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Fly Tying
DarrellP

Fly tying pioneers

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When I started tying (way before there was an Internet, or color TV,) I have several major influences. These were sources I used to learn how to tie. Herters Catalogs, there were several in the box of fly tying stuff in the basement. I took what was in the box, and tried to duplicate the flies pictured in the catalog. Then there was the Wise Fishermen's Encyclopedia. Published by Wm. H. Wise & C0 Inc. in 1951. The 25 pages of fly tying instruction, and the 20 pages of patterns were my "bible" for about 5 years. I also learned how to build rods from that source. Then in 1967 I was given my first "real" book on fly tying. Flies by J Edson Leonard, I learned a LOT from these last two books. By then, I could tie just about anything I wanted to, and haven't stopped since.

 

The most important lesson I learned was that you can never stop learning. I have over 120 different books, many signed by the authors, and even now I keep on learning from the thousands of videos on YouTube.

 

If there is ONE thing, that has revolutionized fly tying, in my book, its the INTERNET. World wide access to a huge store of knowledge all available without leaving your house. No one can even begin to tie every different pattern shown on the Internet.

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Well I’m off to a very late start in fly fishing and fly tying. I’m at the beginning of Skip Morris’ book and I’m slowly working my way through. When I started I bought books authored by the LeTort Spring Creek guys I read about as a kid. They are Ed Koch, Ed Shenk, and Vince Marinaro (I think Lefty was one of that crowd too). I think they were kind of pioneers in the tying of terrestrials.

 

Bob

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Western tiers:

Bob Quigley: Quigley Cripple

Denny Rickards: Seal Bugger

Andy Puyans: A.P. Nymph

Rene Harrop: Nohackle, various mayfly emergers including the Transitional Dun (my favorite)

Jay Fair: Wiggly Tail, Snail (Davis lake patterns)

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TJM beat me with Tom Nixon. Big, ugly, rubber legged bass fly (Calcasieu Pig Boat) that would make the dry sherry trout fly-fishermen wretch.

 

So I'll contribute H.G. Tapply and the spun deer hair surface bug.

 

And also a call out to Mary Orvis Marbury for Favorite Flies and their Histories (1892) to document the early years.

 

I also don't see Harry Murray yet. His Hellgramite and Strymph are my lead-off Chenango and Susquehanna River flies. There's something about ostrich fiber tails and smallmouth.

I'll second that for Mary Orvis Marbury!Practically pioneered fly for bass.Developed some absolutely stunning patterns with some unusual materials.

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So many great tyers. I think of Jack Dennis and Randall Kaufmann for putting together texts with photos that taught at least two generations how to tie flies that are still consistently effective. I think of Kelly Galloup and Blaine Chocklett for the huge advances in articulated streamers. Watch some Australians called Beastbrushes fir more in that vein Finally Charles Brooks for "tying in the round".

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I left out A. K. Best for his work with Production fly tying and just because he was the original badass hardcore float tube guru, Del Canty, trophy trout fisherman and developer of Lunkerhunter float tubes

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Lots of names here, and I'm unfamiliar with most of them just because I rarely tie "patterns", and I don't have any fly tying books.

It's been so long ago that I almost forgot ... my first internet influence was Al Campbell and FAOL.

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Any list of the Pioneers in fly tying should include, Dame Julia Berners, and the Treatise of Fishing With An Angle, and Charles Cotton's contribution to Issac Walton's The Complete Angler. Up until the 5th(maybe 6th) edition Walton simply added the flies from the Treatise, then Cotton not only added 64 patterns but included one of the first descriptions of just how to go about tying the fly. These were two of the most influential early works that described flies, gave pattern recipes, and finally a description of the tying process.

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Compile a list of all the well known flytyers from D. Julie til now and they every one pioneered some thing that made their name popular.

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Western tiers:

Bob Quigley: Quigley Cripple

Denny Rickards: Seal Bugger

Andy Puyans: A.P. Nymph

Rene Harrop: Nohackle, various mayfly emergers including the Transitional Dun (my favorite)

Jay Fair: Wiggly Tail, Snail (Davis lake patterns)

I'm working my way through Rene Harrop's Learning from the Water

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