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Fly Fishing First-Aid Kit….The Difference Between Catching and Not

Man in float tube fly fishing with a large trout in a net.

Improvising can be as important as having the right fly

Yesterday Stu, Paul and I were kicking around in the back of the shop at Stillwater talking about work stuff. Typically these conversations devolve into a fishing story or a football story this time of year. After about five minutes of talking about inventory and products and this and that, Paul brought up the time he didn’t have the right fly and Stu did. This is something that we have all experienced at one time or another.

The gist of the story is Stu was catching a fish every cast on a doctored up Elk Hair Caddis that he was fishing like an emerger. Paul wasn’t and didn’t have the answer. The question was and is how do you solve the problem of not having the right variation of fly or piece of gear to be successful.

  • Sharpies – Indelible felt tip markers were my best friend when I guided. Stu and I both agree that you can match almost any hatch with a few basic colors of pen. Black, green (dark and light), and yellow are the three I would suggest to start. Silver and brown are go to colors that I use in my area also.

    Sharpie ink pens

    Match the hatch instantly!!

  • Light Cahills – These go along with the pens because they are easy to color and match a variety of mayflies.
  • Scissors – These will make sculpting your Elk Hair Caddis into a Serendipity or that Wooly Bugger into a Damsel nymph.
  • Thread – A piece of thread can be tied to the butt of a fly to look like a shuck or tails. Cut to size. You can also use it to save that last fly when it starts coming apart. Which brings up…
  • Super Glue – OK I love the stuff! It has not only saved my fishing and I have also used it as a first aid kit. A drop on a disintegrating fly can save it. You can use it to give a nymph some extra shine or as an air bubble on a midge. I have used it to glue a fly line together and to seal cuts. The fly line fix saved my clients day.
  • Lead Core Line – Instant sink tip! It makes casting a little tricky, but a foot or two on a dry or sink tip line can sometimes be the difference if you don’t have the right line.

These are some simple tools that we have used as emergency solutions when fishing. These handy items don’t take up much space. You won’t use them very much, unlike me (I tend to use the Sharpie far too much). But when you need this stuff, you will be glad that you had it.

Please Visit Us At Stillwaterflyshop.com  For All Your Fly Fishing Gear Needs!

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