I tie flies to catch fish and the quest for mediocrity.

I tie flies to catch fish and the quest for mediocrity.

Martyn White | Saturday, 1 June 2019

I like tying flies, I like seeing nice flies tied by other people which social media is great for. However I am not so enamoured about the number of people who proudly declare that their flies catch fish, not fishermen. It's an attitude that worries me and I'm sure that it's not isolated to flytying - what percentage of fly anglers actually practise casting?

Often, when I run a tying class on trout flies I have to make the point that scruffy and buggy doesn't mean badly tied. 
Practising and improving will allow the tier to make the decision about how rough-or not- the fly on their vice is going to be.  
Obviously there are other advantages to being able to tie more than your shoe laces, not least consistency. If I tie 10 or 100 of the same pattern I want them all to look exactly the same as the first. Sizes and proportion should match so when I inevitably lose one or the fly is destroyed I can replace it with exactly the same thing that's been working.


DURABILITY; well tied flies last longer if you don't lose them. Fact. last November at IFFF Malaysia, a very famous fly tier gave me one of his signature flies, very neatly tied with perfect proportions. However, as soon as I touched it the thorax and wing rotated on the shank-a nice but badly made fly. Using gsp thread or UV resin is often touted as the way to durability. Last week I heard a podcast where an American commercial tier claimed that if you used uni thread for streamers they'd only last a fish or two - I'd make the counter claim that he shouldn't be a commercial tier. There's no substitute for proper technique and tying materials tightly and properly to the hook.


Lastly, I think catching the angler is important in a way. When I open my nymph box and the rows of Walt's Worms, perdigons etc. are sitting there like a bunch of clones, I take away a decision - I don't have to look for a good copy of my chosen pattern. And I fish better, because I am confident in the fly which lets me focus on technique. 


Practise, get better and doing the best you can at the vice, on the water or just in general.