big flies

With an arctic blast assuring we can’t even think about being on the river, most of us “die hards” have been at the tying desk spinning away at some of our favorite patterns for warmer weather. Sometimes you just sit at the vice for fun. A time for innovation and trying out a new pattern or material. However, this time of year it’s time to set up the production line and pump out a few dozen of those work horses you will burn through during the fishing season. These are your favorite patterns, the ones that are tested and reliable. They always seem to get the job done when others can’t and you feel most confident with them on the end of your line. You should have dozens of them at the start of the year.

Sitting down and banging out a bunch of the same pattern can seem all to much like a real desk job, so here are a few tips that might make the process easier.

1. Make yourself and the environment comfortable. Make sure the chair is adjusted to the right height, you have plenty of light, and put on some relaxing music. I really like classical music while sitting at the bench, it keeps things calm and relaxed. If you want to find everything related to music check out

2. Put all distractions away. If your iPhone is sitting there you end up spending too much time being distracted. Tie a fly, check your e-mail, tie a fly, send a text, tie a fly, play a game. You get the picture.

3. One pattern at a time. Focus on one at time, you don’t want to make a mess with too many materials out at once. There is nothing worse than losing your pre-cut tinsel under a dry fly cape when you aren’t even tying any dries. It takes up precious seconds looking for that stuff.

4. On that same note, put your tools down in the same place. Always! Every time you have to look for that bodkin, time is being wasted. Even 5 seconds a fly adds up when you are trying to tie 1,000 flies.

5. Do as much leg work prior to putting the hook in the vice. Pre cut any materials when possible. Put all the beads on your hooks first. This will make things faster when you actually go to tie each fly.

6. Hire someone to do the work for you. Maybe you don’t have the money to hire someone, but your significant other or child will certainly help bead up some hooks while you sit at the vice spinning away.

7. If nobody will help you, then buy your flies at CrossCurrents Fly Shop. We have all the bugs you need. We also have a friendly staff to help you pick the best patterns!

If anyone is trying to figure out what flies might be good to have around for the summer take a look at this older post about our favorite nymphs. Or if you want to tie up some dries check out this post about our favorite BWO’s.

Try to stay warm  out there! Remember, cold snowy weather now makes for a better water year come summer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.