A couple of weeks ago, I published a post entitled Flies for September. I checked my fly boxes and didn’t see too many open slots. But when I was at the river and pulled out a box to select a fly to fish, I noticed several flies I wouldn’t fish. What did I do? Probably exactly what you do…tell yourself it’s a terrible fly, but put it back in the box. I encourage you to replace rejected flies in your fly box.

PMD Fly Box | www.johnkreft.com

How many times do we put the fly back? I’m guessing quite a bit if I’m an example.

My wife mentioned this would be a great topic for a post, so here I am writing about it.

If you glance at the flies above, they may appear just fine at a distance. But not all of them are.

I pulled five Sparkle Dun PMDs out of the fly box for the image below. Most of them are size 18.

Sparkle Dun PMD Rejects | www.johnkreft.com
  • Top – look closely and you’ll see thread where the body was. The tail now makes the body, which could still catch fish, but it’s not how the fly was designed.
  • Middle row – these three flies have a very sparse deer hair wing because I’ve fished them so much. Fish break the fibers, but I still put it back in the box!
  • Bottom – it’s difficult to see, but this wing has twisted to the right from removing it from a fish. But back in the box it went.

The next image is of three IOBO Humpies. It’s a fly I’ve been fishing quite a bit lately.

IOBO Humpy Rejects | www.johnkreft.com
  • Left – this fly has been eaten a few times. I don’t tie it with a tail, but as the fly is fished, several fibers break off the wing and become the tail. I think it fishes better then!
  • Middle – for some reason, the thread must have broken and the all of the wing is now the tail. This will be an easy fix. I’ll restart some thread with three turns and pull the CDC feathers forward. After five tight thread wraps, I’ll stand the wing up by placing thread wraps in front of the wing. Be sure to leave an eye length behind the eye…that’s where the wing should be tied.
  • Right – I’ve hooked several fish with this fly. I can tell because of the tail and there is no wing left, not like the middle fly. No, the CDC wing has broken off by several fish and / or removing the hook.

I found a couple RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripples that needed to be replaced as well.

RK Soft Hackle Cripple - PMD Rejects | www.johnkreft.com
  • Left – the hackle has pulled loose. This is an easy tie for me so I’ll get out the razor blade and start over.
  • Right – a portion of the dubbed body is missing and hackle is broken as well. I wonder how many fish I caught with this fly?

Do you have flies looking like this in your fly box?

It’s time to replace them. While I have these two boxes out of my pack, I’ll select some new flies from the provider box so I know I’ll be ready for my next trip to the river.

For the fly tyers in the group, here are links to my RiverKeeper Flies YouTube channel where I demonstrate how to tie these flies.

Enjoy…go fish!

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