05-01-2005, 05:50 PM
Fly Tying, The Other Half of Fly Fishing - By Dave Whitlock
[img2="left"]http://www.davewhitlock.com/images/sflytying.jpg[/img2]Fly Tying, The Other Half of Fly Fishing
By Dave & Emily Whitlock
If we could offer you a way to at least double your time, pleasure and potential catches fly fishing, would you be interested? Okay... here's how. Learn to tie your own flies! Wait a minute, no excuses. You aren't too busy, too nervous or too clumsy. We've yet to see a person who fly fishes who cannot become skilled as a fly tyer. If you can tie your shoe strings or sign your name, you have the right equipment. If you read, ride public transportation, watch TV, or fly fish, you have time. You can tie flies to relax and entertain yourself on planes and in airline terminals, in motels and lodges and even at times on the banks of a river. If you want to ...there's always time.
Fly tying is very relaxing, engrossing and extremely practical. But the best thing is that you can catch fish on a fly that you've made yourself. Be it the first one you tie or that special one you create that is like no other ever tied or a copy of a classic design, using your own flies can really add to the satisfaction of fly fishing.
Fly tying also frees you from the dependence on others for your flies, especially if you live in a part of the country with no access to a well-stocked fly shop. Another important advantage is being able to quickly tie flies that match a hatch of insects or other food form that the fish are really keying in on that you come across when you are out on the stream. There is usually a short window for this activity and there is also often not the exact imitation in your flybox. You want to be able to quickly tie an artificial for that particular natural food, either on the stream (which is sometimes difficult if it's cold or windy) or back at your vehicle or lodging, because time is of the essence. This can add a fascinating challenge to your fly fishing. And what a sweet victory when it all comes together and you have a beautiful, wild fish dancing at the end of your line...attracted there by your own creation.
Your flies can make great gifts! Not just given as flies for fishing, but also framed in shadow boxes or mounted for use as broaches and earrings and other jewelry forms. The possibilities are many and you'll be appreciated for your efforts.
Some folks get so enthralled with fly tying that they make a business out of it, selling flies to fly shops, distributors and guides and fishermen. This is an especially good way for young people to build part-time income while they are in school.
Before you purchase a tying kit, we'd advise you to seek instructions and materials from your local fly-fishing pro shops, tying friends or area fly-fishing clubs. If these "live-and-in-person" teaching aids aren't handy, then purchase one or more good beginner level fly-tying videos and books; some are even available at your local library.
[img2="right"]http://www.thefullcreel.com/files/data/SigforumDaveW.jpg[/img2] We are so convinced that every fly fisher should tie at least a few of their own flies that we teach a short course in fly tying during all our three-day fly-fishing schools here in Arkansas. In just a couple of hours our students learn enough to tie several flies, and then most of them catch fish on their own flies before the school is over. Daylong fly-tying classes are also available at our school for those who want to get serious about their tying.
When it comes down to it, many fly fishers spend as much or more time each year tying flies and talking about tying than they do getting out fly fishing them! It makes some of the time during the long, closed-season winters and on road trips from home more enjoyable and you keep yourself connected with this incredible sport. Then your precious hours on the water can be even more fun.
Article Courtesy of Dave and Emily Whitlock at www.davewhitlock.com