For Christmas this year, Beardy Paul and I decided that we would each tie the other 10 of our best flies. While we fish together a fair bit, we’ve each developed our own styles, approaches and favourite patterns. To put mine together, I went through my flyboxes to pick out my best patterns. This got me thinking that actually I mostly use the same 10-20 flies with the odd extra one that picks up a fish or two on tricky days when I’ve tried everything else. The rest are mostly just taking up space but I struggle to chuck them away, just in case.
So, with my new small waters to try over the winter I decided to put together a single, small box of flies, picking only my best patterns, that could be used throughout the year. The result is shown in the pictures below: 18 patterns, with variations and duplicates, resulting in a box of 67 flies, all of which I have confidence in and have caught for me before at multiple venues.
I’m not sure on the exact names or variations of them all but for posterity, I’ve listed them as best I can below, from top left to bottom right:
CDC & Elk Sedge, Sedgehog, Hawthorn, black hopper x2, F-Fly x 2 (oliver and black) CDC x 3 (olive, hares ear, black)
Blob x 2, FAB x 2, Cormorant x 4 (Black red head, black green head, olive and orange)
Black cats whisker minkie, white cats whisker minkie, cut throat white minkie, hot-head damsel, natural damsel, Black minkie with lime straggle, apacher, cat bug.
Scruffy buzzers (black, hares ear, oliver), Cove PTN x 2, Daddy x 2, fiery brown hopper.
Red-head black diawl, Olive quill buzzer, black quill buzzer, Grey boy buzzer x 3, red tag black buzzer, lime bead black buzzer, blood worm, apps worm, horned buzzer.
Black nymph with lime thorax, black ptn, diawls x 5 (black, hares ear, red holo, black with flu yellow bead, black with red hot head, nemo cruncher, viva cruncher, black n red cruncher, black n green cruncher.
PTN x 5, Hares ear x 3, Muskins x 2, Oliver cruncher