Archive for January 3rd, 2010


Fly Tying: Managing Materials (Store Bought & Harvested)

Berdie Judd

Berdie Judd once wrote: “Most of us walk into a fly shop, craft store, order online and then stuff our materials into plastic bins, drawers and assorted containers. Most of us get by. I have had mice, moths, water, mildew, and hide rot ruin materials I left unattended or inadequately stored. I believe, aside from some obnoxious anal types, that many of us are careless in replacing materials we have used and allowing others to be ravaged. With today’s plastic containers, there is no good reason a fly tier cannot have a moving truck load of materials safely stowed in the garage, the out buildings, the basement, the living room…well you understand.”  Here is an older piece that will provide some safe guards for more serious possession and storage of perishable materials. It is enough to make you exercise better care of your materials.


Photography by Rich Schaaff (East Fork Fly)

East Fork Photography~Rich Schaaff



Fly tying: Hand Whip Finish

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I have posted before how I spent many years not knowing how to use the Whip Finishing tool (there was no Internet or YouTube to give visuals; too embarrassed to ask). I somehow learned and used the hand finish and still use it for all flies save the more minute dry flies. It is not easy to explain. But, this video shows it pretty well. Still learn how to use the whip finishing tool.

Tip from Harry Salmgren at re whip finish by hand


Fly Tying: Ideas and Innovation

Some of this is commercial in nature…so, don’t mean to infringe upon the entrepreneurial efforts of the tiers, but some nice patterns here to contemplate and replicate.


Risk Avoidance: Timothy Treadwell, a Dream Chaser

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I was watching  a special on Timothy Treadwell re his 13 year Summer love fest with big bears. Of course, you probably know that did not end very well for Tim and his girlfriend,  Amie Huguenard. The footage that Treadwell gathered over the years (100 hours worth) is very enjoyable. Of course, knowing what ultimately happened to Treadwell, makes watching his close, euphoric positioning near the bears difficult to watch. A similar fate befell Vitaly Nikolayenko. But, I noted a few other interesting means of demise:

~401 BC: Mithridates, condemned for the murder of Cyrus the Younger, was executed by scaphism, surviving the insect torture 17 days. The scaphism is quite the ordeal.

~892 AD: Sigurd the Mighty of Orkney strapped the head of a defeated foe to his horse’s saddle, the tooth of which grazed against him as he rode, causing the infection that killed him. Don’t gloat over your successes.

~1771: Adolf Frederick, king of Sweden, died of digestion problems on 12 February 1771 after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: semla served in a bowl of hot milk.] He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as “the king who ate himself to death. Let this be a warning for some of you that celebrate over indulging of comida y bebidas.

~1814: London Beer Flood, 9 people were killed when 323,000 imperial gallons (1, 468, 000 L) of beer in the Meux and Company Brewery burst out of their vats and gushed into the streets.

Further Deaths of the Unusual Variety

You know, I shouldn’t really judge Treadwell now. I did (see earlier post). But, I figure his efforts improved our understanding of bears. So be it. He gave his life for it. I would have said careless, misguided etc. But really, think of all the pioneers, explorers, researchers, gold diggers etc that followed their dream to the point of death…some known, some upside down in a ravine and never found. They all set forth to chase dreams and out of that, amazing things resulted. At the expense of many that blazed a trail or lost the trail great things were discovered….much of what we strive to preserve today. Sometimes man should not be saved from himself…maybe, man should not be called upon to rescue the purposely careless.

OK, a criticism that annoys: symptomatic of the naivate…..Treadwell was filming a weasel as it threatened to ruin his shelter. He acknowledges the critter is about to destroy his shelter. But, he is confused upon what to do about it. ??? He feels guilty in scaring the weasel. That is the silliness of where man places himself equal to the weasel. That is nonsense. He doesn’t have to stomp upon the weasel. He needed to man up against the damn weasel to preserve his shelter. Common survival, entitled to, sense. Frankly, we become so obsessed with worry about our impact upon every amoeba that we lose track of our sense of survival…which, believe it or not is superior to other creatures… nah, nah…don’t waste your time with me about abuses of this or that…I am talking common sense, not green fever.

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January 2010

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