Fishermen lose enough flies, hooks, lures, and tackle when fishing. Dropping a box, loosing a rod or tackle box at the boat ramp, or simply leaving your expensive gear to get lost or stolen is so preventable.
The other day I saw an ad in the classifieds posting a reward for a lost box of flies. It was lost below such n such fishing access on a certain day and contained hundreds of flies. Let us just say that the flies were a dollar a piece. Any fly fishermen know that most flies can cost $2.50 -$3.00 all day long. Fancier and bigger flies or streamers with stinger hooks can cost several dollars. If you lose a box of flies, do the math!
Good luck getting your fly box or lure box back. I have found many fly and lure boxes over my lifetime. Some were pretty fresh, but most were rotten, rusted, and ruined. Water and mud will quickly destroy your expensive hooks, feathers, and metal. If a hook can dissolve in a fish’s mouth or belly in less than 3 days, the likelihood of your gear box weathering the lake or river is slim.
On one day, below Raynold’s Pass, along the Madison River, I saw a floating fly box go by. I figured it would follow the current into a downstream bend, so I stashed my rod, grabbed my net, and beat feet to the bend. Sure enough, the Brand-new Fly box floated into my net. This box was filled with perfect flies from an Orvis shop. The box and its compartments were filled to the brim. At least 150 flies were usable and perfect.
I went to the access later that evening and placed a sign up on the vault toilet. No one ever claimed them after a week or so I opened the box to my buddies, and we restocked our boxes.
There was no way to return this valuable box of flies. No identification was attached. The guy probably got pissed after dropping $500 into the river and went home. Who wouldn’t be? Had he added a name tag to his box, I would have mailed it back to him.
Label all of your gear. Include a phone number or address. Mail labels from Trout Unlimited, RMEF, or other vendors are free and easy to use. Place a label on the inside of the lid and cover with some scotch tape. You can also use a permanent ink Sharpie pen to identify the gear.
Fish smart, fish smarter!
For more Montana Grant, identify his gear at www.montanagrantfishing.com.