I’m not a “match the hatch” angler. Instead of mimicking the exact meal that a trout may be looking for, I’m looking to put “something tasty” into whatever water column depth the fish is paying attention to. The idea behind this box was to create a broad capability that can target all levels of the water column in a reasonably buggy way.
You won’t see any kebari in this box. It’s not a snub to kebari patterns… I selected all these flies from a vendor who’s modest offering of kebari was out of stock when I placed the order. I don’t feel that I lost much capability in selecting western patterns. The sole concession is that it left me unable to fish the sakasa pulse technique. All the unweighted patterns are perfectly suited for traditional tenkara manipulations and technique otherwise. I’ve never noticed a difference in catch rates between sakasa (forward sweep) or jun (rearward sweep) hackles, so to me they are interchangeable. What is not interchangeable is the utility of the futsu (neutral) stiff hackles for working the film.
This box is an attempt to create a balanced mix of opposites – colors that are light/dark/natural/loud, visual profiles that are slim, medium, or large, with weighted or unweighted options. In many cases, I chose the pattern because it is basic, and be adjusted by stripping or clipping parts of it away to change its look. I can also quickly apply color to a fly with Sharpie markers, allowing me to darken the pattern or add an attention-grabbing hotspot.
So far, the box has been productive, but Id like to spend the rest of the season testing out the contents. Ideally, I’ll stick to the same patterns the full year and push this concept as far as it can go. Other than a handful of extremely picky fisheries, this box should do the work on just about any trout, in any water, top to bottom!
Matt purchased all of the flies in this article from (and images were provided by) Big Y Fly Company.
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