Up to bat today on Fly Fishilicious is Sean Anderson from Up the Poudre. I’ve had the privilege of fishing with ‘Sanders’ a few times now and I can honestly say that he is A-Class. I asked Sanders if he could give me a few pointers on fly tying – since that’s been on my mind a bit lately. Here is what he came up with ~
My name is Sean, and I tie flies. This is my confession
About a year after I started fly fishing, I started listening to people as they were talking about catching fish on flies they had tied themselves. A new language of equipment and materials was presented to me, and it soon became evident that no matter how much I tried to resist, I too must catch fish in a similar manner. I could no longer look at the store bought flies in my box, they were too pretty. They weren’t mine.
It wasn’t long after, that I had apparently made the subconscious decision to start accumulating hooks, vises, hair, feathers, scissors, books, whip finishers, movies, glue, epoxy, bobbins, hackle pliers, UV lights, and anything else that was to be had at the local fly shop. I was out of control, and I hadn’t even tied a fly yet. How was I going to explain this to my wife? Would I even like tying flies? Thats right, I said vises Plural. Not even when after we went fishing after spending hours reading hundreds of reviews for fly fishing sling packs.
I let the dust settle for a couple of weeks after my manic purchasing was done. I stored all of this newly acquired paraphernalia in three or four blue bins, the kind you would find at Target. Thus, considerably shrinking the living space in our one bedroom condo, but at least it was stowed away.
After a few weeks of the materials and gear being idle, the guilt of not tying a fly became too much, it was time. So I cracked the book. Chapter One: Brassies. Brassies were my gateway drug, pretty soon I was tying harder bugs. I was staying up all night, just to finish one more dozen. It didn’t matter, I tied them all; Midges, mayflies, streamers, stoneflies, caddis, and my favorite, attractor patterns. I was a fly tying fiend. I couldn’t stop, I needed more. I still do.
I wish that is where the story ended, but unfortunately, there is never enough. Like I said before, I often times put want before need. How do you think we ended up with two bulldogs? Anyway, I still find myself at work, home, or on the water, thinking of bugs I have yet to tie but want to. Constantly trying to come up with patterns, while trying not to ignore my daily responsibilities. I am plagued by the urge to make lists and draw diagrams of how I am going to fill each and every fly box I own. I plan. But this is the life I chose. This is the life of the average fly tier.
Is my confession different from a lot of people who start tying flies, probably not? I think that like fly fishing itself, you subconsciously take a leap, trying to experience one more aspect of a sport that has already given you something you couldn’t find anywhere else. And besides, catching a fish on a fly that you tied (no matter how ugly or pretty), is a pretty cool thing.
Now get after it!