23 and Kicking

23 and Kicking

Paul Arden | Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Bernd went to the dentist today to try to get a date. Apparently she is pretty hot. However he’s not so keen now and didn’t get the filling he wanted. In fact “agonising pain” were his words and not mine. So it gives me a chance to talk a little about fly tying…

Tying our own flies, I think, is the essence of fly fishing. It’s what we do. We create flies, either new patterns or variations of patterns, and experiment with them and test them on fish. That’s really what fly fishing is about. Developing patterns through fly fishing.

Our fly box is a workshop of different patterns,; ideas, creations. At some point we always go too far, and the fish reign is in and redirect us. I’ve said this a million times and it’s always been true; fish modify our flies for us. Ultimately they decide what our flies should look like. We learn through experimenting and testing ideas. In other words, “fishing”.

I really cannot imagine fly fishing without tying flies. I don’t know if I would have become so obsessed with fly fishing if it wasn’t for fly tying. I very much doubt it.

For me personally, it’s tying the flies and creating patterns and testing them on fish that makes fly fishing what it is. Fly casting, the method of delivering them, that just elevates fly fishing into another dimension. And I think it would be fair to say, that without that too, I probably would not have spent my life obsessed with fly fishing.

Obviously there is more; The Hunt, Stealth, understanding the quarry and sneaking up on them… friends, outdoors, campfires… the wilderness. But these are nothing in comparison to these two flyfishing fundamentals. And number one, for me,  is creating flies.

Now that may surprise you! Especially if you’ve seen my flies. My flies are like my beard. In fact some are my beard! Damned ugly too!! If fish wanted pretty flies then I would tie pretty flies. Fortunately they don’t.

I started a discussion about teaching fly tying recently on the Board. Basically looking to get some ideas/feedback – maybe some structure. As far as I’m concerned, if you are introducing someone to fly fishing then you should also introduce them to fly tying at the same time. It’s core to what we do. Of course they have to cast, but that’s not really what fly fishing is about... It’s about creating flies and then casting them! That’s how you end up in the life-long, fly-fishing, got-a-screw-loose obsession!

Here is that topic:


Another thing; I would like to see more of you posting on the Sexyloops Board. I don’t know how to encourage you to do this, but it’s time for a new bunch of crazy people! I personally put time into discussion forums because I know what I write will be read in 5, 10, 50 years from now – and maybe even a long time after that.

This unfortunately, is a throwaway society. I’m working to make Sexyloops an entity that does good things not just now and also in the future; sharing and creating  information, for now and for many generations to come. Knowledge, ideas, feelings  are for sharing, not bottling up.

It’s our small slice of immortality.

I like the Sungai Tiang fly fishing project. This is the project where Sexyloops and partners, are supporting an indigenous community by teaching them to be flyfishing guides while making the river a C&R fly fishing venue. If Sexyloops can do projects like this, and if it can build a tackle brand of reasonable scale, then Sexyloops will exist far beyond me. And then,  all the ideas, all the discussions we currently have, all the teaching we do, will pass on to future generations.

We are 23 years in, going on 25. The next 25 will cement us. Get involved and make your blooded mark! 

Cheers, Paul