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Fly Tying To-Do Lists

Friday September 10th 2004
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Fly Tying To-Do Lists

Published: Friday September 10th 2004 (10 years ago)
Updated: Friday September 10th 2004, 4:16PM
by Bob Petti

Does anyone else keep one?

I do very little fly tying during the fishing season. As soon as the weather turns nice, there are more chores to do around the house, and the kids have more activities going on, plus I'm actually out fishing when I have the chance, so there is precious little time leftover to sit in front of a vise. Come May, I'm at the mercy of whatever inventory of flies I've accumulated over the winter.

During the fishing season, if I find myself in a situation where I don't have an appropriate fly, I'll make a mental note then scratch down something on paper when I get home. Most recently, it was to add a variety of olive emergers for the late spring hatches on the Beaverkill, as I got skunked one time this year when fish were actively rising and I didn't have a thing that interested them. A friend with a little foam posted emerger had better luck, so you can guess what's at the top of that list.

I also scratch notes for flies I find in magazines or online, or in other people's fly boxes, that I should carry next year. A little brown beetle with a bit of hi-viz, for example, to match what I got from a friend when he cleaned my clock on the upper Willowemoc one afternoon.

By the end of the season, I've got a pretty good list of flies that I "need" to tie over the winter for the next season. To that I add flies that need to be restocked after a season's fishing (which, this year, isn't much since I didn't fish that often).

At the moment, my winter tying to-do list looks something like this:


  • A few hatch matching "paraduns" in the Oliver Edwards style. These are nothing but simple parachute duns w/ microfibbet tails, but I'll follow his tying procedures to see how I like it.
  • Parachute Hare's Ears. Only got a couple left.
  • Olive Emergers. Mountain Pool on the Beaverkill in June. Gotta have some. Might as well add a few Hendrickson emergers while I'm at it.
  • Hi-Vis beetle for the upper Willowemoc. Still got the sample I shamelessly stole from Richard after he demonstrated in no uncertain terms how effective a fly it was.
  • Tricos. My latest fetish. I missed the trico hatch this year, but it is on my "must do" list for next year. It's no co-incidence that I got a copy of Ed Engle's book on small flies, as well as "Tricos" by Miller. Duns and spinners and the whole lot. Might even get a box special for 'em. Also got a 2wt blank resting in the corner just for that purpose.
  • Ollie's Baetis nymph. Hey - I got the flexibody. Might as well use it.

That pretty much covers all the "must tie" flies. Here's the big list, which would yield some very stuffed fly boxes, and a very heavy vest, should I ever come close to finishing:

  • Hi Vis Parachute (getting low but not critical)
  • Coffin Fly (just in case)
  • Green Drake Dun (wishful thinking)
  • Smaller LA Ants (experimental)
  • Mr. Rapidan (can you say Rondout Creek?)
  • X-Caddis (it's all about the shuck)
  • Royal Wulff (almost out of 'em)
  • March Brown (one of the loveliest of 'em all)
  • Gray Fox (gotta love the name)
  • Czech Nymphs (one more try)
  • Ammonite Nymphs (easy to tie, so cool looking)
  • Copper Johns, black, red (already got others)
  • Black Stonefly (this should probably be on the must list)
  • Stalcup Flies (wait till his caddis book comes out. Oh my)
  • RS2, WD-40 (both inspired by Engler's book)
  • Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear nymph (classic non bead version).

Phew. That's a long list. Might take more than one winter.


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