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Fly Tying

Mark Knapp

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Everything posted by Mark Knapp

  1. It rained on us for most of the time but it really was enjoyable. There's really nothing like silently floating a river and watching it go by, even if the fish aren't biting and the mosquitoes are.
  2. As it turns out, the corks just arrived and it looks like they will work perfectly. The flies look like they will work really good too. I'll use them on Silver Salmon this fall and Lakers next summer. Thank you very much for everything. Forged in Fire was a blast and I'd do it again if they ask me. Thanks again, Mark
  3. It was a nice video D, thanks for posting it. It was long but not arduous. The ads didn't bother me, just a click and it's gone.
  4. I just got back from my annual moose hunt and grayling fishing float trip. It's been raining here all summer and the rivers are all high and washed out. Beaver creek was so muddy you couldn't see the bottom in a foot of water resulting in horrible fishing. We were able to catch enough to eat but our normal 100 fish per day was just a dream this fall. One of the consequences of Covid 19 this year was that none of the remote villages and towns were letting people float or fly into them to start or end trips so pressure on rivers that didn't require villages was dramatically increased. Normally we see one or two other parties on a ten day float trip on Beaver Creek, this year there were ten other parties. Everyone had to be patient of other parties on the river. We had also had to cancel one of my other trips this fall that required a visit to a village. We had one incident, early on, where another party made a moose drive (of 6 people) right through a spot we had been glassing for three days, watching cow moose and waiting for the bulls to show themselves. One of the drivers passed withing 30 yards of our camp. Kind of rude. We picked up and moved on down the river. On the ninth day, of the ten day float, my buddy and I were floating past another parties camp in the evening, an hour or so before dark. At the end of the gravel bar, three or four hundred yards from their' camp, was a guy sitting on a log, we waved at him as we went by, he waved back with no other indication of anything. No sooner had we passed by him when I saw a bull moose just out of his view but within a long rifle shot of him. I looked back at him and could tell he didn't know the moose was there. I was within 125 yards of the moose, I shot it and when I did the guy on the log threw up his arms in disgust, blurted some foul language, gathered up his stuff and went to his camp. I hollered at him that I was sorry (to shoot a moose right in front of him, not that it was his moose). After making sure the moose was secure I asked my buddy to walk over to the camp five hundred yards away and offer them half of the moose while I got started working on it. There's no way of knowing if he was even going to see the moose, or if he would have gotten it, if we hadn't come along but it seemed like a fair thing to do. After a little while my buddy and the other hunter came over and we agreed he'd take half of the moose, he was very grateful for the offer and said he'd go back and get his partner and some game bags, knives and back packs in order to help with the butchering and carrying back their' meat. We got to talking about how much pressure their was on the river this year and I related to him the story of the inconsiderate guys that had done a moose drive though our camp. I saw a funny wrinkle on his face when I mentioned that. When he back to where we were working on the moose, after talking to his hunting partner, he declined the offer of half of the moose. He said it was my moose, I got it fair and square and he wasn't taking any of it. I offered him a back strap or a tender loin and he declined it all. I said that maybe Karma would even it all out in the end and he got another weird wrinkle on his face. He helped process the moose and load it onto my raft. As he was leaving I asked him his full name and address, I was going to send him something nice. He wouldn't give it to me. He just said everything was cool. Here's the kicker, it turns out, he and his partner were part of the crew that had made the drive though our camp. Karma, or what ever you want to call it is a funny thing. This time it was swift and pungent. Here's my moose, perfect for eating.
  5. Mark Knapp

