November 1st is right around the corner and I’ve talked in previous posts about how fishing changes at this time of year. In the last week or so, I’ve noticed it’s come a little early.  What’s a fly fisher to do? It might be too early to begin filling the provider box, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple Provider Box |

What is a provider box? It’s the name my wife uses for the many fly boxes I create in preparation for next season’s fishing adventures. Whenever she needs flies for the boxes she carries, she asks “where’s the provider box”?

I fish dry flies a lot. Mainly cripple and emerger versions of dry flies. I choose these flies because I believe fish key on this mayfly stage. These bugs are easy pickings for trout. Adult mayflies can quickly fly off the water, but cripples or emergers take more time to free themselves of the nymphal shuck or their wings might be stuck in the surface film.

PMDs and Baetis in Eddy |

My favorite flies the last few years are the Sparkle Dun and RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple. I tie these fly patterns for every mayfly hatch I imitate.

Blue Wing Olive mayflies have been hatching on my local river and I needed to tie a few more flies for my fly box.

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple – BWO

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple - BWO |

I’ve tied 4 dozen RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple – BWO flies in sizes 17 and 19 in the last week. Originally, I planned to tie half a dozen of this fly pattern, but since I had the materials out, I kept tying them!

So it looks like I have officially started the “replenish the provider box” season.

Now would be a good time to check your fly boxes as well.

Enjoy…go fish!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Similar Posts


  1. I remember a time or two you made the mistake of letting me into the provider box. It was a great opportunity which I I took full advantage ????

  2. Hi John,
    Gretchen and I have long used the “provider box” concept. Like you, we a difficult time sitting down at the vise to tie 6 or 8 flies; to us a few is 4 or 5 dozen. As a result we have a couple of Cabela’s tackle bags filled with 24 compartment boxes that we use as our traveling fly shop. Take care & …
    Tight Lines – (Gretchen &) Al Beatty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.