Here are some  classic  ties from a few friend’s on both sides of the Atlantic…one thing is sure..it is amazing what a pair of hands can do….several are “tied in hand”, an incredible skill…most can never even tie these in a vise , let alone bare handed!…please enjoy this purest of art forms…it is without a doubt one of the  integral roots of our pursuit…angling & fly fishing…

For me the tying of flys, whether it be on the vise or in hand, for that pretty case on the coffee table or ready to be tied onto my line…there has always been an understanding for me that it is more than just a past time, or a way to catch a fish…it is a connection with nature and the past…an art form that has been practiced for thousands of years by folks from many walks of life finding some peace and solace in their own way.

 

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  …a beautiful still life of an “Amys Purple” , tied in hand…by my friend Adrian Cortes…

I put this pic on the top of this page because its simply my favorite…shape, style and color…it has it all…

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 traditional , or “classic” flies arent just for looks…they can still earn a living as they have for hundreds of years…

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…hand tied flee’s need a nice home too…

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        some  folks not only tie classic pattern’s, they also take the harder road…and also fish them just like they have for centuries…there is truly a “renaissance” taking place in this art form…much can be attributed to the “age of information” we now live in fueled by the Internet…I only wish everything on it was as meaningful as this…

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             “Tied in Hand” is an approach that is a throwback to another area…when an angler would carry a few various feathers & hooks  etc in their jacket and tie up a fly right on the stream…probably not as elaborate as this one…but the concept goes back to a time when things were much different…and worth keeping alive…here is some of the Mastery of one such attempt…most will never even dream of tying a pattern like this in a proper vise!

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the quintessential classic  pattern…”The Durham Ranger”… the  salmon fly synonomus with the craft…

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           a modern version of a “Dee River” pattern, the  famous style fly originally from Wales and Scotland…used for Atlantic Salmon there…here it is being fished in the Pacific North West for “steelheads”…

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              … the ” carron ” spey… a super pattern for steelhead or salmon…but it will work great for big browns or rainbows too…designed originally for the spring Atlantic Salmon Run on “The River Dee”. This is one of my personal favorites… A Dave Carne beauty…

                   …”Silvertip Spey”… a special pattern tied by a friend in Ireland with materials from some harvests of mine and his as well.. this “Dee Style”  pattern is destined for his annual excursion for the Atlantic Salmon run in spring on the famous river bearing the same name…

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here is a classic tie, freshly tied…and below in the water doing what it was tied for…

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                 …pictures like this encourage me to complete my “test tank” to see what fly patterns actually look like in water with current…something many people entirely overlook…on the vise and in the water are two totally different views…one some focus on so much…the other one is what really counts to catch fish…once I get my tank finished I plan to photograph every pattern I tie for help to improve them…length of tail, emphasis of color or not, and what different materials can add to a pattern in use…

for example in the pic above…the tinsel butt, blue head, yellow back, jungle cock eye all add to the realism of a minnow…and the trailing tail section…

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…the “Evening Star”…some more of Dave Carne’s mastery…

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               Here is my contribution to this page,  this pattern takes advantage of the guinea hen’s natural coloration…”hocus pocus”…canadian goose biot  inverted for the tail, some simple buffalo wool dubbing for the bodywith a tiny strip of christmas tree tinsel…the throat is some of the guinea hen pulled down along with some dyed mallard flanks…

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           Here is a “tied in hand” wet fly I recently made up for some fall fishing…not a classic by any means, but something that came about after being inspired by the work of friends and others…some elk fur, and bronze mallard…I tied the elk fur “bunch” up first by dangling my bobbin and making the spiral pattern ahead of time…not my best fly ever, but for me a personal “classic”…

           There is no competition or need to be inhibited by your own personal lack of skill in all this…its more about that connection I cherish so much…

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…a spey on the job in Oregon…

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…the “Pale Torrish”…DC again…

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…a “Quilled Eagle” , tied in hand …Adrian Cortes’s handiwork…

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             …great detail of the split wing “dee” style on the cork…and another incredible “tied in hand”…and below is that same “hand tied model after a few casts…the details of the special materials used is very subtle in real use…but can be the exact “medicine” for weary steelheads…these are all some “working” patterns tied in hand by my friend Adrian…

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…very different wet than it appears above…

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…The “SilverGrey”…

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…classic hardware and flies…

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…the “Green Parrot”…

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…”Doctor Double”…with an old classic reel…more of Adrians handiwork..

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 …The “Black Jay”…

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 …summertime fishing…

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…Bruce’s…”Mrs. Hogg”…

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  …a timeless pursuit…its easy to forget what century you live in sometimes while you are involved…

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… but I think thats the idea!…

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…The “Black Dog”…

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  …another still life …

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…The “McIntyre “…

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…The ” Major Vars”…

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                 here is a recent project a handmade  “Swamp Scott”…a very peaceful way to access places where just wading isn’t possible…its a wooden craft made from cypress, douglas fir and spruce , strictly oar powered…even the oars are handmade. It’s coated with two layers of ten oz. glass and resin…the chine work was  a true labor of love…wm

         …many thanks to Dave Carne who provided the classic patterns in the vise… truly a master of his craft…Adrian Cortes and the incredible “in hand ties” , along with the beautiful still life photos …also a few others…there is truly a “renaissance” taking place in this art form…along with the special interest classic flies is also a resurgence of the use of bamboo as a material for making and for fishing …this is an area where I contribute a bit more…a fun time to be an angler for sure!

 here are some suppliers I use for my hooks and  other tying ingredients…also a few great resources for  materials…fur and feathers…

AO Feathers a place that has quality materials, and some hard to find items like double hooks and items used by those devoted to classic patterns…a small family business. Aaron has become a friend, and shares the same faith as I do…

Fly Fishing The Sierra a great site for not only purchasing quality materials for tying flies…but also a great library of patterns with a list of mterials needed…something Steve sells too…this is probably one of if not the most complete fly angling sites out there. Everything from detailed fliy patterns(and materials available) but also tactics, basic angling knowledge and even a campsite directory…great job Steve!

here are some links to sites that offer excellent SBS’s or youtubes…  a few folks  whom I consider master tyers ,and some step by steps to tie flies…or  with you tube videos…also just some good resources worth looking at… 

Charlies Fly Box ,  Charlie Cravens siteArvada, Colorado…I sold a lot of his patterns in a shop I worked at in Colorado…he is not only creative, but also a super tyer, and a great guy…the original, Mr SBS himself…

Hans Stephenson from Dakota AnglerRapid City , South Dakota…Hans is a great tyer and has the youtube thing down very well…many new styles and materials…

Davie McPhail….an oustanding tyer from Scotland…all manner of trout and salmon flies…he has many youtubes done on all sorts of patterns…a real magician…

Fly Anglers Online is a great resorce for tying tutorial’s for all manner of flies…trout to salmon…here is a very good link for tying Dee Style flies…browse their pages for a lot more…

Salmon Fly.Net… this is an all around great resource for fly tying and fishing in general for Salmon and Steelhead…I get a lot of ideas from studying these pages…