A Fly On The Wall

A Fly On The Wall

Andy Dear | Monday, 24 October 2022

The famous saying "be careful what you wish for, as you just may get it" has never rang more true for me than it has over the last 2 days. My epoxy guide wrap finish business has exploded, and we are having what appears to be a record year for sales. The downside....very little fishing being done. Who am I kidding, there is NO fishing being done.

  Several years ago when my now-deceased friend, John Tebbetts gave my son his large collection of fly-tying materials, he also included a sizeable assortment of flies he had tied himself. Additionally, there were several binders of John's fly-tying recipes and related information that he had documented over the course of 50-plus years on the water.

  When I completed my shop in 2020 I took a handful of his saltwater flies and arranged them on the back wall for a nice display. Little did I know that three short years later, his time on planet earth would be over. Now those flies that decorate the walls of my shop function as a gentle but constant reminder of a friend who altered the course of my life forever.

  As I admired John's skills as a fly tyer, an idea hit me. Why not run a series of Front Pages dedicated to some of John's Tarpon patterns that he designed? Many of these patterns were developed in conjunction with Capt. Rob Fordyce throughout a twenty-year span of high level fly angling for the "big three" in the middle Florida Keys.

  John's records are very detailed...which of course is what you would expect from one of the world's pre-eminent cosmetic surgeons. Every pattern included not only a recipe but also a detailed 35mm photograph taken by John to showcase the finished product. In addition to being a REALLY talented and creative tyer, John also came up with some pretty unique applications for certain synthetic materials as well.

  So, over the next month or two of Front Pages, we'll take a look at some of Bubba's patterns. Hopefully, there will be a thing or two in there inspires some creativity in your own tying...and for me? Well, this is just another opportunity to pay John's generosity forward, and in the process, keep my friend's memory alive...I think he would like that.

Hope you all are having a great week,