Why I love fly tying.


Fly tying is something I truly love and enjoy. Since I started fly tying about a year ago I loved it! It’s definitely what attracted me to fly fishing in the first place. The greatest part about fly tying, in my opinion, is the satisfaction of catching a fish on something you made. It’s especially gratifying if it’s a pattern you came up with on your own (or at least never saw before).

I have three main flies that I tie; Killer Bug, Sakasa Kebari, and the Balloon Caddis. I tie some zebra midges and wolly buggers from time to time along with one other streamer pattern but not very often. This morning I tied up 3 dozen Killer Bugs, more than I ever tied in one sitting. I never thought I could tie them so fast, but I read about a few tips and one of them worked flawlessly for me. I read about commercial tyers who tie in stages, whip finish or make dubbing loops by hand, always hold your scissors, if the thread is being cover by a material don’t worry about it being perfect, seperating materials, keeping your tools all easily at hand, and just simple things like that. According to what a I read about the scissors, you would tie around 1-2 dozen less flies in an 8 hour day by not holding them the entire time. So now when I tie my flies I always hold my scissors, started a bit goofy feeling but now it’s normal. On killer bugs I keep my ball of yarn right next to the vise along with a spool of 0.020 lead, hooks on the vise base, and whip finisher to the right of the vise. When I tie sakasa Kebari I have my feathers all separated next to the vise where I would keep the yarn for killer bugs. I keep my rotating hackle pliers on the right next to the whip finisher. For the balloon caddis I cut yellow foam into a few thin strips ahead of time and set them behind the vise. I have my deer hair to my left where I usually keep materials, dubbing next to that, hooks on the vise, and a spool of copper wire with the materials. For tools I have my whip finisher in its usual spot, another pair of scissors I use for the deer hair, and a hair stacker.

I think with these three flies I have it pretty much figured out as far as organization goes. I can tie all of them quickly if I want to or kick back and relax. All depends on the kind of day. When I’m tying the flies I’m very organized, but my materials are currently all thrown together in a basket. The only things I have separated are my thread, hooks, and capes. It’s like a scavenger hunt when I’m looking for anything else. I think it’s getting to the point where I should look for a new desk with a bunch of smaller drawers rather than 1 huge one and 1 smaller one. Ideally I’d like to have drawers for the different hooks; dry fly, wet fly, sakasa Kebari, streamer, saltwater. I’d have a drawer or two for beads and barbell eyes. One drawer for dry fly dubbing and one for the wet fly, or just one drawer with a divider. Have a shelf for all the capes and tails. I’d throw all the synthetics into one or two drawers. Keep all my hair in another. Set up a few thread racks for anything on spools. And have my tool block in the middle with the vise and lamp.

So that’s what I enjoy about fly tying, what do you enjoy about it?


White Mountains Overnight: Midtrip Thoughts

My First Real Backpacking Trip: Thoughts on Day 1:

So I decided to take a long 5 day weekend and go backpacking in the white mountains.
Last minute fly preparation: 20130813-142021.jpg

I left my house around 7am this morning and embarked on the 3-4 hour journey up to Franconia Notch State Park. I kept an eye out for a trail head parking lot on Route 3, parked the truck, and set off. On the drive up I contemplated turning around due to thunderstorm warnings, and to be honest, yeah I’m a little nervous. It’s really my first night backpacking for real. Still not sure that I’ll make it the entire 5 days but even if I’m only up here for one or two nights, it already seems worth it. I met a few cool people who are thru hiking, a few heading north, and a couple heading south. I got to a place I really wanted to camp, right on the the pond, and then found out its not allowed. So I tried to continue south on the A.T. however my plan was interrupted by a moose! Just feeding in the middle of the trail as myself and a day hiker tried to watch and not bother it. This moose was rather young but still a good size. I waited for at least an hour and the moose was still feeding, so I turned around and headed north to camp out along the stream. Not sure if this is a good idea or not yet, but I love the sound of the water so hopefully it works out. On one of the streams I ran across earlier today, I decided to throw a line in. I brought my 9′ Soyokaze with me, a few lines, and jam packed fly box. The stream is very narrow so I used a shorter line with a size 14 Utah Killer Bug. I also gave this terrestrial a try, only got one with it though.

I caught a gorgeous 6″ wild Brookie first cast! Then I caught another one a few minutes later. I think the fish learned after that though because they weren’t even looking at it. I moved upstream a bit and caught the biggest of the day, 12″. Nothing huge but still a very nice fish. The colors were beautiful! I’ll try to get a few pictures of then tomorrow! That’s all for today, time to get some sleep, I’m exhausted!

Morning Day 2:


It’s about 6:30 in the morning now and I’m still tired! I didn’t sleep very good due to the tarenchle down pours that started around 11 last night. When setting up my hammock I now know I didn’t pull the rain fly tight enough on one side. I slept almost the entire night without getting wet, but this morning rain started trickling in on one side. It wasn’t that big if a deal just a little bit of water. Plus the wool blanket took up some up the water and is now virtually dry. As far as the hammock itself goes though, I’m very happy with it. Very very comfortable, felt no need for a pillow of any kind, and it was super easy to set up. The thing may be a tad bit heavier than some UL tents, but with it I don’t have the need for a sleeping pad so I save some weight there and also save space in my pack. One thing I really like about this hammock is the organizer in the middle. It’s at the top so you know it’ll never get wet and it’s perfect size for things like a phone or notepad, headlamp, wallet, and I kept my sunglasses there too. Just a couple things I didn’t feel good about leaving on the ground and knew could be handy. And what a surprise, it’s pouring again! So happy I brought long johns, wool socks, and my north face jacket! May even have to wear the underarmer cold gear turtle neck too. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do today now. There’s a pretty big fly fishing shop I may go check out, and go find some more fishing spots, but who knows.

Some of what was in my pack:20130813-142048.jpg

After trip thoughts:

So this trip was a great time, I’m positive I want to get into backpacking more, and I’m not longer nervous about being out in the wilderness alone. Some huge victories there! Unfortunately I picked an awful weekend to go, after I packed up I went over to the lonesome lake hut to check out what the weather would be like. It was nothing but pouring rain and major thunderstorms for days so I decided to just head out. Definitely a disappointment, but was still worth it. That afternoon a friend and I decided to go surfing down in Rhode Island, it was my first time going so I wasn’t exactly that successful. I still had a blast though! I also got to go do some rock climbing at a different rock gym than I’m used to. It was the Central Rock Gym in Worcester, and I thought it was okay, pretty small and not too much variety on the bouldering wall.
So, how was everyone else’s weekend?