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Trimmed up. Not a big box store fly. This is how it should look . . 

She said she’d wait

Angie brought over her sister’s store-bought flies, not fly shop flies, but big-box store flies in the $1 range and all made in Asia by nimble-fingered children that might have thought a fly was a fashion statement.

So, Angie, what do you want me to do, I said. ‘These are all out of shape. The parachute on this Adams is ridiculous [pointing to a half dozen]. Would you fix these for Sarah, reshape them?’ Sure, I said, when do you need these? She said she’d wait. [I’ve become more agreeable in my old age, so I said okay]. 

Coffee, capers, and UV

So, in about an hour and a half, including making coffee for me and setting up the cluttered tying bench and getting a chilled bottle of Chardonnay, smoked salmon, capers, fresh lemon, and flatbreads for Angie; the flies were eventually cleared for hand to hand combat by Sarah.

I was able to trim, brush out, add some UV color dots, and re-glue the flies without looking up anything 

I only had to brush some of the flies out and give most of a haircut. Many required CA glue on the thread that was already unraveling or looked like it would. I placed some colored UV dots on a few bland ‘nymphy’ looking flies and used sharpies to recolor lifeless fly bodies.

I don’t think it’s worth redoing shitty flies

Sure, they might catch “a” fish in their original form – even more likely to be successful redone, but still, I think tying flies for your use is both better flies and far more fun, and if you like to buy flies – stick with local fly shops. And if it’s an away game, check with your destination travel agency like Yellow Dog or Frontiers. Also, Intheriffle.

I do recharge flies I’ve tied or bought at a fly shop that have been fly box crushed and become misshapen, and, of course, that’s easy to do with a comb and finger manipulation.

Here’s a great video by James Spicer [Intheriffle] for repurposing shitty big box store flies or cheap online overseas purchased flies. As to the latter, it is a bad buy more often than not . . .


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