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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Myrtle Grove, NC

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    I usually carry four (total overkill).

    My boxes are:
    1.nymphs and midges big and small
    2.tailwater midges and tiny stuff/eggs/annelids/mysis/tiny dries
    3. streamer #1, buggers, crayfish, leeches, and articulated stuff
    4. streamer #2, warmwater baitfish, big articulated stuff, a few crayfish in case.
    5. streamer #3/cold stillwater flies. Bright night time streamers, chartreuse stuff, chironimids, damsels, etc.
    6. Dries and hoppers. mostly caddis, adams, and mayflies with some big hoppers.
    7. big box of saltwater stuff (salt water is about 1000 miles away...)
    8. the 'Hot Box', has a bit of everything that has been working lately. If I take only one box it is this one. I clean it out occasionally, then singles or doubles of whatever is working at the time gets moved into the hot box on the stream or lake.

    I had five with me today, definitely used flies from 4.
    But I am a total gear ho...

    Instagram page @tblom77

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Merrimac, MA

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike63 View Post

    Pheasant Tail
    Copper John
    Parachute Adams
    Elk Hair Caddis

    What if a guy just loaded up on those patterns for a summer and headed on out?
    Those are my top 4 flies, too. They see more time in/on the water than any others.

    But, as others have said, it's really more about having fun than it is about what's necessary or essential. Everyone will have a different take on how best to fly fish on any body of water on any given day; that 's part of what makes the sport interesting.

    And I think that there is something to be said for the old adage: variety is the spice of life.

    I couldn't begin to tell you how many fly patterns I have in my boxes; but it's a lot more than 4.........................


  3. #13

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    To answer the question, probably no. If you fish a certain place regularly you will know what you need to get fish. I could probably get by with less stuff on me but still prefer to wear a vest to carry it in.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Colorado Front Range

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    Agree, enjoy things while we can. Nothing puts a drag chute on enjoyment of life more than a health issue. I had some eye surgery a year ago which was successful but has led to another chronic eye problem which occasionally sidelines me from fly fishing, and it is aweful. I have to just focus on the fishing process and not so much on the results. Most folks with my vision issues would not even consider fly fishing as a hobby, but I press on nonetheless. As long as I can get out I keep on going, just takes me a lot longer to tie the flies onto the end of the line.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike63 View Post
    I'm a Colorado and western fisher guy. I've found that 90% of all fish I've caught in my couple years of limted experience have been on one of four flies (not counting wolly buggers) in various combos of single dry, dry dropper and double nymph rig:

    Pheasant Tail
    Copper John
    Parachute Adams
    Elk Hair Caddis

    I know collecting flies is kind of a hobby and I've now accumulated several boxes of various species that will probably never find their way onto the end of a piece of tippet. Not sure why I take so many to the river. My uncle is an accomplished fly fisherman and does well on the 4 listed above in various sizes.

    What if a guy just loaded up on those patterns for a summer and headed on out?

    Depends on where one is "headed out" to...I would not want to be standing in the Madison River, at $3.00 Bridge, on an August evening with just those four patterns in one of my boxes. Same goes for heavily pressured waters I fish here in CA's Eastern Sierras...All four are good patterns that I have used in specific situations...I catch 95% of my Trout on other patterns...

    Daughter to Father, " How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Metuchen, N.J.

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    This subject ties into a recent thread so read on

    4 Must have flys
    Remember to fill in the dash----

  7. #17

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike63 View Post
    What if a guy just loaded up on those patterns for a summer and headed on out?
    Then he would certainly miss out on throwing big bugs like Drakes, Cicadas, hoppers and Stoneflies. Along with tiny bugs like Tricos and Midges.
    He would also miss out on the fun part.. matching the hatch.

    I guess if I only fished a handfull of days a year, sure it may be nice to have the options narrowed down for my success.

    But, if I new that I was going to go to the river let alone the same river every time and used one of four flies every time, I am afraid I would get bored fairly quick along with becoming super fustrated being I didn't have emergers, cripples, spinners or soft hackles AKA in many cases all the stuff the fish are really eating.

    Even if it was a differnt river every time and the same flies, with only the two dry fly options I would likely only fish a handfull of days myself and it would definatly rule out around five months of my winter fishing.

    There are dumb fish everywhere hell I'm sure you can catch fish on the lint out of your own belly button with a few wraps of thread and a hook, so I am not saying you wont catch fish (obviously you already know this) but I can assure your odds will go way up when having the right flies at the right time.
    For example, while the Adams may work the Compara dun is whats for dinner,10/1.

    I guess the best thing I have done to help with this is to organize my flies according to the time of year. This allows me to cycle through them seasonally although I have found alot of overlap it usually lets me leave behind a box or two or three on any given outing.

    Sometimes I think I have too many flies but I have always one to say.
    Every fly has a time and place, It just may not be here nor now.

    I guess I would say why limit yourself?
    You could also play 18 with a putter but why? It works really well for one or two shots but the others, well not so well.
    Maybe my analagies are silly but its what came to mind.

    All in all I carry more flies on me of one species in various lifestages and patters, then what it sounds like you are trying carry on you all season.

    If four flies is all you need or all you want to use then there is no reason to over think it, I'm sure they will work just fine, from time to time six months out of the year.

    Anyway now ya know how I feel about it!

  8. #18

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    Let me preface this in saying I probably have over 1000 flies in my boxes.

    I think you fish the patterns you have confidence in better and probably tend to catch more fish due to that. (or it's all in your head)

    I think you need a good variety of patterns, but by no means do you need to carry them all at one time. (I'm still guilty of this some times)

    I recently bought a bunch of small compartment fly boxes and sorted all my dries into them for each hatch/season. It's helped me to just grab the few things I need and feel more comfortable on the stream in a hatch situation. When I just head out and am not sure what to expect, then I've got the kitchen sink with me some times.

    Nymphing for me is mainly done with about 6 patterns in various colors and sizes. Dries are match the hatch, and streamers can vary but I typically only tie and use about 3-4 kinds too.

    That's the beauty of fly fishing. You can be a minimalist or a maximist but both will catch fish and both are enjoyable.

  9. Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    Challenge yourself, leave all 4 at home and fish with others and see what else works. I have forced myself to fish with different flies, lures, jigs, baits and been very well rewarded for doing so.

    I once left the house with nothing but my fly rod, 1 tippet and a box full of flies I tied in the first 6 months I tried tying. Nothing that was supposed to catch fish in any pattern that had worked before and to be honest, some pretty ugly ties.

    I didn't catch as many fish but caught my 2 largest of the year up to that date.

    Why buy a vise and tie at all if you aren't going to tie something that someone else may not have have seen let alone the fish?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Old town, N. central FL

    Default Re: Do we really need so many?

    Since I'm not a trout guy, I don't have to drag all that stuff around the country. I keep mine very simple..

    Redfish Box:
    MCcrab, or Merkins

    Seaducer (again)
    EP Pinfish


    Bonebright (It still works after 70+ years)
    Stue Apte tarpon fly
    Billy Pates

    Wait a minute....I carry all this when I travel? ....What was I saying?....Hold on I got to re-think this.....I'll get back to ya'll.....
    Fishing the world....1 Flat at a time.....

    OH MY! OMAN! 2013
    "All I want from life is an unfair advantage" W.C. Fields

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