fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

one fly for the trees, one for the fish, one to remember how to tie the blasted thing

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Scooped up my fully equipped fly tying desk — which eerily looks much like a little folding wooden TV tray — and plopped it between myself and the TV last weekend. Armed with a rack of threads, small and even-smaller hooks, a few tungsten beads and a diet soda, I set to tying a few simple flies. Despite no definitive proof that tying one’s flies saves money, it’s nice to think that idle time spent watching fly fishing shows on the boob-tube doesn’t always or entirely have to go to waste.

Not being a fly fishing crazy purist and intent on catching trout, I find no difficulty in lining my fly box with plenty of nymphs instead of dry flies. Before the fist show was over there were enough Zebra and Blood Midges to share with a family friend who’s expressed an interest in spending tons of money on joining the world of fly fishing. While simple enough to tie, they seem to work best on size 20 or smaller hooks. A size so small that a sharp inhalation could spell danger if one is bent over a pile of loose hooks.

Later that same weekend I upped the ante to tie some glass bead head emerger midge nymphs in both black and red. A made-up name to be sure, but a sometimes very productive pattern that’s also relatively easy to tie. Dropped one or two into the friend’s makeshift fly container as well.

Even learned something new, all on my own. Last Christmas Santa delivered via my stocking a small kit for tying a single fly. While this kit contained a less-than-impressive clip that was intended to act as a vise, the simplistic instructions offered just enough insight to prompt the tying of my first soft hackle wet fly1. No doubt one of the more artistic flies I’ve so far tied. Maybe I’ll soon post a report on whether or not it catches fish.

I’ll be “sacrificing” a few flies on a nearby stream…


1While nymphs and wet flies can be lumped together as “wet flies,” i.e. fished subsurface, wet flies generally refer to soft hackle flies meant to be fished as a drowned mature insect, baitfish or any other desirable food morsel. Nymphs are designed to imitate, well, insects in the nymphal stage. (And the pupa stage in some cases.)
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