- You can tell a lot about a fly fisherman by what’s in his fly box. Usually the fly box is overstuffed, jammed, and crammed with a lifetime of fishing flies. Most still have knotted ends of tippet. Some are ragged and tore up but too lucky to throw out.
Purists tend to have an assortment of dry flies. Only a perfect dry fly presentation, match the hatch will do. Sadly, these guys catch few fish. 95 % of the trout eat nymphs. No don’t get me wrong, I love dry fly fishing. When a hatch is working, so am I. The rest of your fishing time needs to address what the fish are eating as well.
Evolved fly guys have several boxes of flies, each for a special style or condition. They also carry an additional gear bag with more choices. You can never have too many flies.
The smart, organized fly fisherman will normally have 4 fly boxes from this list.
Nymphs This will include hare’s ears, princes, bead heads, eggs, worms, and a few wooly buggers just in case.
Terrestrials Beetles, hoppers, and ants are a must. I have had success year around with these choices. They work especially well in late summer and fall.
Dries and attractors This box should carry your PMD’s, PMX’S, mayflies, and other dry attractors that you have confidence in
Midges and small larva. Small mayflies, Trico’s, Griffiths Gnats, and tiny larva droppers fit here. These may include tiny bead heads, scuds, and cress bugs.
Streamers, Buggers, and Crayfish Madonna’s, buggers, streamers, and sculpins fit into this box. When they work, they really work.
Salmon flies or special seasonal bugs Baetis and salmon flies work great for a few weeks each year. Focus on this box when in season.
Caddis dries and emergers Caddis are around most of the year. Have a selection of styles, colors, and sizes.
This armory will pretty much get you through any day on a river. Be sure to have several to a dozen of your confidence flies. Keep you boxes half full so you can find your fly choice.
Don’t forget the other accessories that you need to carry. Dry fly floatant, and desiccant powder, assorted tippets, strike indicators, weights in assorted sizes, optics to see your knots, clippers, a safety pin to untangle leader, hats, and polaroid glasses.
You can see why most fly fishermen look fatter than they are. Their vests are bulging full of fly boxes and gear! Oh well, like the Boy Scouts say…
For more Montana Grant, catch him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.