Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting back to fly tying (after two years). Step 1 - getting out the materials and tools

I just checked the notebook I keep with my tying gear, in which I write down the flies I've tied, when I've tied them, and in what sizes I tied them. The last entry in the notebook was two years ago. No wonder a couple of my favorite beadheads and nymphs are completely missing from my boxes... I must have run out!

But what got me thinking about setting up the vise again is the very simple "clipped woolly worm" pattern Fred Bridge tied for me and which I featured in a post here on the blog in March and which become another "fly with a story" on the Web site. The simple fly is called a Wonder Bug. 

I checked out my copy of Gary Soucie's book, Woolly Wisdom, and found quite a number of clipped hackle woollys.  And I felt the urge to do some tying.  In particular I picked out the Henry's Lake Special on page 53. It's basically a peacock herl woolly worm with two brown biots for a tail (stonefly nymph?) and clipped brown hackle.  However, I think I will tie it with black biots and clipped grizzly hackle.

I certainly can appreciate well-tied and difficult-to-tie flies.  They are usually works of art.  But for me, I really like simple flies.  This is perhaps why I will never be an "expert" tier.  I am happy to tie and fish the easy flies.  In fact, I am always thrilled when I catch  fish on a fly that was made from only one or two materials. The Henry's Lake Special is right up my alley.

But step one was to set up my stuff, which I did this evening before catching up with my wife to watch some baseball on TV.  I took the peacock herl and grizzly hackle and biots out of the Sterilite box labeled "feathers".  I set up my J-Vice and put a couple of tools into its oak base.  My brain was a bit groggy as I tried to remember what was needed.  Let's see: scissors, whip finish tool, thread and bobbin.  Oh, in addition to the feathers, I would need lead wire and hooks.  I think that should do the trick.  Oh, and magnifiers!

So, here's my set up.  I have an L-shaped desk with the tying table actually inside a closet.  Overall, this gives me a very nice little office inside an extra bedroom.  This is as neat and clean as it will ever get.  Remember, I haven't started tying yet *LOL*.

I've got all my materials and I am ready to go!  The hooks are size 10 Mustad Signature R72s.  And I like hackling my small woolly worms with Whiting hen neck hackle. 

Tomorrow I will begin!!


mark j. romero said...

Nice set-up.....

Peter F. said...

Thanks for your comments... and your emails too. I'm sorry it does not seem possible to include a live link within a comment here on blogger. I tried to click on your link, but I guess I just have to cut-and-paste into the browser. Too bad. If you know of a way to change my blogger settings to allow live links, please let me know! Take care, Peter

mark j. romero said...

No problem Peter, i love you site. i was wondering though, if there's any way to post fly pics here? Tkx., mark.....