As fly tyers, it is pretty easy to get wrapped up in the newest, coolest and funkiest flies out there. Or to go off on a tangent and create your own patterns. This is all well and good and part of the experience of tying that makes it so much fun. But every now and then it is nice to go back to basics and tie the classics.
Peter and I have been teaching fly tying classes at the shop since January, and it has been a lot of fun to go back and tie the flies we all started out with. I can’t speak for Peter, but I don’t spend much time at the vise tying wooly buggers, basic San Juan Worms, and the basic stuff like that. I’m always experimenting, tying big streamers, or messing around with new materials.
Last night for the Intermediate Class we tied a Chernobyl Hopper. Looking at it again this morning, I was struck by how good that fly looks. And it fishes really well. I haven’t tied one of those in a long time, but I fish them quite a bit. Instead of jumping around between trying new patterns and new materials, I need to sit down and just tie the basics.
When you take some time in the off season to catch up on tying the basic stuff, it saves you a lot of time and money when it’s the peak of the season. Spend the cold, dark days of winter tying instead of burning precious fishing time in the summer at the vise, tying flies you should always have in your box. There are a lot of flies that you should always have with you, and you should always be tying.
What your definition of “basic” flies are depends and varies on your targeted species, location and preferred method of fishing. For me, some of the basics include the Royal Wulff, Elk Hair Caddis, Hare’s Ear, Lightning Bug, Chernobyl Hopper, Wooly Buggers… The list goes on and on.
Take some time at the vise to tie the basics and fill those fly boxes. Fishing season is already upon us here in Bozeman, and summer will be here before you know it.