I read a lot of posts here, in the fly tying forums there are many from folks new to tying who are filled with questions. Sometimes there are threads where someone expresses frustration with the construction of certain patterns. I read many but reply to far too few. What we do have here are some very good flytier's and many of them are better versed at techniques than I and so, better to give advise to new tiers.
I am pretty much a self taught fly guy. Even after many years and countless flies tied I look at what I make and still see a rough hewn look to my craftsmanship. I don't believe they will ever win best in show but I have learned to make them tough so that they might last long enough to catch multiple fishes. When I started we didn't have forums or videos so you looked at pictures and diagrams and gave it your best shot. Frustration, I know it well. Through every twist and turn of feather, fur, floss and tinsel I have paid the dues. Quill wings were a big step as were married wings for salmon flies. Those hurdles were made way back in the late 70's and early 80's and today I find myself a bit rusty at both.
Fly tying is constantly evolving and with each decade come new patterns and tying styles. I have stubbornly clung to the old school classic patterns for almost 46 years now but every now and then even the most stubborn of old dogs can learn a new trick. That holds especially true if the new trick might just put a big fish on the end of the line.
It was the quest for larger fish (rainbow trout specifically) that pushed me into the world of articulated Sculpin patterns and now to the Intruder style flies. Although I had 45 years of tying experience to use I struggled to figure out how to best do these patterns. I still have a long ways to go in refining my technique for building the flies but I just had to say something about the process. I hope that the folks who are new to tying can take heart in knowing that it is difficult for even the guys who have been at it for years.
Within the realm of the Sculpin, this has been my best basic tie and they will work.
I'm still making them and trying to refine my style to make construction easier and the flies durable. For color combinations I am just blending natural tones trying to create things that 'as my wife Nancy would say', look fun to eat.
These are some of the early ties; with the photography on all these shots done by a point & shoot rather than my Nikon. One day I'll do some studio style shots with the SLR & macro to show the next generation of flies as I evolve with the 21'st century.
On to my latest project; The Intruder
I should show the first one tied but chose not to copy it here, it was pretty rough but I am refining things with each go.
These 2 were made yesterday evening Oct. 12, blue and black have proven good on my Spey flies so I used the same colors on these.
This morning I awoke inspired to create some in more of a food color scheme and this is the first of the day.
I figure with each one they should become better proportioned and as I add some materials, more exotic as well. I ordered a bunch of natural Amherst Pheasant center tail feathers that should land here soon. Them and a bunch of fox tails from a member here will add some flair to what I can do. By purchasing the pheasant in the natural I will be able to dye sections in order to create a full spectrum of choices when getting creative. I may even venture into the Tube Fly world before I turn 60!
I'll be swinging some of these Intruders tomorrow morning.............
If you're new to tying and can't find a place for classes, there is hope for you. It will be harder but you can do it, keep at it and post up your work