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SowBug 2007

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

The SowBug was a three day event this year. I made it for two of the three days.

We traveled down on Thursday to Mountain Home. By the time we got there and found the place where we were staying the event was over for the day. My wife found a cabin about 10 miles out of Mt Home, with a great price for the three nights.

When we got to the Life Center, where the event is held, there were already several folks at the tables. I saw a few folks that I have known for a while and went down by them to tie. I also saw several other folks that have been coming there for several years and said hi to them. It only took a few minutes to get everything set up to tie.

They have some plywood "T's" and clamps to put on the table to hook clamp vices for the folks, like me, that don't have pedestal setups. Plug in the lamp and them pull out the plastic boxes that hold everything to tie a fly. These are the boxes that come two or three to a set in the dollar stores. I put the hooks, thread on a bobbin, and all the materials to tie the fly in the box. I planned for four different flies so I had five boxes. One box held beadheads, scissors, and other necessary stuff. You never know what you might need.

I was going to do; boa yarn leeches, the no-tie foam spider, woven granny bugs, and eight colored PTN (Pheasant tail nymph). I was still taking things out and getting everything set up when I got the first request for a boa yarn leech.

I started tying boa yarn leeches and ended up doing that for most of the day. There were several folks that stopped by and wanted to see how it was done, as they had trouble making them. I think that I was able to help them. I tied them with black, white, yellow, and red boa yarn. I also tied in any and all of the combinations.

I was asked if this material could be used for any other flies. When I told one person that it could be used for the hackle on a Woolly Bugger, he went down and got some materials and came back with them. So I tied some Wooly Buggers, on size 8 streamer hooks, with boa yarn for the hackle. They had black marabou tails, medium black chenille bodies and, usually, red or yellow boa yarn for the hackle. I ended up tying 50 of these on Friday. I had a few folks come back on Saturday and tell me they really liked the way that the boa yarn moved in the water.

I also tied a few of the threadless foam spiders. After I explained that this allowed the eye to be pulled back into the foam and the hook rotated above the foam, they wanted to see how the fly was tied. I think I did about 40 of these. The show shuts down at 4:00 pm. By the time I got every thing packed up it was about 4:15.

After having set for almost eight hours straight I talked my wife into going to a park. We walked around there for a little over an hour. We then went back to the Life Center to talk with some of the people there. We were waiting for the dinner the club puts on for the tyers each year. This is a good meal. Chicken, pork and beef bar-b-que, mashed potatoes, green beans, cold slaw, rolls and dessert.

After dinner, and the entertainment of setting across from Hans W, we went back to our cabin. Hans was a lot of fun to talk with, and is every bit as nice, in person, as he is on this Bulletin Board (BB).

I wandered around Saturday morning from place to place to see what folks were doing. It is great fun to watch what folks are tying and how they do it. I got a Hans-tied CDC Elk Hair Caddis from Hans. I did not tell him then, but will confess now that I had not tied them like he did, but I will follow the party line better now.

I also saw several other folks tie. I even ran onto a striper pattern that I am going to try to down size. I think that it would be a great crappie fly. I will let you know after I get some of them tied up and tried.

I talked to several folks that are this BB, but having three hours is just not enough time to get around to all of the tiers. I also want to thank Dennis Conrad, at this time as he let me keep my bag behind his desk, while I wondered around in the morning.

I was going to tie the PTN and the woven granny bug on Saturday afternoon. I did get a few of the granny bugs tied up, but spent a lot of time showing folks the boa yarn leeches again. I also showed many folks how to do one of the weaving methods. I ended up making more boa flies than I did anything else.

Hans came by and watched me tie a couple of flies. He said it was revenge for dinner and making him tie a fly. It was a great time.

There were several folks that came by that were new to tying. I suggested that they go to FAOL and look at information in the tying lessons. I also suggest that they go to where the FAOL sign was and talks to Denny about how good the lessons are. It was also a way to get them at the table to look at his hackle. As soon as I use up some of my hackle skins, I'm going to get some of the hen hackles, they are great. He also had some very nice colors in all of his hackles.

It was a good time at SowBug. I learned a few things and I hope I helped some folks. A meeting like this is a great place to learn. Until the next SowBug. ~ Rick

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