Posts Tagged ‘tying flies


Wire Theme Continues: Tying Flies


Every Day in May Challenge: ‘Tying’ Is The Icing


The empty palette waits, thread, feathers and attractive materials.

I came to fly fishing two ways: back packing into wilderness areas in the Eagle Cap Wilderness area (N.E Oregon) and chasing Steelhead on the Sandy River above the Revenue Bridge over thirty five years ago. I borrowed flies from friends that tied. I came from a ‘gear’ background (mostly spinners, spoons and corkies/yarn). Fly tying was something my long departed uncle had done, but nothing I had ever witnessed.

I learned from others about patterns and presentation for Steelhead and ‘bows and Brookies. I had come from a backgound of exciting/inciting/provoking hits with ‘hardware’. It worked. Now, I fished with men that focused on location, presentation and the  color/movement in their fly patterns. In many ways it was the same, but different. Fly fishing seemed/was harder….for awhile. I took fly tying classes some 30 years ago and have never gone long without tying something every year.

Hey, have you checked out the topics list? Check out the topics and write about the topics as you see fit. Link to the Every Day in May’s original post and encourage others to do the same. There is a lot to learn from each other.

Suddenly mayflies, stoneflies, caddis, hoppers, ants and midges entered the vocabulary. Tying demanded ‘why’s’ and, low and behold the answers were there. Suddenly, I had to learn about what, where, when and how in the insect’s and fish’s world and accordingly tie patterns to match those questions and answers.

Thirty five + years later, I still tie. It is pretty much seasonal now. I tie in the Winter, catching up with depleted patterns and tying patterns that just seem fresh, unique, innovative to entice the fish.

Tying is creative and presents multiple paths: the established route, the tried and true patterns that by virtue of actual worth or hyped worth are tied after others tell you they are worthy OR, the innovative/creative path…experimental, unique or stretched derivations of established patterns.

Whether because I am rebellious or suffer from ADD/PTSD or am truly creative (I doubt the latter), I do tend to tie a few established patterns, at least for awhile, and then venture off into the creative side. I love it! Flies that are truly experimental. Flies that are failures or epic…part of the fun of experimentation. I am an average tier, at best, but I derive so much pleasure from the whole creative process. 

Tying offers me a buzz of ‘maybe’s’ & ‘what if’s’ during the doldrums of Winter and a sparkle of anticipation on a warm Summer evening. Pick your palette. Grab the bobbin and create. Tying (fly tying) is the icing on the Fly Fishing cake.



Fly Tying: Mayfly Emerger


This is a nice Mayfly Emerger pattern. Notice a couple things that are not offered up during the video, that lend to the success of the fly: The Krystal flash tail (notice the one thread wrap behind the tail segments that helps lift the tail upward and away from the bend; the biot abdomen, which provides a nice segmented abdomen (how the biot is tied in determines how the body will wrap…segmented or smooth); the CDC wing/legs were at first maintained in a paper clamp before being inserted into the dubbing loop and spun (that is not evident in the video to the untrained eye). I think those few clarifications will make the clip more understandable for the beginning fly tier.

Image from Moscofilia


Fly Boxes, Fly Boxes (Semper Paratus…But, for everything?)

I was raised with Semper Paratus, not as an expressed term, but as a mindset. I had a career that demanded it. And, now I appear to either abide by it, for my hobby or I am a hoarder. It seems so simple, to just pick a container (or two) and put all your fly boxes in there for a pending camping trip.

Seems Simple Enough, At First

Seems Simple Enough, At First

But, just to be safe, I had to make sure I had what I needed. Well, one thing led to another and it became evident I had no idea how many flies I had tied. To be honest I stopped pulling all the boxes out of the green container. How many flies do I need? Well, all these are fine, but frankly I had forgotten what I had tied and stashed away in those boxes. I pretty much only take 4-6 boxes with me in the pontoon boat and maybe two streamside, but an inventory is periodically in order. I made some great discoveries today!!


Nope, I can't hear you!

I bet many of you could beat that couldn’t you? Rehab does offer hope of a simpler approach, an easing of decisions to be made….but, when the craving, the impulse comes, to answer the what if’s and maybe’s…well, a slippery slope ensues in preparation. Yep, Semper Paratus

Sometimes My Primary Box...

Sometimes My Primary Box...

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