Funny how you can get ideas from the most unlikely sources! I was
reading a Tom Clancy novel where the solution to the problem was, "If it
isn't written, it never happened." How does this translate into a tying tip?
We all tie flies, and we use many resources for patterns. Sometimes we
also just let go and grab whatever material we have left on the bench and go
at it, making something up on a whim. At a later time, you want to
repeat that pattern, but can't remember what you did.
You're in a Fly Swap, and have all these flies, tied by other tier's
(hopefully they gave you the pattern recipe too). How do you keep all of this
information readily available?
The solution is simple, yet many cringe from doing what in the long run
is the easy solution. You write it down in a diary; call it a log, or
master sheet (whatever). Most importantly, write it down in something that
will sit on your tying bench as a reference so you can find the information
at a later date.
A small spiral note book, something that is small enough to easily
store, yet will not get lost. Here is how I have my Tying Bench Log Book
setup, you can do yours as you wish.
First couple of sheets, is the index. I write in the date that I tied
the fly, the fly number (this is in reference to the page number, the
information will be found on), name of the fly, and the type of fly it is
(wet, dry, nymph, ect.)
Then I number the upper right page of the remaining pages in the book
(as I use them). This will give me two pages for any information, needed to
recreate this fly at a later date.
If the pattern is out of another resources that you have, print or
copy the reference back to that.
As a personnel example, I have every "Fly of the Week", for FAOL, printed
out, and in loose leaf booklets, in chronological order. I also printed out and have
"Al Campbell's "Fly Tying Series" (Beginners, Intermediate, and now the Advanced).
"Just Old Flies" is another good place for patterns as well as the Bulletin Board's
Fly Tying, and many of the other sites here at FAOL. (Since taking over this column,
I have printed out every Tying Tip Article, and now have another couple of loose leaf booklets.)
If it was a fly that a friend gave me, I would save the fly in a rogue's
gallery, and write the recipe in the book.
An old oriental saying goes, " The weakest pencil mark on paper, is
mightier then the strongest memory." This is your book to help you to
recreate a pattern that you tied previously. Do not leave it to memory,
write it down. "If it isn't written it never happened."
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the
Bulletin Board, on FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them along.
Someone else thought up most of this material before we did,
they just forgot to tell anyone about it. Or else we just
forgot about it, while learning something else. Let us
share with each other, all the things we know!
~ Steven H.
McGarthwaite (Chat Room AKA Parnelli)