A magnetic little tip for finding fumbled flies

by Tony Bishop on December 2, 2009

There are in this fishing world of ours thousands of hints, tricks, and tips to make things easier or more effective. Most of us I guess read them, say to ourselves, ‘now that is a good idea, I must use that’ – and promptly forget around 99% of them!

Well a couple of months ago I read a tip in a UK fly-fishing magazine that was simplicity in itself, designed to solve a problem that affects us all, sometime or other.

So there I was on a nice piece of water, catching a few nice trout on a new fly I was trialling, till one a bit better than my skills took it away. So I opened my fly box and the other one of the two I tied fell into the grass at my feet. Do you think I could find it – no chance.

Now back to that tip that drifted out of my memory when I was not looking. Simply tie a small  but powerful magnet onto a length of string, and when you drop a fly ‘troll’ the magnet around the area where the fly fell. Beautiful – but forgotten. So no magnet, not string, no fly. Bugger.

OK, so just when I needed it, the magnet on a string tip snuck back into my memory. But as I said no magnet, no string. But I finally thought, my landing net is tied to a magnet, that connects to another magnet attached to the loop  behind my neck.  I detached my net and slowly ‘trolled’ the magnet through the grass at my feet, and a fly attached itself. Actually not my fly but a well trampled previously dropped specimen by someone as clumsy as me.

I can report that I did find my fly – but also have to report that despite the fact it’s brother caught a number of fish, the ‘lost’ fly failed to live up to the promise of the former. Still I did manage to cement the magnet tip into my brain cells, and at my age that is a good capture in itself.

Postscript:  If you tie flies, the magnet on a string tip has another use. When you drop a hook on the floor, as you do, especially a carpet covered floor, and more especially the dropped hook is small, a magnet on a string finds the little blighter quickly.

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