Re: Time To Talk About Some New Fly Swaps;
Hmmmm..............new Fly Swaps; a very good idea!
I've been living a little under a rock for the past 6 months, maybe longer, but I have my tying table set up now in a new location (the one I used in the Poconos) and my vise is looking at me longingly, or vice verssa, on a daily basis.
I have some level of experience in coordinating Fly Swaps, so here are my views:
- I think that, as others have said, they should remain unclassified (as to level; beginner, intermediate, advanced). I think that it's great experience for the beginners to jump into a swap that's going to be based on flies that they'll use for their own fishing. And since a lot of us have experienced that perfectly tyed flies and flies that still need some attention seem to catch fish at about the same rate (admittedly, perfectly tyed flies are much better at catching fishermen!), I think that it's a good idea to mix the skill levels in swaps.
- I think that containers should be whatever works for you, as long as you would not mind receiving your swap flies back in the same container. The vast majority of flies that I received from swap members came in Altoid tins; which seem to work just fine for all but the largest flies.
- I think that the option of including self-addressed envelops (as long as they're large enough to handle the containers that the swap flies are apt to come back to you in; say, for instance, an Altoid tin), or the money necessary to cover the envelop and the postage (usually in the range of $2-3), should be kept.
- In terms of timing; that's probably the toughest parameter. Getting a shorter timeline does two things: 1. it captures the excitement and momentum of starting up a swap, and 2. it gets people to the bench right away; instead of having the swap end up on your mental list of things-to-do and then wind up being done at the last possible moment. But, there are situations that make that difficult, sometimes. All in all, I like the idea of a short timeline, but might suggest that you stretch it a week to, say, 6 weeks, because it sometimes takes a couple of weeks to get your materials in hand.
- As to the type of flies for swaps, I think that a good approach is to have swaps that are timed so that the type of flies that will be most likely to get fish at a certain time of the season are received in that season. So, perhaps a Nymph Swap early in the season, a Dry Swap for late Spring/early Summer, a Terrestrial Swap for the dog days of Summer, a Streamer Swap (my favorite!) - anytime, and maybe a Fancy Fly Swap (Salmon of Steelhead, etc.) for the late Fall, early Winter (maybe with a longer deadline time...). I realize that we have a mix of geographies on this forum; which I think is great, and that this could cut against the grain of what I've suggested, but I think, overall, it's not a bad concept.
Thanks for picking this up; I'll be in on the first one!