Outdoor Writers Association of America
Northwest Outdoor Writers Association
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

December 1st, 1997

Something Different!

And now for something entirely different!

We are still sorting through all the neat and interesting information from the Denver International Fly Tackle Dealer Show. Being the pack-rats that we are, it will probably be next year before we get through it all.

This particular item is really special and that's why I've chosen to talk about it here instead of in the "Product Reviews". We visited with Kathy from Washington State University's video production department at the show. There was a fly-tying video running on the monitor, one in the series by Dave Engerbretson and LeRoy Hyatt and produced by KWSU Media for the Public Broadcasting Network.

Yes, we see fly fishing shows on television, (some of which are awful - and another story) but not many on fly tying. When something is really well done, it deserves more than a passing pat on the back. There are other flying tying videos on the market, none of them are (in my opinion) of the quality that your favorite PBS station would carry. These programs are part of what has become an on-going series. For more on the making of this series, check out this week's Fly of the Week Special Feature for Dave Engerbretson's article.

One especially neat thing about the tapes is the "good old boy" manner in which they are presented. This is just like having your uncle or grandfather (maybe dad) talk you though tying. There is no hype, no "I'm a great guru and you're stupid" b.s. It's just a couple of real guys, both extremely talented and friendly, talking and explaining how and why certain techniques work. They are not selling anything - except the art of fly tying.

Each tape runs about 90 minutes, and has three actual programs on it. (Being PBS there are no commercials!) There are four videos now available of the PBS shows, plus an additional video on tying techniques. If I had to chose just one, (what a choice) it would be the Tying Techniques. All of the basic fly patterns, wet, dry, streamers, and bait imitations are covered, with tying tips for handling different materials.

We found we could select a slow motion setting on the tape player control and see each hand movement in precise detail ... and of course, you can do a full stop if you are tying with them and need to catch up.

The official name for the series is Fly Tying, The Angler's Art. Tape 1 has program #101: tying of Royal Wulff, Mickey Finn, Partridge & Orange; Program #102 has Elk Hair Caddis, Hyatt Caddis, Goddard Caddis; #103 has Woolly Worm, Black Woolly Bugger, and Montana Stone. This is all on one tape.

Tape 2 has program #104: Renegade, Picket Pin, and Skunk; #105: Spruce, Fall Caddis, and Brassie Nymph; and, #106: Dave's Hopper, Black Ant, and Beetle.

Tape 3 has program #107: Stimulator, Bombler, Ugly Rudamus; #108: T.D.C. Nymph, Blue Wing Olive Parachute, and Poly-wing Spinner; #109: Muskrat Nymph, Casual Dress Nymph, and Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph.

Finally, Tape 4 has #110: Damsel Nymph, Adams, and Humpy; #111: Fall Favorite, Pillow, and Bloody Muddler; #112: Griffith's Gnat, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Western Bee: and, #113: Purple Peril, Western Green Wienie, and Scud.

If you were lucky enough to have the series shown on your local PBS station, you may have missed one of the segments ... so the listing above lets you know what the whole series contained. Or if you are involved with a tying group, here is a wonderful opportunity to learn 9 good flies from a very small investment by purchasing just one of the series. (Obviously, having the whole series is the best idea since sliced bread!)

The cost of the tapes is very reasonable. Each of the actual program tapes is just $22.95 plus $3.95 shipping and handling. The Fly Tying Techniques video is $28.95 plus $3.95 shipping and handling.

Get your credit card out and call: 1-800-883-0124 to order one or all! You will not be disappointed!

This may have come off as a crass commercial for these videos. If so, so be it. My goal was to compliment two fine gentlemen for taking the time and effort to fill a vacuum in the evolution of fly fishing. The loss of a tradition in passing down fly fishing and fly tying from father to son.

As our society evolves sometimes gaps occur - Dave Engerbretson and LeRoy Hyatt have filled a large gap. Thank you, guys! ~ The LadyFisher

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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