I was tying some flies the other day. I had
used up some of the colors in a few patterns
and needed to resupply those. In a few cases
I had used up all of the flies in that
particular size. Whatever the reason I was
tying flies I felt that I needed to be ready
to fish the next time I went out.
I have used up all the hooks that come off of
flies that have not worked for me. I tie up
from 6 to 8 of a pattern that I think might
work and then take some to my boxes to fish
at lunch and I put some in my vest. I then
try them several times, and if they do not
work then I take them out of both places, clean
the materials off and throw the hooks in a covered
cup I have. Then when I want to tie flies I
look at the hooks in there and choose a hook
that looks the right size. That is why many
of the patterns I tie I have on several sizes
of hooks. Also the patterns that get torn up
too much to be repaired go the same place.
In any case I was out of these.
I keep hooks in four plastic containers that
come from the dollar store. They are the large
woven sided plastic things that come two for a
dollar. They are roughly 6" by 10" in size. The
pink ones are for dry fly hooks and blue ones
are wet fly hook containers. The front ones
are the small size hooks and the back ones
the large size hooks. The front ones have from
size 14 to 24 sized hooks in them and the back
ones from size 12 to 2/0. I try to then keep
the hooks in order by size in each container.
Great in theory and not so great in practice.
This is my way of roughly dividing hooks up
to find them easier.
I do this because I have a lot of hooks on hand.
I have run onto three or four deals where hooks
were from $2.00 to $4.00 per hundred. I got
several hundred of the sizes that I use each
time. This makes it very easy and cheap to give
flies away. I also got a bunch of Aberdeen hooks
at a sporting goods store that was closing when
we were traveling one time. I got a bunch of size
8, 10 and 12 which work great for many of the
panfish patterns that I tie to use myself.
I decided that as I was going to tie some
flies that I might as well straighten the
boxes out again. Get the sizes in order,
hooks back in the container they belong
and maybe combine boxes if I have a couple
of the same size and hook number open. I
know that I am the only person that has
ever opened a box of hooks and then found
that I already had some of them already
opened in another box. True, with a box
in each container this time around. Not
bad for me.
The thing that really hit me was when I
began to look at some of the containers.
I usually tie flies in batches of 6, 8 or
twelve. I count the hooks out and then put
the hook box back in the container, most
of the time tossed in that direction. In
looking at these boxes as I organized each
of the containers, I found several boxes,
in each, that had from 3 to 5 hooks in them.
I took these out and tossed them in my cup
to be used. I thought this was better than
leaving them in the container. It also made
the containers easier to organize with fewer
hook boxes in them.
What this did was give me 14 hook boxes that
were empty. I always carry of few of these
when I am out fishing. This way if I give
flies away they can be kept in a hook box
and not loose. I also keep a card in the box
with my e-mail address on it. This way I can
answer any questions about the flies the
folks may have in the future.
The biggest thing that this did was to show
me that I may need to get a few sizes of hooks.
When you see a box, you assume there are hooks
in it and this proved to be true, even if the
numbers were not large. Now I know that I have
a few gaps that will need to be filled some
time. It also reminded me to watch the number
of hooks I leave in a box.
I did get the flies tied that I wanted to.
I used mostly the hooks out of the cup. I
think I will try to be more careful and not
leave just a few hooks in the box from now on.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick firstname.lastname@example.org