Why I love fly tying.

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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).

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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.

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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?