This is the time of year when you will be tying and swapping. A great time of year for
reflection on the past season, and planning for the upcoming one.
One of the really neat things you can do to help share the joy of tying is to join a swap.
These are to be found online, or through your local club. Even some fly shops organize
a swap for their customers.
Having tied your requisite number of flies according to the swap guidelines, you must now
get your flies to the organizer in good condition without being crushed or mutilated. This is
easily and cheaply accomplished with materials you already have at home.
First you need a margarine tub. (Empty of course. Margarine is great on toast and it may have
other uses, but as a fly Floatant? Have to think on that one.)
Also you will need some type of foam about ½ " thick.
The Post office has a video size mailer package, which is just about perfect for our purpose.
And the few dollars for priority mail is a small price to pay when it includes the package material.
Now, cut the foam to the rough size of the bottom of the margarine tub. Glue it in place
with goop, or double sided tape or hot glue or whatever you have handy.
Stick your flies into the foam and put on the top of the container. The flies are now completely
Now, prepare the priority mailer by folding as indicated.
Before you close the top and sides, take a dollop of adhesive and glue the margarine
tub bottom to the bottom of the mailer. Easy on the glue, we just want to hold it in place.
Lastly, and before you seal the box for shipping. Place a label or index card with the ship to,
and return address clearly written on it. This in case the post office obliterates the outside
Seal the package, pay the postage, and send it off. It will get there safely and your flies
should look like they did when you put them into the tub.
With a pre-addressed return label in the box and your pre-paid postage, the organizer can
simply apply the new label and postage to your box and sent it on its way back to you. Your
new flies will reach you in fine shape, provided that each of the other swappers took the
same care to mail their entries.
Thanks to Steve McGarthwaite, AKA Parnelli for the impetus for this week's tip. I have
made some modifications to his submittal, but he is the one who got me thinking. Steve
has submitted several tips over the last couple of years, and we each owe him a thank
you for his contributions. Thanks Steve!
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this
material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas
too! ~ George E. Emanuel
(Chat Room Host Muddler)