So maybe you’re like me. You’ve been fly fishing for a little while now. “Match the hatch” is not just a catchy phrase --you’ve gotten better at picking the right bug out of your fly box when you're fishing the South Platte or the Ark. And here you are, at the precipice, ready to tackle tying your own flies. So, what’s the motivation to take that step? What are the fly tying techniques that produce effective flies with efficient use of time?
Fly tying has been the subject of 1000’s of articles, books, and blogs (a quick search on Amazon for “fly tying books” reveals something like 1,259 titles). You can, of course, do a Google search and learn about the materials needed and the steps to take to tie flies. Some of the sites will offer plenty of advice for the beginning tyer:
Makes sense to me. I think most of fly fishing works that way, doesn’t it? We don’t rush right out to the more technical locations and expect success. Most of us like to experience successes early and then work our way to bigger challenges.
In that Google search, you’ll find links to youtube videos, a plethora of blog sites, and e-zines a-plenty -- all with the good intentions of helping a newcomer get started on the path to tying his or her own flies. You'' watch videos and read the fly pattern recipes.
In other words, plenty of advice is out there about “how” to tie flies. No shortage of instructional videos and materials. And they seem to be pretty good.
But there's more to tying flies, isn’t there, then just “how-to”? And how quickly can you flatten your learning curve watching "how-to" videos at the dining room table with Sunday Night Football on in the background?
For more efficient, effective, and economically feasible reasons, a class or two with seasoned veteran tyers may be the best bet.
"It'll save me money.” I’ve heard people say they’ll save money by tying their own flies. Like any adventure, though, it will take a bit of time for any return on the investment to happen. So taking up fly tying cannot solely be an economic motivation, right? The initial (and on-going) cost of materials and equipment can be offset by taking a class and receiving instruction (as well as some initial materials provided as part of the class) so that you’re not in it alone.
“I need a winter hobby.” That may be a great motivation. What can we do on long winter nights when we may not get out to the river all that much and, when we do, it’s for shorter stretches of time? (OK, what else can we do?) Tying flies offers some folks a form of artistic expression, relaxation, and, mostly, a way to fill fly boxes for the months ahead. With all the things competing for our time, fly tying might be one activity to move to the top of the priorities!
“I want to net a fish with a fly that I tied.” Exactly. The biggest motivator for me to take that step into fly tying will be the idea of “from vise to net.” Whether I tie the fly at my kitchen table or in a class with others, I want to pull that fly from my fly box, tie it on the tippet, and watch a fish rise to take it. I want to take that fly from the Rainbow’s lip, dust it with some Frog’s Fanny, and present it again for the next rise.
Fly Tying Classes for 2016/2017 (click on link for dates and description)
Fly Tying 101 (Free). This one-hour introduction is a great opportunity to see if fly tying is for you.
Fly Tying 201. Each class will focus on a particular category of fly: nymphs, dries, streamers, and terrestrials.
Fly Tying 301: dates to be announced!
Fly Tying Night. Every Tuesday night from 7:00 - 9:00, we host fly tying night! It is not a class, but a time to meet each week and get some tips and techniques from other seasoned tyers.
301 Fly Tying with Greg Blessing: Colorado Guide flies, Part 1
Fy Tying with Juan Ramirez. Caddis