I remember the fly falling out of the fly box……..

There are two basic types of fly boxes anglers use to store their flies. The compartment box(random arrangement) and the foam box(arrange in a line). In the compartment box, numerous flies are stored together in separate compartments. Fly arrangement in compartment boxes is more general and allows flies to be piled on top of one another  sometimes getting stuck together in one giant fly muddle. Foam boxes enable you to arrange your little fly soldiers single file, so that individuals can be chosen without interference from each other.  An advantage to compartment boxes is that anglers can store more flies per square inch because flies can be stacked on top of one another. Compartment boxes also tend to be narrower in profile than foam boxes providing for less bulk. Foam boxes however provide the cleanest organization of fly patterns and easy access to individual flies.

The majority of my boxes are compartment boxes and my flies are neatly organized into one jumbled mess.

This fly that fell out of my box, began its journey in my soft hackle box. This box is an 8 compartment Myran box. My favorite kind. Myran boxes have a very narrow profile and I can easily stack two boxes together in each of two guide shirt pockets and have all the flies I need for any outing. I currently carry 6 of these boxes on any guide trip so I can have an imitation of every fly I have ever seen. Just in case. As I went to pull apart the mating cluster of soft hackle hares ears I noticed one participant fall away from the rest of the group and drop out of sight. Yesterday was a windy day and I decided the fly could have landed in one of three places. The #18 soft hackle could have fallen to the ground, dropped into the front pocket of my waders or dropped inside my waders. I looked on the ground for all of three seconds since I was in deep vegetation and knew there was no chance of me finding the fly in any reasonable amount of time. After all, I was guiding and my client needed a new fly tied onto his line, I wanted to waste little time. Glancing into the top pocket of my waders I figured that if the fly had landed there and would be safe. I clean this top pocket every time I wash my waders and it is a collector pocket for everything from old mono, split shot, sunflower seeds, and anything else I am not sure of where to put at the time. The least likely of places for the fly to have fallen was inside my waders. I did not even bother to really look. I know now where the fly ended up.

The little soft hackle must have spent the day working down the right leg of my waders. Its journey past my wader belt must have been difficult but it achieved it without a problem. Over my knee and past my calf, the fly navigated the terrain with skill and tenacity, never once hooking itself in my lightweight pants or the membrane of my waders. I suspect it stopped its travels at my gravel guard and waited for me to extract my foot at the end of the day. There it lodged its point and barb into the toe section of my thin Smartwool sock. I put my shoes on and drove home, I felt nothing. After arriving home I removed my shoes and wandered around house, unaware of the soft hackles presence.

As I stepped over the threshold of the bathroom I scuffed my sock on the tile floor. The pain I felt next was of total surprise to my index toe and reminded me of a similar incidence where I drove a tooth pick into the ball of my foot in a very similar fashion. The only way to remove the tooth pick was by way of vice grip and excessive force. As I pulled my sock off, much to my horror I realized it was the fly I had looked for earlier in the day. In order to remove the fly I had to pull it through my sock which made me yelp like a wounded animal again. Needless to say, the loop method of removal worked the best and I did not even need the whiskey.

The next morning when I went to throw the socks in the wash I found this in the heel. There must have been a fly meeting in my waders or there is a soft hackle /scud conspiracy.