I guess if I can’t be fishing, tying is a weak compromise.  I do enjoy it… which is kind of odd.   I’m not exactly a detail oriented person and fly tying certainly has that kind of feeling.  It mystifies my wife how I can sit there for a couple of hours and just wrap thread around variously sized bits of wire.

Tying Central... important that it closes up so small fingers don't get ahold of pointy things.

For the most part I am a self taught tier.  I never took a class, but I did spend a summer as a guide at Clearwater House (now Clearwater Lodge) and after the fishing was done the guides all sat around in the guide shack and tied.  I picked up more than a couple pointers in that setting.  I also used to go down to the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club and sit around and tie with some of the old guys. This was about a decade ago, maybe a little longer… I certainly learned some things there.

I do wish I had the time to take some classes though… I’ve never had to learn a dubbing loop and that is coming back to bite me in the arse as I’m trying to put together some Black Death’s for Belize.  There is no dubbing loop required in a #20 zebra midge or a #16 bead head flash back PT.  That kind of tying requires little skill and values speed and numerical output over precision and detail.  A messy tie in a #16 still looks pretty close to a good tie in a #16.  A sloppy tie in a 3/0 looks like a frigging disaster.

Not totally ready for prime time Tarpon Flies

I find that by the time I get in a groove when I’m tying it is usually time to close up shop for the night so I can get a good enough night’s sleep to keep up with the whirlwind of activity that is my 3 3/4 year old.

I am starting to like the way my merkins (legged and legless) are looking, so at least there is that.

Leggless Merkins with weed guards (weed guards are new to me)

See you at the vice.

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  1. Nice flies. For weedguards try this: http://fish-bones.com/flytying-weedguard.html. I’ve tried most every kind and find these the most effective and about the easiest to tie in. Those loopy ones are a pain, you can’t add them to existing patterns easily (if at all), and they can actually foul more often in turtle grass.

    Also, trim some of those Merkins a little more pointy/tapered. It’ll let them sink faster head first like you want.

    Wish I was heading where you are.

  2. Thanks for the advice Davin… I’ll try those weed guards… I still have about 3 weeks of tying before I get on the plane, although I’m starting to run out of room in my bonefish fly boxes!

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