Meeting the Deadline – My Fly Swap Emerger

Despite recent silence here (come on, it’s freakin’ cold outside), I’ve been at The Disaster the last few days.

The Disaster

Looks nice and tidy, doesn’t it? Heh. My organized friends are cringing…plotting….oh wait, here’s another view of my poorly organized space.

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OMGerd, that’s terrible. Loose flies, hook piles, pheasant tails on top of wood duck feathers…or are those mallard feathers? Idunno.

It’s entirely possible that I may be a fly-swap coordinator’s worst nightmare. Okay, maybe not the worst – I’m not that guy who comments on everyone else’s flies on the forum for weeks on end and then when the deadline nears, makes excuses like, “my dog ate all my TMC 3761 hooks and I’ve been in the emergency room for 64 hours!”, or “I’ve got really bad diarrhea and my kids are sick, or something!” No, I don’t think I’m that guy, but there always seems to be that one guy (or gal, let’s not discrminate) who hits the deadline and then loafs a few supremely-crappy flies to the swapmaster, keeping all the other worthy participants out of a dozen new, sweet flies until they’re all darn good and ready. I don’t think I’m that guy…

Anyway. Here’s my line of thinking (which may or may not have led to one particularly bad semester of college). If the deadline is February 1st, that means I tie my flies on January 31st and turn them in by the close of business on February 1st! It’s like e-bay…or filing your taxes…wait until the final seconds and then snipe before the cut off.

Okay, not really – but close. I sincerely had no idea what to tie for a swap of “southeast MN flies” without just handing over all my scuds and pheasant tails. I figured I had to tie up something that was a) effective around these parts and b) something that was truly effective and wasn’t a scud, one of my crappy midges, or a small pheasant tail…because that would be cheating. So, I tied up a baker’s dozen Shillinglaw Emergers for the swap. If you’re new to either fly fishing for trout around southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and southwest Wisconsin or new to fly tying, you owe it to yourself to read Ross Mueller’s Fly Fishing Midwestern Spring Creeks. The Shillinglaw Emerger is one of the marquee flies in his book, and I always make sure to have at least one in my fly box from March through September. This year, I will have many more on the ready, tied in a supremely crappy way, by yours truly.

shillinglaw emergers

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I’ll post the nice recipe of my crappy version soon…because I’m a “helper”…

3 thoughts on “Meeting the Deadline – My Fly Swap Emerger

  • My tying area looks the same, so don’t fret. The fly sure does look purddy. Might have to tie some up. I currently do not have any emergers in my box.

  • That is nothing. I’ve got a buddy whose been guiding in Missoula since the mid 90s. Last time I was out there I went down into his tying room. It looked like a tornado ripped through a good sized fly shop. Somehow he finds what he needs and ties some amazing bugs.

  • You weren’t even the last one to deliver flies. and and, the flies look great (not crappy). I know from personal experience that cn’t really go wrong with a Ross Mueller pattern (I did one too) — they’ll catch fish. in SE MN. Yours truly, the novice, stand-in swap master.

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