Archive for November, 2009


Tinker Toys & Fly Tying (Creative Links)

Once upon a time, a long time ago…you may have developed an urge to assemble, construct, imagine, build something with sticks and wheels with numerous holes. Tinker Toys (originally: Thousand Wonder Builder) were a creation of Charles Pajeau and Robert Pettit around 1913. The two tried to develop interest in their creation at the American Toy Festival in 1914, but had no takers. A short time later they hired midgets to dress up as Elves and had them display and assemble the Tinker Toys in a store window.

The promotion was a huge success with one million sold the next year at .60 The Tinker Toy set evolved with different colored sticks and a motor. By the 1950’s the toy set was selling a consistent 2.5 million units a year. Eventually, the success story was sold several time and ultimately ended up with Playskool. Not a bad story for two guys traveling by train from Evanston to Chicago, Illinois. For those of you that took the Lego plunge, the petroleum based building blocks satisfied the same urge.

So, perhaps this necessity to assemble was part of your early mental preparation to tie flies. Part art, part architecture, part fantasy…Tinker Toys (ok, and Lego’s) led the way to your fly tying addiction.

Sears and Roebuck Catalog, 1928 (Notice ‘Tinker Toy is the Wonder Builder’)


Fall Makes Us Beg for More Time…Yet Another Go Around

“Fishing in the Fall always brings out the melancholy side of me (okay it doesn’t take much to do that). I can’t help but to think, “Is this the last trip of the year?” We can’t know the span of our days or the number of casts that we have left. As I get older I look back more and more and think of things past. Fall just seems like a natural time to do this. Of course there is always the anticipation of a new year and a new season. The spawning colors on that brookie are a promise of that. Nature has saved some of her most beautiful displays for the autumn, the fish, the leaves, the clear blue skies and golden, slanting sunlight. The best wine is brought out late in the celebration.” Casting Around with Anthony Naples

Have you ever noticed the satisfying pictures of the smaller gems living in streams? We all love to see the bigger fish, but those little fish hiding and surviving in small streams are a blessing to behold. If you don’t get it now…you hopefully will some day.


Soft Hackles (Wets, Flymphs…If You’ve Fished, You Just Know)

“I’m a sucker for soft hackles. I love synthetics, but there’s something about partridge and grouse hackles that is so mystifying. They breathe life on a hook unlike most anything else. They are visceral. No matter how advanced synthetic materials evolve, they will never have the pulse that soft hackles do.”  Soft Hackles

I get around the net researching fly fishing, tying, anything related to a beginner in pursuit of basic skills and inspiration. I have come to recognize the mediocre, the good and the consistently great…the stuff that is so damn good, yet done with casual ease and finesse.

Go to….it went off in a different direction, yet it has tied it all together. Excellent work. I love his patterns…the same, yet exceptionally different. I defy you to find more enthusiasm and innovation than at Jean Paul Lipton’s site.  I have highlighted others, the big ones and the not so big’s that are good for sure. Lipton does most of his work in his own back yard…not 4,000 miles/$4,000 away. Roughfisher is solid, blue steel, with the deceptive edge.


Big Ship Hauls Big Stuff (M/V Blue Marlin)

M/V Blue Marlin Hauling USS Cole

The U.S Navy hired the Blue Marlin from Offshore Heavy Transport to move the destroyer USS Cole back to the United States after the warship was crippled in Aden, Yemen, by suicide bombers.

M/V Blue Marlin Hauling 30,000 Ton Thunder Horse Oil Rig


G.H. Bloodworm (gwilym hughes midge larva pattern)


Make sure the ribbing is strong enough to cinch down, but not too thick (a red wire could work too). Also, keep the ribbing wraps tight to avoid a loosely bound overlay of the vinyl rib material; otherwise the top of the body will rotate and weaken.

Translucent plastic ribbing and body material. Half round in cross section (flat one side, round the other). Soft and pliable. There are two sizes and eight colors to choose from.


Emilíana Torrini Davíðsdóttir (Italiana-Icelandic beauty)

Not fair to liken any artist to another if they are comparable, but as a point of reference…she is Norah Jonesesque. Yes, indeed, she is more angelic than Nashville Pussy’s Ruyter Suys…pick your poison on a Winter’s day: Easy bliss or the rocker devil woman incarnate .


The Fish Lady (Artist Mary K. Jenkins)


Stool with Rainbow Fish Design by Mary K. Jenkins

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November 2009

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