Have you ever cleaned your flies? You think I’m crazy, right?

I clean mine. I call it steaming flies.

Well, you spend good money to buy the right flies, or spend hours tying your own. Why not refresh them so they are good as new?

When I tie on a new fly, I have every intention of replacing it in the proper fly box slot…but I don’t always do that. Do you? And the next fly that’s clipped off? Where does that go? Yup, it goes in the same place. In fact, fly fishing manufacturers encourage this behavior because they include a “garbage dump” in many packs. It’s where your wet flies dry.

After a season of clipping those used flies off a leader and placing them in the “garbage dump” to dry, do your flies look like this?

Garbage Dump | www.johnkreft.com

Here is a closeup of a couple of smashed flies to bring reinforce the point.

Stimulator – Before
Stimulator - Before | www.johnkreft.com
Clarks Stone – Before
Clarks Stone - Before | www.johnkreft.com

How can you make those flies look like new again? Here is a nifty trick to do just that.

It’s so easy to do, but I hardly ever do it. Just boil some water and hold your fly in the steam for a few seconds and a miracle happens.

Here’s a quick video to show you how easy it is.

See, I told you it was easy.

Here is a closeup of the flies after they’ve been steamed.

Stimulator – After
Stimulator - After | www.johnkreft.com
Clarks Stone – After
Clarks Stone - After | www.johnkreft.com

Good as new, right?

It takes longer to go into the garage, find my fishing pack, and pull out my flies. Once I have them, it’s very quick to steam lots of flies.

So the next time you have a few minutes to spare, I encourage you to steam flies. At the very least, at season’s end.

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  1. John,
    Ok, I finally broke down and I’m preppring my flys, determining vacant spots in the inventory and YES I rejuvenated some smashed flys via steam. YEA. Thank you very much.

    1. Great to hear Eric. It’s a great tip isn’t it? It will save you from purchasing more raffle tickets in an attempt to win my flies!


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