I was fortunate enough to receive a gift certificate from some co-workers as a birthday present recently. Not just any gift certificate though, it was a certificate for $100 at a local fishing tackle shop! Yippee! They know me….so off I went certificate in hand, lots of great ideas in mind, everything from new fly boxes to new chest waders to perhaps a new fly fishing vest.
But when I got to the store, and started looking around, I discovered a couple of things. One, the day of the $100 chest wader seems to have been replaced by $500 chest waders and wading shoes and Wheatly fly boxes are a lot more expensive than I remember and a fishing vest…well…I am going fishing, not to a formal black tie event…..
So I ended up at the fly tying rack, and to my delight discovered lots and lots of fly tying equipment that I could use, to bolster my already over flowing fly tying boxes. You can never have enough feathers and squirrel tails….It’s been awhile since I bought much in the way of fly tying supplies, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the wide assortment of materials, including some new bright colors which caught my eye. They may not catch the eye of a fish, but they certainly hooked me. So in no time I had my $100 spent, plus a little more, but it was fantastic.
It was like I was inspired, perhaps just by the addition of some new materials, but it got me going, I got home, geared up my vice and equipment and turned out about 6 new flies to add to my salmon fly collection.
I tied mostly salmon bugs, because I love fishing with them, as do many fisherman, and I find them useful for atlantic salmon, trout and even the occasional bass, and they can be deadly on landlock salmon, which take them quite voraciously under the right conditions.
I’ve never been what I would call a great fly tier, but I have become an effective fly tier, and by that I mean I can tie flies that catch fish. I guess that is all one can hope for. I doubt I will ever win an award, but the flies I tie generally work for me, and they better because they are all I ever use. I haven’t purchased a fly in many, many years, unless it was one I bought for the pattern, and that has been infrequent to say the least.
I usually tie flies fairly close to the standard pattern, although I do throw in an occasional twist, so that my fly is a little different than the others, or at least I think it is. Therefore, if everyone is fishing a ‘salmon bug’ for instance, mine might be a bug, but slightly different than yours, and yours slightly different than the other guys and so forth. It’s those subtle differences that sometimes make the fish take one fly over another, that coupled with the fisherman’s technique etc.
So, without giving away too many secrets, over the next few posts, I am going to show you some of my patterns, some of the atlantic salmon flies I tie, perhaps I will be your inspiration to dig out your vice and start tying some new ones.
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