With the extra free time recently it occurred to me that I should should have a cull and a rationalise the fly selection somewhat. It's a good thing to do now and then but it's also a ball ache, especially when left too long.
To make it more manageable, I try and be as systematic as possible. The 1st thing I do is identify the real confidence flies, set them aside for restocking. Then I look at the flies that used to be go to patterns and work out why they aren't anymore. Maybe it's because I've now got a better fly that does the same thing, in which case they get tossed. If they still have an application, but have faded from use they get set aside for restocking. This often prompts me to return to a neglected methods or locations, which is nice-especially if fish are involved.
Then I have a look at what's left, and probably needs to be ditched-often much harder than it looks.
After that the tying starts, and should end up with a near full collection with fewer patterns but more of each one. Then everything gets organised by presentation type - topwater, suspending baitfish/streamers , deep baitfish/streamers and crayfish/creaturey things which takes me through my presentations from the top to bottom of the water column. I find it very satisfying when it's done, but I also know I'll have to do it again as I tweak and add new flies to the arsenal. I know it's not something that everyone does or wants to do, but I think it is worth doing from time to time. If nothing else it gives you less to carry.