I have been tying and fly fishing for about 30 years, fishing for about 45 years, and am eager to learn new things, and share something now and then if I think I can. I have fished many different places in the country, but have lived and fished in the midwest (Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana), the northeast (New Hampshire), the southeast (Florida), and in Colorado. I turned 50 last year, and a friend told me I was now over the hill. I replied, "awesome! That means I just hit my peak!" And I honestly feel like it. (other than arthritis, a little more trouble seeing up close, and the other stuff that goes with this side of the hill.) I tie a lot of different styles of flies, tie a lot of stuff just to have fun being creative, and generally enjoy tying at least as much as I enjoy fishing.
I am a bivocational pastor of a small church in Johnstown, Colorado where I live, and I am also the general manager of Chick-fil-A in Loveland, Colorado.
My biggest fish ever was a tarpon in the Florida keys that topped 120 pounds, and my four smallest were matching trout or salmon parr (couldn't be sure) that came in at about 2 inches that I went all the way to Alaska to catch. They kept snapping up the nymph that I was attempting to drift down to a ten plus pound rainbow sitting just above a beaver dam.
I started tying in the seventies on a Sunrise vise that was made in India, but probably designed by torturers from the Spanish Inquisition. It had a lever that turned a screw that closed the vise and then you had to unscrew the lever because it always ended up right in the way of the hook. It was attached to one of those cheap clamps that you might see on a dollar store ping pong net. I paid about six dollars for it and still feel that I got ripped off. I tied thousands of flies on it before buying a nice little draw collet cam lock job that my local fly shop recommended. That one produced thousands of flies before I finally decided I was willing to spend a little more on my tying equipment since I don't drink or smoke or go skiing or lots of other things that would suck up my money. I now use a Nor-vise, a Snowbee Waldron, a Regal Medallion, and an Anvil Apex. I had an Anvil Atlas in there too, but recently gave that to a friend. I have tied with all kinds of materials, especially when I was first starting out, and didn't have any money after blowing my last six bucks on that Sunrise. I boldly claim to be the first to have experimented with belly button lint as a dubbing material. (I'll bet I'm not actually the first, but I'll bet I'm the first to stake the claim!) Desperate times call for desperate measures. By the way, those flies actually caught trout! lol! I also had a dog in those days who had some curious bald patches the same color as some of my flies. She was also missing most of her whiskers. Today I have more material than I will likely use before I die, but I intend to give it a good try. I teach a tying class to beginners here in Johnstown, and have some fun with that.
I tie mainly for fun, but also to fish. Not everything I tie looks good, but as someone once pointed out... it's in the eye of the beholder. If the fish like it, that's enough for me.