Jordan Sly is back today with a little diddy on fly tying.
Be Creative When You’re Tying Flies
Some of my first memories growing up were sitting on my grandpa’s lap, my hands in his, tying flies at his vise. He hardly ever used known patterns – he just tried to match organisms found in the environment that he thought the fish were feeding on. I learned a lot from my grandpa, and this is one that still sticks with me today when I sit in front of my vise.
When I tie I try to have fun, and add my own twists. Certain known patterns work great, and I’m not saying don’t tie those – I’m just encouraging you to be creative. Last week I spent some time tying up a couple dozen camp flies for Andros South – some standards like Tan Gotchas, Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp, a couple Charlies – but I got bored tying repetitive patterns so I started to mix it up a little. I started blending the wings to make them mottled, changing body materials from the standards, adding rubber legs…
I gave one of these to a client last week and he said he would give it a try. When he got back that night he told me that he used it all day and didn’t have one fish turn off it, instead everything that saw it charged it with force. Of course everyone else heard about this in camp, so I tied up some more. All I did was combine the body material of a Charlie with the shape of a Peterson, and a little touch of my own.
I’m not saying I’m a great tier, I’m saying that after you tie a couple of the standards I encourage you to be a little creative. Look at the standards, what makes them work so well? Take that knowledge and use it with something that doesn’t have that element. I think you’ll find that not only do you enjoy tying it more, but also you’ll enjoy fishing it more.
Andrew Niethe says
That’s a great looking fly!
Thanks Andrew! It is a fun one to tie, but it is more fun to fish!