Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where Do Your Flies Go?

This is a question for all you fly fishers out there.

I notice as I'm reading all your blogs that you're always tying up a bunch of this or that because you noticed (and Joel is the one that prompted me to ask this because of his post this morning, OK last night) that you only have one of this or one of that left in your box and Spring is approaching.

The question is the title of this post. I fish flies a lot during the year and I rarely lose any. Is it because I'm careful with my back swing (where I lose most of them) or do you guys fish places with more trees/bushes/snags?

I went out earlier this week and fished Lake X strictly with my fly rod and several different flies. I came home with the same amount of flies I left with. I went out earlier this week and fished Lake Amador with the old reliable Thin Mint and only left one in the bushes somewhere.

So tell me, do I fish open spaces too much, should I be getting into the bushes more, or am I just lucky that I don't leave many flies behind?



  1. First of all, Mark, I have to ask, "Have you never fished with Howard, for he is the one with all kinds of Wind Knots & Tangled Lines?" You want to lose flies, go with Howard!

    In all honesty, while you are fishing lakes you might occasionally lose a fly to a bad knot or poor back cast, but, most frequently because some big ol' trout chomped on your fly and peeled off a hundred yards of backing before your fly came loose. It happens! On the other hand, if you fish small streams or other rivers much, an angler is always losing his flies, to trees, brush, boulders, your fishing hat, your elbow etc etc. One tends to cast more in moving water situations than on lakes, in addition, to the fact that moving water folks fish a fair amount of 6x and smaller tippet while the lake fisherman ties on 3x or bigger quite often.

    1. Thanks Mel. Haven't fished with Howard. Not sure I could afford it.

  2. Mark... I know where a lot of one of your blogger buddy's flies go! I met Midgeman three years ago and Rod introduced me to fly fishing shortly after I returned from two tours in Afghanistan. He also talked me into going back to school and after two years I returned home to finish my last two years at Kansas State. A few days later I received a package in the mail one afternoon and opened it to find five fly boxes. Each was labeled as "midges", "nymphs", "drys", "streamers" and "warmwater" with a simple note that accompanied them saying "Kid you'll need these". Counting those flies, all of the flies I lost learning the basics and watching him never turn away an angler that couldn't quite figure out what the fish were taking, I'd say his flies go to good places.

    1. Hi Arnie. First, let me thank you for your service to our country. If Rod sent you flies, I'd say they went to a good place.

  3. Yep, I'll take you places you never dreamed you'd ever visit. And if you don't lose a few flies don't worry, I'll see that you forget a box by the stream. Primarily because I fish mountain streams and mountain streams have trees around them. If you lay your fly box down, mark it with a red flag or you'll never find it again. Same for fly rods. The only thing I haven't lost is my enthusiasm!

  4. Trees and Bushes for sure! Hopefully I notice the fly is gone, can't count the times I've thought "how many useless, no-fly casts have I made?" Like Rainbow Chaser said, Tippet size makes a difference. Small, Small bamboo rods & 9x or smaller tippet is my style, so, it doesn't take much to lose a fly. Also, Me and a couple of buds meet at the pub often to talk flies, Maybe 25% of my flies make it into their boxes, barside, or streamside. Wish I could give tales of those "hundred yards of backing" fish, haha, but no. Its Trees

  5. Mark
    Have you heard of these woman that just can't buy enough shoes; well fly fisherman have the same habit only it's in fly collecting and tying----with me it's purchasing flies, because I haven't got into tying yet. If I see a fly on someone's blog that is unique and a trout attractor, well I have to have it!!! So that's my take on so many flies, sure I lose a few, but trust me I have bunches that I still have get wet.

  6. Mark
    I usually return home with the same number of flies while fishing lakes and catch a variety of species. On ponds and streams my most common catch are trees and shrubs. Because I go on tying binges from time to time I end up giving away a large percentage of my creations.

  7. Well, where do I start?
    1. the bottom of a river
    2. I often fish 6-8 lb test for steelhead..
    3. my friends never bring enough of their own
    4. If I run into a cool dude fishing one of my rivers for the first time, I usally set him up with the local flavors
    5. I drop them
    6. I run them through the washing machine.. this really upsets the Boss
    7. they get blown away
    8. I cut the line on really big natives and don't lift them from the water
    9. my son steals them
    10. My taste changes and I go to a new "go to" fly for awhile

  8. Good post Mark.
    In the streams I fish there are numerous fly takers. From dense brush, to woody debris to overhead trees.