December 21st, 1998
"In the Beginning..............."

by George Emanuel (aka Muddler)

Photos by the author

Does your bench look like this?

If you have been at fly fishing for any length of time, you have probably begun to tie your own flies by now, or have at least given the matter some casual thought. If you number yourself as one of the later, consider yourself lucky. You are about to be saved a tremendous amount of aggravation.

If you are among the legions of us who fit into the former group, take heart. We are, in the next several weeks, going to bring you relief from one of the main obstacles to success in tying. We are going to help you out of the abyss of confusion. We shall rescue you from the grip of chaos. We will spare you the specter of bewilderment and frustration attendant with material storage and identification.

We will explore a number of nifty ways of organizing the materials we all accumulate, and in which we take such delight! (at least until we try to lay our hands on that one item, we know we have, which is called for in our favorite pattern). When I first got started, just like you, I got what I needed for a pattern, tied up a bunch, caught fish and all was well with the world.

As my experience grew, chasing trout in all sorts of places, so did the number of flies in my arsenal. I have since added saltwater fly fishing to my repertoire as well. And hence a corresponding growth in the number of different materials I had on hand.

Now it is possible to be an excellent fisherman with no more than ten fly patterns max, in your vest. You can go all over the world, and with variations in color or size , you will catch fish everywhere. I don't know about you, but, I can't tie the same ten patterns again and again ad infinitum. I like variety, experimentation. I like to tie practical flies, and useless flies even bring me a certain degree of pleasure. Not unlike the acid dropping hippies of Haight Asbury in the sixties, I like to, "see all the pretty colors," too!

Heck if flyfishing hadn't been invented I bet there would still be fly tying. It is just such a neat way to occupy your mind, and leisure time. Unfortunately, winter and other factors do not always allow us to fish, so we tie, clean gear, daydream and what have you.

This winter let's take a vow to get organized!

Not all of the ideas expressed here over the next weeks will be useful to you. But you will find ideas expressed which will prompt you to think of new ways, or adaptations, which will help you identify what you have, and more importantly, where you put it. Some of the items we will discuss have some cost associated with them. Where possible an alternative suggestion will be offered to keep your expense to a minimum.

You will be given ideas for sources of supply, but by all means, improvise where you can. You will save money as well. No more, "gee, guess I better get another patch of Bornean Gorilla underarm fur, can't find the one I bought last fall !" Or, "my God, how much of this hot pink 3/0 thread do I need anyway ?"

So, get ready, get set, stow those materials away where you can not only find them in a jiffy, but increase your production as well. Use what you can, file the rest away for the future. Write me with your suggestions! (hell, I stole a lot of these from other people, might as well steal yours too!) ~ George Emanuel

Next week "A Place to Tie"!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Part 4 Part 5 Part 6
Back to the index

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice