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What Is Your Fly Tying Story?


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44 replies to this topic

#31 Kimo

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 09:42 AM

  A local fly shop had an open fly tying night on Wednesdays.
He would have guest tyers like Stalcup and Rim. I observed for about a year before I started tying.
Learned what the best vises were, what flies I needed specific to the places
I fished and how the tyers approached fly tying.
  I started my own patterns right off the bat. Tested them and made changes. Continued to experiment till I got something that work.
  I appeared in the Denver Post in two articles by Charlie Meyers about my local reservoir.
  Had my scud featured in Fly Fisherman in an article about using UVKS for tying flies by Rick Takahashi.
  I had given some of my flies to a buddy who gave them to another buddy who gave them to Umpqua.
Got a call from Umpqua(Brian Schmidt) telling me they were interested my flies. Didn't even know how they got them.
The biggest thrill I got was showing my Dad his name in print in a major fly manufacturers catalog (I'm a junior.).

Kimo


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#32 Flicted

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:52 PM

My grandfather had some basic tying tools and a vice. He tied really bad jigs and dressed treble hooks. He mostly used hair from his dogs. When he died, I tried to get his tools but couldnt. A few years later, I bought a cheap kit from Cabelas and started tying basic flies from the very few fly tying library books I could find in Nebraska. I started recreating flies from catalogs as close as I could. A few years later, I was stationed at an army post in Dugway, Utah. The Outdoor Rec director was Frank Marcotte and he was an avid guide, tyer, fisherman and rod builder. I learned quite a bit from him in the year and a half I was there. I continued to self-improve while I was in Idaho, South Dakota, Utah, and Mississippi with different fish, water, insects, and baitfish. After I retired from the military, I moved back home to Nebraska. Warm water fishing is mostly what I do now. But I was able to get a short commercial tying gig with a local sporting goods store where I improved my consistency and speed. Scheels, Cabelas, and Bass Pro all moved in and shut that down. I sold a few flies through chat rooms and message boards and then started just tying for myself. YouTube became more of a thing and with better paying jobs, I was able to improve my tools and materials. Getting better all the time.

#33 DarkAngelEyes84

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 04:31 PM

I started tying just a few weeks ago.

I am relatively new to the fly fishing game on the whole, I have about 2 years experience going after panfish and Bass in still water on a 5/6wt, and at the end of last season decided to try my hand at Pike and Musky. Being from Central Minnesota my stream fishing/cold water opportunities are limited, so I put a 9wt and 10wt in my quiver to target the Esox species available to me a bit closer to home (cool side point, my 10wt 'supposedly' came out of Larry Dahlberg's personal collection, but that is another story).

This lead me to find out that I am dissatisfied with the Esox flies that I could order offline, both in price point and quality of construction ('googly eyes',are you kidding me?), and I was REALLY unhappy about dropping $12-$30 per fly in my local shops to pick up well made large articulated Esox streamers, especially when my color and material options never seemed to be what I wanted (is it really too much to ask for a red and white pike bunny?).  

 

So around the beginning of April, I went into a large 'big-box' sporting goods store and come out with a fly tying starter kit, complete with a vice, tools, hooks, and materials. I brought it home, opened it up, dug through it, and immediately put it back in the box and returned it. On the second go-round I purchased an, only slightly, more expensive vice and tools kit, a handful of materials  and an assortment of hooks running from size 8 to 5/0. I sat down my first night at the vice and tied up some barely passable "Flys".... seriously, if you looked at my first few flies you might assume that I either: 1. Had never seen a fly of any type before that night, or 2. Had a severe drinking problem coupled with acute color blindness. These were BAD!!! colors (being targeted at Esox and Panfish) aren't that important, but the proportions and tying were definitely sub-par. 

 

Days went by, and many night passed with Netflix running in the background while I cut, tied, trimmed and glued after the kids went to bed. Downtime at work was filled with YouTube videos about tips and techniques. I added materials and methods to my madness, and I am proud to say that I fished this past weekend (MN opener) with a box of flies that exclusively came off of my bench, and only one of them will be going 'under the knife' so I can trash the materials and get the hook back for another attempt. The fishing was terrible, super cold water temps as I was fishing northern MN, and I was only able coax up a single Northern Pike that flashed on my fly when he saw the boat, but the feeling that "My" fly coaxed that beast out from hiding was enough that I will be back on the bench as soon as life allows.

 

If you made it this far, do me a favor.... pray to whatever G/god(s) you worship because if I don't have a successful year fishing on the rods, reels, line, and flies that I have invested in, my wife may try to find out just how good my life insurance coverage actually is. 

 

Tight lines!

