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Thread: Another - What's the Difference?

  1. #11
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    Alan,

    Thanks for that very detailed explanation. Now allow me to throw something else into the mix. I've been attempting to carefully reread the Notes & Letters of Theodore Gordon for about a month and taking my own notes of his Notes. I'm pretty sure that in one correspondence, I think with Skues, he describes how he differentiated the difference, but then throughout his Ns & Ls, he seems to use those words interchangeably. I haven't been able to find the specific Note or Letter though.
    However, I seem to think that Gordon wrote that, through his readings of Kelson, Francis, Halford, Skues and other almost entirely British fly tying/fishing authors, 'fly dressing' meant 'to create a fly by hand and without the use of a vise' (okay Alan, a vice)? Maybe he was thinking along the line of a particular type of fly specifically a full dressed Atlantic Salmon fly (that's not a quote, just my italics).
    I guess now I'm going to have to reread a lot of the book and find the passage in which Gordon talks about this.

    Allan

  2. #12
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    Though fly dressing without a vice has only in recent years gone out of use for commercial flies (I believe Rogan's of Donegal were the last firm to stop tying in hand, about 20 years ago) fly tying vices date back to, at least, the late 1700s. As far as I can ascertain that is before the term fly tying came into use. Fly dressing was used for the items produced in those earliest vices. The distinction between dressing in hand or tying in a vice may be useful terminology to use, it would need to be defined as such at the outset. It isn't a commonly held distinction.

    Language changes, some of it is an advancement some of it isn't. No one is going to change their usage because of this debate. For me I was "brought up" with the term "Fly Dressing", what gets me about it (and it is the only thing) is that some people seem to think I'm trying to make something of that I am not, and voice strong opinions to that effect. There are many words that I take as commonplace from my childhood which people seem not to understand today. A small passageway between buildings has always been a "ginnel" to me. Then again I was brought up in Lancashire where the accent and dialect are almost another language.

    In the end, as I often say "Thy's all gotta learn t' talk proper, like wot a does"!

    Cheers,
    A.
    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
    minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a ****
    by the clean end"

  3. #13
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    Alan,

    Yes, language is interesting. I still need to go back into the book and see what Gordon specifically was talking about. In the meantime allow me to offer my own, and I'll fully admit this my own distinction based on an 'artistic license' I give to those 1,000% and more creative people who spend their hours and days creating full dress Atlantic Salmon masterpieces.

    'Dressing' is the act of: a)blending multi colors of numerous natural, and perhaps some synthetic materials, b)applying/attaching those materials to a hook with thread using hand and finger dexterity to create a fly that is beautiful to look at with the human eye, functions as a fly insofar as fish catching if desired, is basically a work of art. It may also but not necessarily involve the actual manufacture of a specific design of hook.

    'Tying' is the act of preparing flies most specifically for fishing. This means there may be little more than a tuft of fur on a hook or it may mean a fly that is the full 'enchalada'. In other words: 'All Dressing is Tying, but not all Tying is Dressing'.
    I sincerely hope I haven't offended any of the great contemporary 'fly dressing masters' or ones of years past. Also, I wonder if the above distinction makes sense to anyone?
    I still need to find what Gordon wrote and hope to report it when I do.

    Allan

  4. #14
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    However...were are not dressing flys, we are dressing hooks. So should it be "hook dressing" ?
    If there are no dogs in heaven, I want to go where they go."

    Will Rogers

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