Last winter I sorted through my four canisters of damaged and unraveling flies and consolidated all the caddis into one container. As I resumed my off season tying in October, I placed the plastic caddis cylinder on the counter top, and it remained there as I worked my way through nymphs, terrestrials, attractors and mayflies. Last week I completed the green drake inventory, so I dumped the clump of bedraggled caddis on to my magnet.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-NE4wYYkJlh0/VNgUdzA7VgI/AAAAAAAAw1s/QGICcdHPStw/s144-c-o/IMG_0869.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02082015WatertonCanyon#6113658996298307074″ caption=”Damaged and Unraveling Caddis Flies” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0869.JPG” ]
I separated the flies into four piles by body color, and I discovered peacock, olive hares ear, gray, and light yellow. In excess of forty mostly size 16 flies were arranged on my fly tying counter top, so I began the process of rescuing them from a date with the landfill. I began with the peacock and quickly completed five.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-u4Re8Z8O6mI/VNgUfBLw9iI/AAAAAAAAw2M/gFfMH8mSG70/s144-c-o/IMG_0872.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02082015WatertonCanyon#6113659017281730082″ caption=”A Neater Head on This One” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0872.JPG” ]
For the most part the misfit flies exhibited unraveling thread in the head area, possessed cut hackles, or suffered from hair loss. In a few cases I could reattach my thread and simply tie a new whip finish knot to lock up the loose thread, but the prevalent situation called for replacement of the hackle and deer hair wing. In these instances I used my X-Acto knife to slice through the thread head and the hackle tie down point. I simply removed the thread and hackle waste along with any remaining deer hair and reattached my thread in front of the dubbed abdomen.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-J_8Jfxcj_bo/VN4AoEGUUAI/AAAAAAAAw3U/ckdRGV8Owkg/s144-c-o/IMG_0875.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02082015WatertonCanyon#6115326032310718466″ caption=”A Closer Look” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0875.JPG” ]
I essentially saved forty dubbed hooks, and I was only required to complete the final two steps of the tying process. The resulting finished flies look nearly new, and I transferred five peacock, twenty olive hares ear, ten gray, and five light yellow caddis to my Montana Fly Company boat box. At this point I estimate that I have enough of the various body color caddis to take me through 2015, and I did not have to tie any new versions from beginning to end. Recycling has never been more fun.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-QExk2MleFTU/VN4Apz2Qs9I/AAAAAAAAw3o/dZZGaki-UtQ/s144-c-o/IMG_0878.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/02082015WatertonCanyon#6115326062308144082″ caption=”A Group of Gray Rehabilitated Deer Hair Caddis” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0878.JPG” ]