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Green Acres

2 biggest advances in tying

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I agree, the info shared on the net is incredible. A good close up of fly has helped me see what and where I needed to improve upon. looking at other peoples flies, comments and suggestions on the net has probably taken five to ten years off the learning curve for me.

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The two single most important developments in flytying for over a century, responsible for a massive upward shift and the raising of the bar, simply have to be the combination of Internet availability and participation, combined with the technological advances and affordability of digital close-up photography.


I am just learning about tying flies and have been casting for a year. I grew up in Central Texas in a farming and ranching economy. If you can find an environment in which less is known about either flyfishing or tying flies, I would be surprised. For us, it was straight conventional fishing with trottlining and a little gigging thrown in when the creeks were grying up.


I had heard of flytying and flyfishing whem I was younger but never really had the inclination to find out more because not a soul I knew had ever done either, and most had never heard of either. If you wanted lessons on branding cattle or guns, my country was and is the place.


A year ago, I decided I'd try to learn flycasting so I could go flyfishing, a really new experience! The internet and TexasKayakFisherman.com let me contact Al Crise, a Master Casting Instructor with the Federation of Fly Fishers, in Glen Rose, Texas, about 65 miles northwest of Waco. I talked to Al and on April 1 of last year, I picked up my first flyrod ever. At that meeting, which was actually for aspiring FFF Certified Casting Instructors, and taught by Al and around ten Certified Instructors, they learned how bad I was, as could hardly get the flyline into the air, and I learned how good they were; they could flycast a mile! Well actually, the mile was more like around 150 feet or a little more for the best and 100 or so for those who were great but not quite as advanced in firing off long lines.


Now a year later with all the help from all of those new friends who I now see regularly and know by first name, I know a lot more about casting, flyfishing, technique, presentation and even catching fish. I'm al long way from being what I consider good, but my Federation friends tell me I'm a long way from where I was a year ago.


Pretty much the same goes for flytying, except I'm still a long way from where I am as far as casting knowledge when it comes to tying flies. I figure in a year though, I'll have gained a lot and be a whole lot better at tying flies. The best flytying move I could have evr made is finding FlyTyingForum.com, but that came along just about like a lot of other great things in my life, I somehow just fell into it! I don't even remember how I found this site, but one day, it was just there. And, now I'm here all the time.


I had probably tied around 50 of the worst looking flies you ever saw before getting into the Classic Salmon Flyting Seminar. Getting in was just plain, dumb luck and a little mercy shown by Matthew, Dave Carne and Charlie Vestal. In the few short weeks of the course, I have already learned a lot. Most folks are a lot better than me, but I'm here, and I'm trying. I'm learning a lot and all my flies are looking a whole lot better, not just the Salmon flies I'm trying to tie. Plus, I'm having a lot of fun!


So yes, I think the internet and digital photography along with computers and great software, which we have to have to make it work, have been instrumental in advancing this art. Most important of all though are people like Will who happened to one day have an idea about starting a little website discussing nothing but flytying. Sometimes, you know, these litle ideas just take off and pretty soon you've got yourself mixed up with something like this, a gigantic, raging site with more than 8,000 of the most motivated flytyers from around the world, tying, talking, photographing and trading ideas as they push the art of flytying to higher and higher levels, all based on rapidly surging knowledge, ability and talent relating to everything associated with flytying and the materials and techniques included in its realm.


How a veterinarian from Central Texas got here, I don't know, but it sure has been fun, and I'm learning more and more.



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I absolutely agree and here is a good example of why the internet has done so much for fly tying. If you haven't seen this, you will be amazed.



I don't know if this site has been posted here before, but it is truely amazing. A 360 degree view of a tied fly. I don't know what else can be done to improve fly tying.

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I'm partial to the invention of the bobbin myself, and synthetic materials.


The internet is a nice resource and I enjoy using it, but essentially it just makes information easier to access - the knowledge was available before in books and you may have had to coax it from the cranky guys in fly shops.


So the internet is a great advance just not the single biggest since 1900.

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both are great tools or sources for knowledge.


if you want to learn how to "under-water basket weave"..................there's probably a site for that.


what this has done...................provided a lot of accessibility.


i don't have fly shops around me close, so this is a good source of info for me.



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The internet offers a vast source of *free* fly tying information, most of which was already

available before in books etc. as pointed out by Sean Juan. I emphasise the word 'free'

because there is still a lot of useful information which is available only to the paying customer.


Video and ready availability (think it - Google it - there - 1 sec later) are what really sets

the internet aside from the fly tyers viewpoint.


But ask yourself this - Does fly tying and fly fishing really go together with instant gratuity ?


Let's not overlook these advances (in no particular order):-


Synthetics (mentioned by Sean Juan)

Hook technology

Rotary tying

Genetic hackle





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