I have always put way too much stock in fly selection which causes me to carry far to many patterns and make my brain hemorrhage at that critical moment of fly selection. There have been a handful of eureka moments that have paid off after digging a long lost pattern from the bottom of an overstuffed fly box that resulted in a big fish to the bank but for the most part and after the pain of the hemorrhage subsides, I return to my comfort food. There are thousands of patterns that warrant press and get fished far more often than others but in the end, I will maintain that it comes down to confidence. We return to the patterns that when presented, give us a good feeling even when unsuccessful. It’s that feeling of confidence that makes us fish the fly more diligently, mend line with greater care, lengthen our leader and maybe give it a bit more time before respectfully retiring it to a drying patch. We all have those patterns and every time they produce, we think to ourselves, “I don’t know why I ever doubted you.”
Well, this season I am going to put my money where my mouth is and make the promise to two of my favorite little fish catchers, the Usual and the woolly bugger to fish them and nothing but them from start to finish and for all of the species that I fish for from trout to muskie. Now it won’t necessarily be the original pattern but variations on both that will allow me to fish them from top to bottom (There is no way that I can deprive myself of casting surface patterns to Smallmouth bass).
I promise to keep to the spirit of each fly and use the base pattern that was originally designed but I plan to make variations to each to allow for multiple species and every possible presentation. It’s going to be fun and I’ll keep you posted.
Wilson’s Fly Shop