Its that time again. As the winter slowly seeps into our hunting grounds and the chances to step into cold streams diminishes, we fly fisherman break out the fly tying equipment in an effort to re-stock our depleted stores. It is also a chance for us to reestablish what our favorite flies are and which flies we will be tying first. It is also a time to head put to the local fly shop and load up on all the materials needed to fill our boxes. Feathers, hair, and hooks are always the order of the day but occasionally you find a new material to incorporate into your tying.
For me the list of favorite flies is fairly simple. I often try new flies throughout the season with varying levels of success but always have the following flies in ready supply.
The Caddis - in every style this dry fly kills them. I have them in dark and light elk hair, deer hair, white hair, and dressed in black. With bodies cloaked in shades of green, brown, yellow, and black, I love these flies for about every species of fresh water fish I catch. Trout love them, bluegills devour them, and even the occasional bass will have a go at them. Truly a great and powerful bug!
The Hares Ears and Pheasant Tails- No fly angler should ever be without these little guys. From the beaded to the un-weighted these simple bugs have produced for me some great looking trout. Personally I like the simple two - three ingredient flies and the way I tie them I can whip out a good dozen in short order. This fly along with Frank Sawyers Pheasant Tail are a staple in the fly box.
The Black Nose Dace - For a streamer most guys pull out the Woolly Bugger but the BND is my go-to streamer when the rest of my box fails to produce anything. Short jerky pulls through a cross stream retrieve often triggers a great strike and if that doesn't work then a long medium speed retrieve will.
Tied in sizes #12-#6 this streamer is always in my box because of one simple reason - It WORKS.
And the Tenkara Fly - really any tenkara fly will do for me as long as its a reverse hackle. The only thing I worry about is the color. Black with a spot of red often works but so does an all red body. I have had a florescent green hit all day and then head back the next with the very same fly only to fail miserably. The same has been true with yellows, greens, olives, and brown bodies so it is important to have the colors stocked in the box. Even in non tenkara fishing these flies have been a regular feature in my box. Interchanged with the nymphs, these flies will simply produce. With their effectiveness I wonder why it took so long for the western fly fishing world to catch on.
It is the season to tie. Tell me what your favorite fly is and why you are tying it this season. I'd love to add another fly to my box - especially if it produces.