Sunday, January 5, 2014

Learning to Fly - The Trials and Tribulations of Rookie Fly Tyer - Part 1

As if I don't have enough on the go already, between working, spending time with my family, writing two blogs and articles for various website not to mention fishing as much as I possible can.. I have now decided to attempt the fine art of fly tying

Bear with me on this one, as a fisherman you would think that I have the patience for an endeavour such as this, but to be honest Im pretty hard on myself and always think I should be further along then I actually am.. case in point immediately after opening my fly tying kit (Wapsi Beginners Kit) I flipped thru the learners guide and began attempting to tie one of the harder patterns in this fairly entry level kit.. Who needs to read up on the techniques, the knots or many other terms that help a beginner learn the process of tying a fly.. not me!.. yeah, well obviously I was wrong and quickly learned that in order to progress I was going to have to read, and I was going to have to start at the beginning and learn some basic patterns, thus slowly working my way up.. being a man Im not overly fond of this approach, but Oh well, I guess I will give it a shot

Please Note: this is not a "how to" series on fly tying it is simply one rookies experience what worked what didn't and where to go from here.. read on

Fly #1 - SanJuan Worm

Ah, the good old SanJuan worm, the most basic of all fly patterns. You now see why I attempted to skip this pattern opting for a harder and much prettier fly. Yes it  doesn't look like much, but then again I'm not sure if that's not the point. The SanJuan worm allows a rookie like me to learn a couple basic.. but key components to tying any fly without worrying about some of the more advanced or should I say frustrating techniques

The Good: tying the SanJuan fly I was able to get comfortable with the Jam knot, used to attached your thread to the hook.. Though I will admit after watching a few you tube videos I realized I was doing this slightly wrong.

 I also got in some practice with a hitch not often used to finish off a completed fly. Many places or resources were pushing me to use a Whip tool and Whip knot, but since my kit did not come with a whip tool for now I will be tying hitch knots, again I can see the pro's to picking up a Whip tool, but since my goal here is to learn the basics I think I will stick it out by hand for now (lets see how long this lasts) 

The Bad: My biggest issue when trying my first fly was bobbin control. Im still learning the ropes as to how far away the bobbin should be from the shank of the hook. Often times I found I left the thread to long and lost control of my wraps. The thread would also catch on the hook point from time to time fraying and or weakening it.

The Ugly: Not to much went drastically wrong once I started from the beginning. My cockiness can be seen in the top image, that brutal looking display was my first ever attempt to tie a fly.. it included wrapping feathers, wrapping wire and many other things I just wasn't ready to tackle.

Tips: From one rookie to another videos are more help then images, forums or how-to guides. Being able to actually watch someone repeat what I thought I knew, cleared up some early misconceptions.

Up Next:  Rubber Scud

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