Tis the season to tie
By JEFF LUND
March 03, 2017
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - I finally got the yarn out yesterday.
It felt good. Really good. I’ve needed to restock the fly-fishing box for months but just haven’t. I’ve had basketball practices and games and travel and work and everything else, but those are just excuses. My fly-tying vice is all set up and everything is on the fly-tying desk, but the problem is the fly-tying desk is in a different room. Out of sight, out of mind, right? It really can’t be for much longer because fishing season is almost here and when it starts it doesn’t stop until basketball starts again.
I have some left overs from last summer’s trips steelhead and salmon fishing, then some cool little bugs from the random August trip to California but my stocks are depleted.
I needed to get busy. My flies are never particularly pretty. My buddy Kurt is meticulous and makes beautiful flies. Super model flies. My flies are awkward and clumsy. They look like they’ve already been mouthed by a dozen or so trout. I usually stay within my boundaries and let Kurt tie the more complex nymphs and dries and have him tie a few extra for me.
Anyway, I moved enough material to the coffee table in my living room so I would actually get some tying done. Now I can’t ignore it. I tied a few of my favorite Dolly Varden flies as a warm up. It’s a simple pattern I copied from a place in Oregon where I bought some fly-fishing shirts online. They sent a fly as a thank you in addition to the shirts. It sat for at least a season because it looked like a dry fly made out of pink yarn. Seemed to me that the pattern was perfect for post-apocalyptic bug hatches, but it matched no hatches I had seen or even read about in science fiction novels. Then I looked at the rest of my fly box and realized that pretty much none of it existed in real life except for some dry flies I have for snobby California trout that refuse if there is a single thread out of place.
I tried the yarn fly on the Thorne River over on Prince of Wales and it worked ridiculously well. Since then I have tied a similar version.
After a half dozen I then moved to true dry flies. Elk hair caddis, gnats and Adams.
Kurt ties great hoppers. I’ll just bum a few from him
Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska
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