Archive for March 15th, 2010


Fly Tying: Lighting Up the Sweet Spot

It seems as if I have been spent a good part of my parental life admonishing ‘don’t read in the dark’..’turn on a light so you can see better’…’would you turn on a light?’ or combinations of the above. So, it comes with practiced ease that I admonish you to not tie flies with improper lighting.

Room lighting or natural light will rarely be adequate for tying. Invest in an excellent quality light. At a recent show I noticed craft lights, Ott lights, goose necks, magnification lamps, office lamps and those little lamps that slide on to the shaft of the vise.

Another recommendation is the back drop you tie against. As you can imagine, your eyes are always focusing. If you want to strain that process try tying against a varied backdrop. Place a neutral colored backdrop behind the vise so your eyes only focus upon the hook and nothing behind. Some vises come with attachments that slide onto the shaft (like the lamps) and present a square, neutral colored plate behind the vise, for a neutral backdrop. Years ago, I recall Dave Hughes tying at a less than suitable venue. He unfolded a pale green cloth napkin. He laid it out slightly in front of the vise as this would be the area his eyes would be drawn to behind the fly. The napkin diverts the attention from the backdrop to the front. Remember your eyes can begin to play tricks on you.


Fly Tying: Wrapping Ostrich Herl (Take A Look First)

Ostrich Quills Are Flat and Not Even

“Look at the ostrich quill before tying in. The fibers may not be even on both sides. Because the quill shaft is flat, you can tie it in so that the longer fibers will stick out from the hook shank when you begin to wrap it. Also, the fibers are curved and will bend forward or backward. Determine how you want the fibers before you tie the quill to the shank.” Wotton


Moles & Malignant Melanoma

Today at work, I noticed a young lady was wearing one of those support boots one wears after surgeries or sports injuries. I asked the usual ‘what happened to you?’ She hesitated, then offered an interesting story with flags for us all…she was bitten by a hobo spider on the ankle. Her leg swelled up and she headed to the ER. The ER doc looked at the bite and was concerned, but when he looked at the mole on her ankle, he was more than concerned. This young lady had noticed that odd mole on her left ankle for some time and was a bit annoyed with the occasional itch. A followup to a skin doc and tests confirmed the suspicions of the alert ER doc: a malignant melanoma. Invasive surgery resulted and so far they do not believe there was any permanent nerve damage or cancer. Time and rehab will tell.

A young (27 y/o) lady, not a sun worshipper, developed a mole on her ankle and but for a spider bite probably would not have received the immediate attention and successful intervention. Visit a skin doctor re any suspicious moles or skin oddities.

‘Malignant melanomas take the lives of more than 8,000 Americans a year, or about 13.5 percent of the people diagnosed with the disease, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports. Other forms of skin cancer are rarely fatal, although squamous-cell carcinoma can metastasize and result in death. But the situation isn’t bleak. If detected early, 99 percent of all skin cancers are curable.’ Skin Cancer

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March 2010

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