At the last count I had about a dozen fox boxes all filled with flies not to mention another four or five small boxes. I know that I have more flies than I could ever use in a lifetime. I reckon having so many boxes and flies can cause more problems than finding a solution to catching trout. The plain fact is I have far too many flies to choose from and when it comes to preparing for a fishing outing it's a real headache wondering which boxes to leave behind. Some folk have advised me to just go fishing with about half a dozen patterns the mere thought of that makes me shudder. Don't get me wrong I no longer carry all my boxes with me anymore I have it down to three, sometimes four boxes in my bag these days. I have decided that for my trip to Caithness next month I will be taking just the four boxes the three above plus one other with Hoppers , Daddies, cdc's , sedges and some nymphs. Tam told me has cut down too, he's just taking the one box which I found surprising then I discovered that his one box was one of those huge wooden boxes with four different sides to it. I prefer the fox boxes which I find indispensable. They suit my needs perfectly and are an ideal size to fit into a jacket pocket if required. I recently won a a fly box in a fly tying comp. It was one of those clearwater boxes with the see through lids which at first appeared quite useful but the method of holding the flies was on the foam and I found that the flies were often dislodged and whenever I opened the box they would sometimes fall out which was frustrating especially if standing out on the water on a windy day. I decided to ditch it and put all my flies back into the fox box. The above boxes are three of the four I will be taking to tackle Loch Watten next month.
I have been at the tying bench tonight tying up a few Clan Chiefs. This fly is a favourite of mine. It is a modern day traditional fly created by an Orcadian man,John Kennedy. it was originally designed by him for migratory fish. It also has a good reputation on the mainland for brown trout. Its creator was clearly inspired by the Kingsmill - Moore bumble patterns. This version I have tied tonight is a little bit over dressed as it was originally intended to be tied sparsely. I will let the trout decide.