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.