know it's happening. Start with a couple dozen nymphs(Or more--with enough flies the trout will get the message, making sure they are primed with a timed-release charge of baking soda and vinegar so they will begin ascending after drifting a while. Next send down a squad of emergers. Then the dries, and finally the spinners. That'll work, for sure! :)

Jason, I know there is some controversy about this sequence, and that I may be stirring up misconceptions, but who can resist? Setting up an accurate pattern would just require too much work.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchJanuary 23rd, 2008, 8:12 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2723
I think you gotta go on the river with at least 500 flies to address the various species and their respective life cycles. Preferably a 1000 flies is even better. What else would you want to do in the winter anyway than tie flies for the upsoming season.

I seldom go onto a trout river with less than 1000 flies within arms reach. At least when the trout aren't cooperating I can play with my flies and organize them.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
FalsiflyJanuary 23rd, 2008, 10:59 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Here is an idea that just might work.

Spend all winter tying thousands of flies in equal numbers of nymphs, emergers, cripples, duns, and spinners. Mix them all together and place them in one of those hand held grass seed spreaders. You know the ones you crank by hand. Find a nice stretch of water where a riffle dumps into a pool. Enter at the bottom of the riffle and slowly walk up stream spreading the flies until depleted. Exit the water and run down to the base of the pool and start fishing.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
FlybinderJanuary 25th, 2008, 6:45 pm
Oregon Coast

Posts: 60
Boy, it's so NICE, to know that I'm surrounded by SO MANY great friends!! All these wonderful suggestions to tie up so many flies!
At first, see, I was thunkering that "These guys sure must think I have a lot of tying materials and even MORE free time, the way they're suggesting I do so much tying, to further the "fake hatch theory"!

Then, by golly, it suddenly hit me............... "knowing, obviously, that I fish a lot, all these REALLY GREAT GUYS are not asking ME to tie up all these multitudes of flies!! No way!! Now, what they're actually saying to me, is................. "They want to send me dozens and dozens of the flies, that THEY'VE TIED for me to use!!

Man, that's truly generous of ALL of the great members of this site that wish to do this!! Now, how do you all want to do this?? Just like a swap, maybe, where one tier sends me all nymphs?? Another, tier, sends me emergers? Who's going to send me the dries?
Wow, what a GREAT bunch!! Just let me, know, when you have your free 3 dozen tied up for me and I'll send my address!
Flybinder:
"You should'a been here, NEXT week,the fishing's great!"

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