Necessary Preparation

Necessary Preparation

Martyn White | Thursday, 1 December 2022

At last I have managed to get enough materials together to start on the classic salmon flies again. I started with an "easy" one, the Kelson version of the Durham Ranger (POD).

Before that it had been probably 17years since I tied a fully dressed fly. I enjoyed it and while I wasn't the best at it, I wasn't bad at all. But I let it fall by the wayside, I didn't have an outlet for all of the finished flies and I just couldn't justify the expense at the time.

The Durham Ranger didn't turn out too bad, but there's certainly room for improvement. The wing is a bit too small and the sides aren't sitting quite right, but I'll take it as a starting point. I fully expected it to be tricky and time consuming, but maybe not as much as it actually was! I actually wonder if the tippet wing was less of an easier option than a married wing would have been, it's hard to say. Another thing I learned, or relearned, is how important organisation is for this kind of thing. That's not just having a clean desk with nothing lying around- a real rarity in my tying room!- but also the prep. I didn't really do enough preparatory work on the tippet and crests and it really made life more difficult than it had to be, I spent ages sorting through the head looking for nice, straight crests and suitable matched tippets.

So despite it being a royal pain in the arse, I've been spending my evenings this week plucking, soaking, shaping drying and sorting crests, steaming tippets and other stuff. It's time-consuming and boring, but in about 3 times longer than it took to do the tail and topping I prepped enough for maybe 50 flies, so it's probably worth it.