5 Flies: Slimming down the Fly Box

I like tying lots of different patterns of flies so I don’t know if my box would ever really slim down, but I really like the idea of having 4 or 5 patterns that are in my box. I’d tie them all winter, and ride them out through the fall.

This often comes up on the water when I fish with other folks. “What are your ‘go-to’ flies?” Or if you could only fish one fly, what would it be?

There is definitely something to be said about having confidence in your fly and being sure you are fishing it properly (depth, drift, speed of retrieval, etc). After coming across this post on Gear Patrol “The 5 flies you should always have in your fly box…” I thought I’d commit to my 5.

J Sotak picked the classics on the Gear Patrol Post

So what would mine look like?

  1. AZ- Wandering’s Mini Hopper – This is easy to tie and I just can’t seem to give up a hopper. Works as a phenomenal indicator for hopper-dropper combos. Like a Hippie Stomper but without a post.

2. Griffith’s Gnat – Again, one of the most simple ties – but this can save you when your match isn’t on with whatever is floating on the surface.

Hello my little buggy friend

3. Pink Squirrel – The iconic driftless fly. I like tying them a little bigger with rainbow tungsten bead heads. It becomes a prospecting nymph that way.

Image result for pink squirrel fly
this photo is from pintrest

4. Frick’s Fix -this used to be a black leech pattern with some green/emerald flash – but, if I have to have only 5 flies, I’ve been working on this one lately. The only problem with it is the weight. It’s heavy. But that’s why it is effective at finding big fish down deep. Something about this silly fly. It just kills. Here is one tied by Frick himself

Image result for fricks fix
so many variations. another easy tie.

5. Stimulator – No I do like Fran Better’s “The Usual” because it is easy and can imitate a beatis, and if I can start catching fish on it, I think it will surpass the stimulator – but there is just something about this fly. I started loving it in the Virginia mountains looking for brookies. So effective, and when small, it can match the caddis here in the driftless.

Stimulator - Orange Fly Fishing Flies - Size 10
So Pretty

Yeah, I think those would be my 5 for the Driftless – maybe most areas. I know I’ll never be able to stick to just 5 patterns in my box, but it is still fun to imagine it 🙂