    Forged Flies

    Those are pretty cool, I'd heard of them but never seen them.
  6. Oops, I forgot about that when I signed up. Is it too late to change my mind?😁
  7. It's very pretty, and what a way to usher in the fall.
  8. I'm a firm believer in using the right tool for the job but of course you can. For me in my Po-dunk town slotted beads are harder to get than the others. I got a lot of those. It's to the internet for me for the slotted ones.
  9. Talkeetna is a little north of Wasilla on the Parks highway, between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Nice town, good fishing, all Alaska.
  10. I like them both very much and must admit that the example with the fuller body appeals to me more. Are they not Stimulators? At any rate, very nice job on yours.
  11. San Fransisco, a navy brat. My family is from Denver.
  12. No worries buddy. Looking forward to giving it a try.
  13. That's a good question. The distinction here is that, we'll assume, the OP is making flies for himself and I am making knives for customers so there really isn't a correlation. When I tie flies that I am not happy with I fish them, in fact I fish them all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I do sell flies too, but I rarely sell them to fish, they are priced and sold as art work not fishing flies (of all the highfalutin, conceitedness) In that case, only my prettiest flies go in the store. Surprisingly, some people buy my overpriced "art" flies and fish with them. Now, to answer your question. I work on a knife until I am happy with it. I have never thrown away a knife that I wasn't happy with but I have redone a particular part of a knife if I wasn't happy with it. All of my custom knives are made to order now so they are made to a specific design that my customer and I created. Early on in my career, when I was making knives to sell over the counter, I made a very nice knife that had blue fossil walrus ivory handles, a very rare, highly prized material. When the knife was finished I was very proud of it until I noticed that the blade had a very slight bend in the blade. Almost imperceptible, never the less, it was there. Sometimes, knife blades come out of the heat treat crooked and you straighten them before you go further. Sometimes they warp a little as you work them. Anyway, I couldn't sell the knife the way it was so I had to try and straighten it. At that time I straightened knives cold with a small arbor press by bending it past straight to a point where it bent and then flexed back to straight. As you might imagine this is a very touchy situation, sometimes blades broke and as you might expect this one did too, right in the middle. Now, what am I going to do with a finished knife that had a broken blade and $500.00 worth of ivory in the handle? I laid awake that night worrying about it. In the morning I decided to regrind the blade into a new knife, much shorter than it was supposed to be, about three inches long. I ground it, beveled it and re-etched the damascus. To me the finished knife looked wrong, it was too short but at least it was straight. I didn't like it so I just put it at my work area to think about it for a while. A few weeks later a gentleman from Germany was on his way to the airport to fly back home. He said we was stopping to see if I had "Just the right knife" The taxi cab was waiting out side so I quickly showed him all of the knives I had for sale at the time. None of them were right, they were all too long. He wanted to be able to put his finger over the point of the blade to keep from poking the entrails while opening up the abdomens of deer. I said, "Well, I do have this one but.." when he saw it he cut me off and said "That's perfect, how much" I hadn't had any time to think about it but the whole knife would have cost $1,500.00 at the time so I just blurted out $750.00 for half of the knife. He was extremely happy, he paid me and left. I had recouped my expenses and I was pretty happy too. The moral of the story is; "There is a knife for every customer, and a customer for every knife" I, pretty much, make mistakes on every knife I make, to be honest. Some of the mistake are big ones but most of them are little and just require a little more sanding or something like that. Some of my very best design elements were results from fixing a mistake. A wise shop teacher in school told me something a long time ago, "We all make mistakes, a true craftsman is someone who can take a mistake and make it better than it originally could have been." Sorry for the book.
  14. I agree with SC that the OP should strive to tie the best flies that he can but I think the question was what to do with the flies that for some reason he is not satisfied with. I say fish them and make the next one better.
  15. I think it's because a realistic fly is generally too rigid, and when in the water, looks like an immobile plastic version, while a traditional fly has movement because of the fluttering feathers and fur. It represents a living creature better.
  16. I'm not familiar with this, does it lay on the water sideways? Very nice looking and intriguing.
  17. Usually, the trees take care of "extras" for me. You might not have to throw any of them away.
  18. Just got back in town. Thanks Bud, The girls might have to drink a bottle on me. Well, not on me, that would be just weird.
  19. Both of those flies are perfectly suitable for fishing. They are also not bad for looking at. Are they perfect no, but what is perfect? Perfect to one guy is not perfect to another. If fish are hitting prince nymphs the day you go fishing, they will hit those.
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