Time to check those fly boxes

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If you act now, there’s still plenty of time to inventory your flies, tie what you need, and maybe even order some of the harder-to-tie varieties.

Unless you’re an ice fisherman, it’s easy this time of year to not be taking the time to get ready for the early spring, open water fishing which, for trout, can be some of the best of the year.

And I’ve found, if I don’t jump on my fly tying needs now, as soon as daylight lengthens, snow melts and a few blades of green grass emerge, I get too busy with spring chores.

I store most of my flies in big clear plastic boxes, then “make-up” boxes of specific flies that I think will work before heading out each trip.

The exceptions are “specialty” boxes that hold only one type of fly, like big salmonflies, scuds and Ray Charles’ for the Mo, black stonefly nymphs, and Sparkle Minnows.

Unfortunately, some of the smaller boxes get messy, so every spring I sort those flies and return them to the larger storage boxes.

Then I can tell, at a glance, which flies are getting low.

I also take a close look at the smaller boxes themselves and replace those that have broken hinges or are no longer waterproof.

We fly fishers realize there is no “one perfect way” to store and carry our flies. Whatever works best for you, is best for you.

But now’s the time to check your flies.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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