Skip to main content Skip to main content

Fly Box: Simplify, Add The Weight Later.

Fly Box: Simplify, Add The Weight Later.

Like many steelheaders (and more than few steelhead), I find the look of a cone head leech pretty dang appealing. And for years I tied cone head flies as a staple of my winter box. But I found myself consistently burning through the heavier sizes faster than the lighter sizes, leaving a box-full of lightly weighted flies when I needed a heavy one.

These days, I only tie unweighted leeches, and I add the cone on the river, allowing me to tie fewer flies and fine-tune my weight with more precision. Here's a picture of one of my fly boxes. Notice the rows of cones; the ones on the left are tungsten, the ones on the right are brass, and the ones on the bottom are lead--all in three sizes.

Now I select a fly, then select a cone that perfectly matches the water, thread the leader through the cone, and tie the fly onto the hook.

I do still tie some flies with barbell eyes. However, I use the barbell eyes less to sink the fly and more to turn the hook to keep it from snagging. If the run is snag-prone, I knot on a barbell version of the fly, then add the appropriate cone.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

How to Tie the Micro Matcher Fly

How to Tie the Micro Matcher Fly

Charlie Craven shows how to tie Newman's Micro Matcher fly in this step-by-step video.

Tying the Perdigon Fly

Tying the Perdigon Fly

Charlie Craven shows how to tie the Perdigon Fly, step by step in this video guide.

How to Choose the Right Hook for Fly Tying

How to Choose the Right Hook for Fly Tying

Charlie Craven talks in-depth about hooks for fly tying, specific sizes to use, why certain hooks are used over others, and more.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now