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 Post subject: What’s in your wallet?
PostPosted: February 18th, 2019, 1:54 pm 
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Wanna-be Maineiac

Joined: December 11th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2441
Location: Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris...
Well, really your flybox(es). I carry way to many fly boxes in my vest and really need to rethink what I carry and why. Big dries, small dries, weighted nymphs, non-weighted nymphs, streamers, wets, the list goes on. How do I simplify? I have begun to think that I assemble one go to box at every outing with a variety of flies and if I am missing something then so be it. But then I remember a day at $3 Bridge last fall and where I couldn’t catch a cold even on Coach Parker’s flies when I dig deep into one of the many boxes for the fly the fish had never seen. It worked and I caught a big fat rainbow behind one of those monster rocks. Highlight of the day! So, that makes me think carrying extra boxes is worth it. Ah, the delemia.

Ken


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PostPosted: February 18th, 2019, 2:39 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4172
Location: Ellsworth
Ken....


This is exactly why I’m ditching the big chest/vest pack with seven fly boxes to go to a sling pack that can carry three, with the Nymph Box in the front pocket of the waders. I’m not sure that it will work as well as I think it will, but doing this will give my neck and shoulders a bit of a break ( I think).

You always have to have a dry box, Nymph Box ( wader pocket), Spinner Box, and Midge Box. The rest are mostly superfluous..........at least 95% of the time. Of course, there is always that wayward 5%.

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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PostPosted: February 18th, 2019, 3:31 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 14th, 2008, 6:49 am
Posts: 97
Location: Winthrop
Ken,
I am trying something a little different than you but on the same lines.
I KNOW the only flies I'll need on opening day are buggers/streamers.
I know the only flies I'll need during the sucker spawn are eggs and nymphs.
I know the only flies I need on the Madison river on September 29th in the afternoon especially if it's snowing is a olive Scotty's midge in #22.
So in my bag that I will put in the truck will always have ALL my boxes and at least 3 ways to carry them.
Chest pack set up for a single streamer/nymph/dry box as needed.
Sling pack which if filled and I fall in I'll drown.
And last but not to be left out is my Fishpond full vest, falling down will have the same outcome as the sling pack.
I left a vest with all the flies I need to fish GLS at camp but on opening day the above bag will be in the truck "just in case".
Hopefully a game time decision on what/how many boxes can be tailored to the conditions.
And if that doesn't work I can go back to camp or the truck and just carry it all after a snack and maybe a nap.


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PostPosted: February 18th, 2019, 10:25 pm 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
Posts: 1483
Location: New Hampshire
Yup. Same issue of course. Fish the same dozen patterns repeatedly, but carry a ton of “what if’s”. The one thing I have done is treat some boxes like stock boxes and load up a foam patch for a day. Hasn’t failed me yet and lightens the load a bit. Loading fly boxes is super time consuming.

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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PostPosted: February 18th, 2019, 11:31 pm 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2357
Location: Lyons, CO
I'm just carrying a lot of flies these days. I think I'm at 6 boxes most days -- 1 midge/baetis box, 1 nymph box, which these days is probably half stoneflies, 1 terrestrials and big stonefly dries, 1 mayfly dries, 1 caddis and small stonefly dries, 1 small streamers. And then I keep the big streamer case on the raft, where the smallest streamer is a size 4.

If I'm going light, I go very light, with one tiny plastic box holding 12 flies for the day tucked in my shirt pocket, and my lanyard and that's it.

My question -- how often is it that it's not you finally getting the right fly, but the fishing just turning on and you happen to have a particular fly on? If you're getting skunked and then finally get a couple, I think the fishing just turned on more often than not -- the same flies you were using would've started working when the sun got lower in the sky, or when a few bugs started popping. My biggest disappointments these days are the days where you're kinda getting a slow pick rotating through a lot of different flies -- at the end of a long day, you've caught 6 or 8 fish, mostly small, on 6 or 8 different flies. And you know the fish were feeding that day, but you only caught the dumb ones and never quite cracked the code.

There aren't many days when I feel like I had the flies figured out. That only happens for me when I fish a short day and that coincides with a good hatch or when I fish multiple days in a row on the same water and get my fly changes down -- where you anticipate what the fish are going to switch to before they switch over and you keep moving fish all day. I'm dreaming of fishing now...