DAE 



#34 mikechell

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:26 PM

Welcome to the site, the addiction and the fun of fly fishing and tying, DAE.  Nice introduction, too.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#35 Charlie1947

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 11:17 PM

I started fly fishing over 14 years ago, the tying started soon after. A year later, my wife got cancer,
The tying is all that kept me sane. I lost her 4 years later, again the tying kept me from feeling sorry for myself.
About 5 years ago, my health bottomed out, I thought I would not be able to keep fishing so I sold all
My equipment, sadly this included all my tying stuff? In the last year or two, the LORD has been restoring
My health so I have been buying some stuff again, of course this includes my tying stuff. I have had to
Settle for less than my favorite vise, but I’m back!
Kind Regards,
Charlie1947

#36 mikechell

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 08:52 AM

Welcome back Charlie.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#37 CSB1

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 07:14 AM

     Started out pretty much like Xvigauge. I started back around 1962. First vise was homemade, a clothespin, 3/16's machine screw, couple of washers and a wing nut. Most materials came from Herter's Inc.. Picked up a kit from the local sporting goods store and that included a better vise. Tied mostly for myself and a few friends from the day one. It was almost all wet flies and streamers, fishing the local lakes for Panfish.

     Got hooked up with a local sporting goods store back in the early 90's. Did a lot of wet flies for him for the early Spring fishing. Made a name for myself in regards to wet flies. That store had been gone for a few years. I still get calls from guys that bought my flies thru him in the Spring, looking for Black Gnats.    



#38 TIER

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:32 PM

I started 2 months after I started fly fishing. I was walking to the fly section at bass pro shops in Ancorage, Alaska when I saw a fly tying vise. At the time I had no idea what it was, so I asked. So I asked a guy what it was, and lor and behold, it was a fly tying vise. The guy taught me how to fly tie and I loved it and I still love it to this day.



#39 FishnPhil

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 09:33 AM

I started tying flies to save money

 

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#40 Rokas

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:37 AM

Came into a local fly shop to buy a vice and some materials for a beginner, ended up with a solid Danvice vice and everything I needed to tie a Red Tag, long story short, I am now working in that fly shop lol 



#41 steeldrifter

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:48 AM

Started back when I got into fly fishing about 30 yrs ago when I was in my late teens. s I started fly fishing I was just hooked on anything to do with it so tying was the next logical step so I went to the local sporting goods store and bought a $25 fly tying kit. It came with the basic "junk" materials you would expect as well as a Sunrise vise that was probably one step about a pair of vise grips far as usage goes. It dis the job and got me hooked on tying so I guess it served its purpose.


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#42 Piker20

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:06 AM

I started tying to try and replace/improve the skirts on spinner baits and surface pike lures. I started out with a mechanic vice and a warm water fly book and when I picked up a cheap fly rod and hooked my first fish on a bit of tinsel and fluff I was addicted
I find the tying as much an escape as the fishing now as I have a young family and time is stretched.
Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

Based Scottish Highlands. UK

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#43 fishingbobnelson

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 10:04 AM

I started tying in 1956.  I was so lucky to have Dick Miller as my 5th grade teacher.  He started a fly fishing club at school where we learned to cast and tie flies.  I lived in Grants Pass, Oregon on the Rogue River and fortunately for me there were several outdoor shops and one fly tying shop in town. So materials and tools were readily available, though by today's standards the materials were very basic.  Fly fishing was how every adult I knew fished. The first flies I learned to tie were the Grey Hackle Yellow and a Red Ant.  Of course everyone wanted to learn how to tie Royal Coachmen.  60 plus years later still tying, Dick went to fish with the angels last year, but I still think of him when I sit at my vise.


“The thing about fishing is that it gives a man hope.  Each cast builds a little hope and if he can lose himself to that hope, then the worries and the heartache fade into the background.  The wind inside him dies down for a while”

The Royal Wulff Murders, by Keith McCafferty

 

Fishing Bob


#44 Meeshka

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 11:42 AM

When I was 8 years old my fly fishing career started with  a 6 foot ultralite fenwick spinning outfit.  We fished mainly small creeks back then and I lost more flys then caught fish.  Dad bought me a fly tying kit for Christmas that year and the rest is history.  I'll be 60 this month.

 

Doug



#45 tidewaterfly

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Posted 05 June 2019 - 08:27 PM

I got interested in fly fishing and flies from reading magazines articles written by guys such as Joe Brooks, AJ McClane, and Charles Waterman. That was back in the mid 60's. I started attempting to tie in 1966, with scavenged hooks & materials. Didn't have a vise so held the hooks in my fingers and wrapped materials & thread with my left hand. I'm right handed but have been tying lefty ever since. Most of what I've learned has been self taught, but over the years have known some exceptional tyers & fly fishers that have helped me fix some things I didn't get right on my own. 

 

Got my first fly rod about a year after I started tying ( trying), a Cortland 8 wt fiberglass outfit. From there I was able to obtain some mail order tying supplies, and eventually a Thompson A vise. My first thread bobbin was a Chase. I had visions of chasing trout, based on those early magazine articles, but ended up targeting bass, panfish and Striped Bass most often. and still do. I now tie on a Regal that I've had for over 20 years and have a small collection of old vises.  

 

I've tied commercially, had a small business for about 15 years from '89 to 2003 tying and making lures,  and for recreation. I currently operate another tackle business, tying flies and producing various lead based lures. 

 

I have a little over a year before I can fully retire, but don't ever expect to stop working, so as long as I'm able, I'll likely be tying. I have a part time job driving a tractor trailer 6 months of the year for a company that puts on dance competitions so I get to travel around & see some of the famous places that I used to read about. At least from the seat of the truck.  Maybe someday I'll actually get to fish at some of those places too! smile.png