In an ongoing effort to achieve "system perfection", I tweak one facet of my fishing kit every year.
Change too many things, and I could get confused at a crucial moment!
This year I bought a small waterproof box from C&F.
It became a home for the smallest of small, #32, up to sparsely tyed #20's.
If you don't follow instructions, you can pack close to 300 flies in it.
A few were commercially tyed, but most were my "masterpieces" of minutiae.
More than a few hours/dollars were invested in filling it.
So, one day last season, when I had concluded that small was in, I whipped it out. I tyed on the chosen bit, and fished my way down stream.
I fished for an hour.
After wading through foamy torrents, crossing the stream once or twice, slogging among the cat tails and beaver slides, and crossing fallen trees in a meadow, I decided to change my fly.
Yep, no small box.
I have endeavored, over the years, to reduce my emotional baggage to a carry-on bag. To that end, I launched straight into the five stages of loss.
1. Denial. "Oooooh-nooo, it can't be true! Check all pockets again!"
2. Anger. "Frack! What a dumb head. Who's in charge here?"
3. Bargaining. "Oh please let me find it, I promise, next time I'll clip it to a zinger."
4. Depression. " Bummer! Egad! Easily the saddest day of my year!"
5. Acceptance. "Oh well, that's the way it goes."
I retraced my steps as well as I could. Extremely difficult at best. Knowing, that it was gone the whole time. I returned to the spot where two hours before I had tied on a fly.
I sat down, screwed on my best buddha smile, and hoped someone downstream would find it. Hoping they would fish those lovely little labors of love to good effect.
I turned my gaze down-stream, in the direction of the lucky soul who would profit by my error.
There, just about 6ft. away, and deep in an eddy, my little box was going around and around. It was open, and about 1/3d filled with fine sediment.
It's amazing how fast you can move without even engaging your brain.
I leaped into the water, and soaked my sleeve to the shoulder.
The sun came out,and happiness returned to my body. The universe does provide!!!!
As I walked back to the car, I kept my promise, and attached it to a re-tractor.
And, thought, just maybe, I should write my name/phone # on the box too.
Just to keep from doing the five stages of grief/loss again, for now.
I am finding it pretty strange, the effects of flies and fly boxes on me, a nOOb. I cant seem to pass up a rack of flies without pausing to sort through them. More often than not, i come away with at least a couple.
I am always looking for a better fly box. I have found some cheapish plastic ones i like but would really like to find a sweet "nice" one. My wife bought me a really nice Orvis one from one of our stops last year while on a long rv trip. We stopped at the Old Mill mall in Bend and went into the nice Orvis store there where she found it.
Once acquired, i am constantly pawing through them. Every Month or so i do some reorganizing.
You must be living right to get back that fly box. Thanks for sharing your good fortune.
I remember one year while deer hunting in New Mexico. It was late fall with snow on every thing. I had covered some territory and a fog was hanging just above the ground. I jumped a deer that took off and I couldn't see it due to the fog. I decided to take a rest and let things settle down. I found a stump and wiped the snow off. I took off the best pair of goatskin mitten I had ever used and laid them on top of the stump and sat down. After munching on a candy bar the fog cleared and I knew I had to get back to camp if I was going to make it before dark. Dang it if I didn't just get up and take off leaving those gloves on the stump. I have kicked my self for years for doing that.
I left a wallet full of streamers sit where I tied on my fly when starting out one day and when the Freaked out crazy man run got me back there the wallet was on the logjam where I had sat. Close one that, the only things I have really lost while fishing have been some hemostats (that I had found in the first place) and my NIPPERS! That's right MY NIPPERS, three pair of them as the years have passed.
We should have a thread about losing your nippers The ones I lost were all the expensive Orvis ones attached to the fancy Orvis zinger with the cable line on them. I hate it when I lose something like that