If you have been at fly fishing for any length
of time, you have probably begun to tie your own flies by
now, or have at least given the matter some casual thought.
If you number yourself as one of the later, consider yourself
lucky. You are about to be saved a tremendous amount
If you are among the legions of us who fit into
the former group, take heart. We are, in the next several weeks,
going to bring you relief from one of the main obstacles to
success in tying. We are going to help you out of the abyss
of confusion. We shall rescue you from the grip of chaos.
We will spare you the specter of bewilderment and frustration
attendant with material storage and identification.
We will explore a number of nifty ways of
organizing the materials we all accumulate, and in which we
take such delight! (at least until we try to lay our hands on
that one item, we know we have, which is called for in our
favorite pattern). When I first got started, just like you, I got
what I needed for a pattern, tied up a bunch, caught fish and
all was well with the world.
As my experience grew, chasing trout in all
sorts of places, so did the number of flies in my arsenal. I
have since added saltwater fly fishing to my repertoire as well.
And hence a corresponding growth in the number of different
materials I had on hand.
Now it is possible to be an excellent fisherman
with no more than ten fly patterns max, in your vest. You can
go all over the world, and with variations in color or size , you
will catch fish everywhere. I don't know about you, but, I can't
tie the same ten patterns again and again ad infinitum. I like variety,
experimentation. I like to tie practical flies, and useless flies even
bring me a certain degree of pleasure. Not unlike the acid dropping
hippies of Haight Asbury in the sixties, I like to, "see all the
pretty colors," too!
Heck if flyfishing hadn't been invented I bet there
would still be fly tying. It is just such a neat way to occupy your
mind, and leisure time. Unfortunately, winter and other factors
do not always allow us to fish, so we tie, clean gear, daydream
and what have you.
This winter let's take a vow to get organized!
Not all of the ideas expressed here over the
next weeks will be useful to you. But you will find ideas
expressed which will prompt you to think of new ways, or
adaptations, which will help you identify what you have,
and more importantly, where you put it. Some of the items
we will discuss have some cost associated with them. Where
possible an alternative suggestion will be offered to keep your
expense to a minimum.
You will be given ideas for sources of supply,
but by all means, improvise where you can. You will save
money as well. No more, "gee, guess I better get another
patch of Bornean Gorilla underarm fur, can't find the one
I bought last fall !" Or, "my God, how much of this hot
pink 3/0 thread do I need anyway ?"
So, get ready, get set, .........to stow those
materials away where you can not only find them in a jiffy,
but increase your production as well. Use what you can, file
the rest away for the future.
Write me with your suggestions! (hell, I stole a lot of these
from other people, might as well steal yours too!) ~ George Emanuel
Next week "A Place to Tie"!