Love tying flies? We do too. And if you’re anything like us, that means there’s a good chance that you’re tying space is a mess. Sound about right? We thought so.
Fret not, no matter how cluttered your tying space is, we’d be willing to bet we’ve seen worse. Trust us, the images of tying quarters of Alaska fishing guides (including yours truly) can’t be unseen (or smelled). That said, if you need a little inspiration to use your precious tying time to dig through the marabou scraps and get organized, consider the following.
- Tie Flies Faster. There’s few things more frustrating to your fearless editor than sitting down to tie flies, only to spend the majority of the time searching for materials. A tidy, well organized tying space not only allows you to quickly locate the materials needed, it also allows you to lay out materials in a systematic manner to turn out flies as fast as possible. With a finite time you’re able to spend at the tying desk, the more of that time you can spend actually turning out flies means the more time you can spend fishing.. And that’s a really good thing.
- Keep the Significant Other Happy. For all of the involved fly tyers out there, we have a feeling your better-half may have beat us to the suggestion of cleaning your tying desk. In case you’re still resisting, consider the following. Spending 15 minutes cleaning up your tying space to keep the boss happy is a great tradeoff for getting the ‘okay’ to spend an entire day or weekend on the water in the future. After all, relationships are about compromise, right?
- Create Great Flies with Unfavorable Materials. Digging through discarded materials is a great way to inspire new flies or tying techniques. In fact, a fun way to become a more innovative fly tyer is to tie flies using nothing but the excess materials laying around your desk or the material catch fixed to your vise. Not only is it cost effective (the less wasted materials the better), but you might discover new interesting ways to use otherwise ‘unfavorable’ materials. Take the photo below of an intruder tied by Deneki frontman Dan Herrig using nothing but excess materials around his desk. There’s not a fish in our rivers that wouldn’t eat that fly. Give it a try!
Loren Irving says
This is a good idea but as you say it is so hard to do. Just takes some discipline and also as you say about 15 minutes. The other issue is how to organize materials. I pretty much use Zip Locks in drawers that are labeled but just now started using those rings that Loon makes for a lot of stuff including dubbing. I just put the packages on the loop with the labels all one direction then cut off a corner of the ones I am using to get to the dubbing. Works great.
Anyway thanks for the encouragement. Mine might take a bit over 15 minutes today….
Jim Kim says
Hi Loren. You’re right it is a hard habit to make. The Loon Bench Rings are handy. Saving “scraps” is my biggest challenge. It’s not enough to save for a full bag, but just enough for one more tie.