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PostPosted: February 19th, 2019, 10:29 am 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 14th, 2008, 6:49 am
Posts: 97
Location: Winthrop
Pushaw
I think most of us carry way to many boxes and Kens experience on the Madison last fall shows why.
Every fly I have in my vest, however many 4 large CF boxes with insert holds should work sometime. Mostly I try to match the hatch like everyone. But when in doubt I start with a royal coachman dry.
But to answer your question - most times.

Two examples both from the same river down east.

I spoke with two gentlemen who had been on the stream for 4 days fishing all the pools and runs with nymphs and streamers.
There were 6 people in their party and the come every year for a week. They had landed 8 fish total.
I spoke to them about 2 pm on Friday of memorial weekend, they had watched me work an area they had not fished due to the difficulty wading. When asked I answered that I was using a caddis emerger fished dry and they did not want to know how many fish I had landed (19). All the pools had rising fish and everyone was ignoring them to fish the "correct" way. The fish had turned on but the pressure from the nymph/streamer fishing had shifted the fish higher in the water column.

The second was during a Hendrickson hatch the gentleman across the stream was doing well on a seam on the lower corner that can only be reached by crossing. As I waded down across from him he said the fish would only take a #16 light Hendrickson tied sparse.
I landed one on the #14 dark I was using then on a #14 coachman then on an ant. He said "see I told you they were on Light Hendrickson's". The fish had turned on and most flies that looked like food were working.

Some people get so focused on fishing the correct flies/style that they don't see what the fish are doing.
I spend a lot more time looking and learning than in the past. And most of the time I use the same dozen or so flies for dries or nymphs and 3 or 4 color crystal buggers which according to some are really too big (size 4).


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PostPosted: February 19th, 2019, 11:43 am 
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FFIM Addict

Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2357
Location: Lyons, CO
That's a good insight, Parker. It's a lesson I keep having to relearn, to slow down and watch what's going on and try a few different things. I haven't fished a royal coachman in 15 years -- apparently I should give it a try again.

It's kind of funny how fishing pressure can change what's working. Many of my best days of streamer fishing have come during fall-like conditions in late summer, while everybody else is still running nymphs. Once it gets to when it's supposed to be good streamer fishing, I'm doing just OK. And I'm almost always the one guy fishing dries in skinny water while everybody else is nymphing deep.

How much of having all of those extra flies and boxes is just trying to stay slightly ahead of your neighbors when fishing water that gets pounded (e.g. having the light hendrickson in a 16, tied sparse)? I have one buddy who fishes only a parachute adams with copper john dropper. He literally gave away his other boxes and flies. What's different about him? He doesn't fish a lot of pressured water and he mostly fishes in the summer. When I'm going to fish where the fish aren't getting much pressure, I can go with my box of a dozen flies and call it good.

So Ken, if you want to simplify and enjoy yourself fishing, I think the easiest thing to do is to spend less time on the name water and fish the hidden gems where the fish aren't as big or plentiful or you have to spend more time walking to get to, but the fishing comes a little easier.


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PostPosted: February 19th, 2019, 2:44 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 14th, 2008, 6:49 am
Posts: 97
Location: Winthrop
Slow at work so.

Royal Coachman is the fly that everyone has and most people have the same comment as you did.
It is my most consistent dry fly whether here in Maine or in Montana.

The fishing pressure issue was something Gary LaFontaine wrote about. His answer was separation in either time/style or space.
As you say walk off the normal path or fish different style or a different time of day than most.
People fish spots because they contain the type, size or numbers of fish they want, makes it difficult to do well if you follow the crowd.

I fish with people that can fish a pool after almost anyone and catch fish, they are not popular most of the time. But everyone of them will tell you what the are using and offer you some flies.

The first time we saw a Chernobyl ant and for a couple of years they were money in Yellowstone. Now almost nobody fishes the basic black ones.
The club sandwich or some other triple decker foam fly is the king and everyone needs one or purple flies. Hot tickets on all the shop lists. Marketing and needing to get the advantage sells flies and causes me to carry way more than I need.

What I found is a basic black Chernobyl ant still works much like the Coachman.

Want to absolutely vacuum the river for salmon, tie on an partridge and olive during the caddis hatch.
Very few people will be competing with you and it has been my experience they will not believe you did well with that old style fly.


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