January 17th, 2000

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories. . .

Fly Tying
Learning Where I Was Going Wrong

By Steven H McGarthwaite (aka ParnelliMN)

I have been a fly angler for 3 years now, and a tier of flies for 1 year. I haven't master any of the above yet, by I am definitely beyond the beginners' stage, and somewhere into the intermediate level.

One thing that bothered me for a long time, is why I could not progress on my fly tying, to a level of professional quality. I have averaged, tying 6 flies per day, every day for a year, some are okay, others are offered up to the "Zippo God," for reincarnation. Just this last weekend, I saw the light, and the truth, behind the lie.

Some fly tying books call for a certain hook for a fly, and when you tie the fly, it ends up not looking anything like the picture, no matter how many times you tie it. Well, they lied about the hook.

Holding the called for hook (in a tweezers), between my eye and the picture I adjusted the distance of the hook until the curve gap of the hook matched the picture. What did I find? The picture was showing a hook that was 2 to 3 eye lengths longer, than the hook called for in the recipe.

As far as I know, FAOL has not been guilty of this tactic, yet many a respectable book on the market has, intentional or not, committed this lie. So in the future always compare the hook to the picture, before you start wrapping thread! ~ Steven H McGarthwaite (aka ParnelliMN)

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