December 20, 2008

Always on the lookout

I like to try and stay on top of the tying scene, constantly keeping an eye open for new patterns. The furious tying of Singlebarbed leaves a wake of creations a mile long. The guy is chock full of ideas, with some patterns practical and some on the verge of fantasy. You'd hate to crush the fervor and enthusiasm of a tyer who's intent on turning grandma's knitted scarf into a killer pikeminnow pattern. Occasionally, however, there's a ray of brilliance that shines through those piles of flies. 

There's no sense in limiting your inspiration to just a handful of tyers.  Magazines are ok, but they arrive monthly, and typically only contain just a handful of patterns that fit your locale and style of fishing.  The internet, on the other hand, is a veritable resource and contains a plethora of fly patterns to choose from.  I like to check over at the Fly Tying Forum every once in a while to see what's the haps.  Interesting patterns of note, new and old alike, can be found browsing through the FTF. Many patterns are classics that have been rehashed or updated with modern materials. Others delve in to the realm of the ultra realistic tying, whereby the viewer is hard pressed to tell which patterns are ties, and which are real. there are really some talented tyers out there, and luck enough for us, they are willing to share their works with other anglers, for the world to see.

One such pattern is the Medusa, a variation on the San Juan Worm involving a worm cluster. This pattern from Caster's Fly Shop even got the attention of Orvis, and made it onto their catalog of hot new flies for 2008. I'll definitely need to crank a few of these out this winter.  A few other interesting patterns I stumbled on over at the FTF are the Chili Pepper, Copper Carp, and Olive Caddis Pupa patterns. Nothing fancy, I just like seeing how others tie, and what materials they like to use and substitute for. 

I'm lucky to have realized that I could think outside the vise when I first started tying, and wasn't constrained to tying a fly the way it was shown in the book. I'm sure, at first, that a large majority of my substitutions were due to the fact that my inventory of 'stuff' was fairly meager. As the years passed, my collection of hackle, pelts, and other mystery fibers slowly grew to where I had most everything I needed and in the right colors, to tie the majority flies fished by most anglers. It wasn't until the last several years, when I started roughfishing, that I realized I needed to utilize those old tools of improvising at the vise, in order to create patterns that were had not been created for bottom dwelling fish.  The creation of the Darth Clam really pushed the envelope and the inevitable descent towards madness at the vise. It seems even the best of us are not immune from this malady. Now there's a fine line between genius and shit, every time I hit the vise. Let's just hope I steer towards the light, and refrain from those little brown nuggets that reek of failure.

I refuse to wear a diaper.

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