Had a great Sunday with Scott and Rex. We got together for some fly tying and I started something I have been wanting to do for a long time. If you have been tying flies for any length of time you will certainly know what I am talking about.
I tie lots of flies each year. Some are for fishing and most are for the various fly tying classes (upwards of 70 classes a year) I teach. About 1/3 of the classes are beginning level classes but the rest are Intermediate to Advanced fly tying. What this means is that in the course of preparing for these classes and tying a few flies for me, I go through a lot of material. Most of the materials are used up but sometimes not all of them are.
Often I will go through a card of chenille only to have a six inch segment left over. Or I will tie a dozen dry flies and still have a four inch piece of dry fly saddle hackle that is still usable. Maybe it is a three inch piece of .020 lead wire, a stray pheasant feather that fell off the skin, a two inch left over piece of rabbit zonker, three two inch long Sili legs, a scrap of deer hair left on a skin and on and on. The worst is the unsorted hooks that were brought out to tie two dozen flies and I took out 26 hooks and instead of taking the time to put them away I throw them in a "catch all" dish.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a miser. If I can not use a piece of material I throw it away. The problem is many of these "scraps" are still usable (damn the person who ever made a size 20 nymph). So over the year I have collected a bunch of these left overs with the intent that one day I would sit down at the vise an tie up nothing but "trash" flies. Not TRASHY flies but rather TRASH flies. Flies made out of stuff that probably should have been thrown away.
So, that is what I did today. But I must admit not everything was from trash materials. I have a number of bags of sample tying stuff from various tying and trade shows that I have been meaning to get too so it worked it's way into some flies today. It was a lot of fun. Rex came up with some interesting baby Hammerhead type flies and even tied up a couple of Tubeology flies! It made me realize I have more left over crap than I thought I had. The real test will be to see how any of them do on the water this next season. Keep an eye out for a report as the waters warm up.