Part Eighteen

Forceps
By George E. Emanuel


No, I have not given up my day job and begun pursuing a career in the operating room of some prestigious eastern hospital, though the thought is enchanting.

Nor am I going to demonstrate the correct method to employ forceps in the removal of a fly from your catch.

Rather, I would like you to consider this ubiquitous streamside essential as a tool which should be equally at home on your tying bench.

There are a number of fly tying operations which can be made easier, safer, neater, or even more productive by the use of forceps at your bench. So start thinking about some of them now. You will save yourself aggravation, and actually do neater work as well. For example:

Many of us use five minute epoxy to coat our flies for both fresh and saltwater.

We may have a rotary vice, we may not, but, they are not the best tool for the application or rotation of epoxy as it dries. Your forceps are!

If you dip your dry flies as some of us do to enhance their floatation, how do you dip them into the floatant? Use your forceps. They will grip the fly so you can't drop it. They will keep your fingers out of the floatant. Of course if you want your fingers to float, you may want to get them into the soup.

Do you trim deer hair?

I like many people am forced by a medical condition to ingest daily a chemical called coumadin. This is a blood thinner, which really thins things out very well. It helps keep those of us who use it alive, and provides us with excitement when we do cut ourselves.

Whether you do, or hopefully do not, ingest such compounds, consider using your forceps to hold your deer hair bugs when you trim them to shape. They will hold the fly securely, can be rotated to any angle you need in order to "see" what you are doing, and most importantly to my mind at least, they keep the razor blades at a safe distance from my flesh. These are only a few of the uses for forceps on your tying bench. I encourage you to think of more uses, and to send them along!

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas too!~ George E. Emanuel (Chat Room Host Muddler)

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