Along with sorting out flies comes the necessary job of chucking/giving away the flies I tied up but don't recall having ever used. Not that I want to give crap flies to people, but if I have a certain stonefly nymph that I tied up, say I still have 4 of them, but I prefer a different tie, I'll give the four away to Trevor, or maybe my dad, or someone else.
Anyway, I recently went trough a little purge of the boxes. Last year was the purge of the chironomid boxes into a single layer box, along with a little double sided foam that has the British styled ties, and a third single layed box that has only #18-22 midges that I use on alpine lakes but don't need to carry everyday on local lakes (I have a few tiny flies in the everyday box). This fall I compiled the dry fly boxes, as I said above, and also the foam/stonefly/terrestrials into a box.
Now, over the last few days, I've ditched the nymphs I never used. I keep all the big heavy SJ wire worms and super-heavy stoneflies in a little bag in the vest, but the regular nymphs are in a medium sized foam-slitted box, with a middle page. I have everything I need, and don't think I've ever been in a situation where any more flies would have saved me.
That being said, I've been tying new flies to fill the spots that have opened as a result or chucking the old stuff (I just can't handle seeing empty slots in the fly box). Mostly, these new ties are #12-16 pheasant tail and hares ear variations. All the flies are tied on wet fly hooks, not the usual 2x long nymph hooks. Therefore, the flies look about a size smaller than a typical nymph of the "same" size, while having a larger hook gap for solid hook ups. Most of the PT versions are beaded with additional lead wire for a good sink rate while stream fishing. Additionally, they have an orange hot spot, and are called a "Frenchie". I'm just thinking that the Frenchie version will make effective high/off coloured water pattern in addition to the usual PT versions I love using pretty much every day I'm on the stream. I've used them a few times, and they work pretty well so far!
The other flies I've been tying are Hares Ear variants I've been experimenting with. All #12-14 on wet fly hooks, and bead-headed with about 13 turns of .015 lead --they are designed to be quick sinkers. Black beads, a slim orange hot spot behind the bead (on some), a copper ribbing, a holographic wingcase, and a super-mobile pheasant tail fibre tail. It's too early to tell, but early signs point to this becoming a stable in my box. Additionally, I have been adding colour to the beads of a few extra HE nymphs by using a silver bead and colouring the bead with a Pantone marker. I have some coloured gold, olive, pink, and tan. We'll see how the others colours work out.
|A poor quality picture, but you get the idea of what my day-to-day nymph box (at least this side of it) looks like. It's heavy on general looking flies. PTN, HE's, caddis larva/pupa, and Copper Johns are the mainstays.|
Sorry for the poor pictures. I just used my phone. I'm getting a bit lazy.
Hope everyone else is enjoying fly tying season.