Fly Tying

Since James found out about the arrival of Baby M, he knew his extravagant fishing days were limited.  Realistically we should not be spending massive amounts of money on fly rods, reels, line, and especially flies.  Those tiny little things that get tied to the end of the line, thrown into the water, get hooked in mouths, and get stuck on something and lost are at least $1.50 a piece and I have seen some for $6.00!  I could not believe it the first time I saw how much they were! The hooks are tiny!!  Although–I must admit, they are quite amazing to look at!  The colors, patterns, materials that are used are crazy!

Flies that James likes to use to catch Trout.

Now, you may be saying that those don’t look too hard to make–because I said the same thing when I first agreed to make flies for him.  Well let me tell you, those tiny little masses of feathers/rabbit fur/deer hair/elk hair/string/wire are some of the hardest things I have EVER tried to do. And truthfully probably one the of the most frustrating things I have tried.  The hooks are tiny, TINY, the string or hair NEVER stays were it should, you have loose ends hanging out everywhere, and most of the time when I am done it does not look like what it is supposed to.  We have had the fly tying kit for close to a year now and it only comes out when James gets desperate, wants me to try something new, or when I decide to make up a brand new fly–AKA, seeing what colors/material I can throw together and see if it actually catches any fish.  I enjoy fly fishing when it is 90 and sunny, James fishes all year round–sun, wind, rain, snow, cold, you name it, he has fished in it.

Since we decided to cut back on recreational activity spending (i.e. spending $20-$50 on flies each time we go fishing–which for James is almost daily in the summer and two-ish times a week in the winter), there really isn’t much choice in the matter. Fly tying will be in our blood eventually. Besides, most of the fly fisherman we know around here do tie their own flies because it is so much cheaper.  In order for me to agree to make some dysfunctional looking flies I told James that I get to pick out some of the colors we use.  He likes the browns, greens, browns–me on the other hand enjoy seeing lime greens, blues, pinks, orange, sparkles.. If I were a fish, I would skip the boring tan fly and go straight for the eye catching lime green and pink fly!  James tries to tie the flies but his hands are too big–he can hardly hold onto the hook without covering the whole thing up, and turns out his fingers can not be all at nimble and gentle without ripping the material, or breaking the thread. Eventually, I always end up fishing the flies.  The best part is that no matter how horrible the fly is James always says it looks great and he always uses it!

81tDzgFxjDL._SY355_.jpgThis is our fly tying Kit.  Not a fancy one, but it works.

Let me tell you–the video in our kit and the YouTube videos that tell you how to make the flies look so simple; lies, its all lies.. Even the simplest ones, like what we made yesterday were hard!  James wanted to go fishing with a friend, but wanted some flies that looked like worms.  Seems easy enough right, I thought I could bust one of these guys out in a few minutes.  Well turns out it took us 30 minutes for the first one and it looked horrible.  We did make 4 of them after the first one and by the end I had it down to about 10 minutes a fly.  The fly we made yesterday had one piece of long thick string or rubber down the back of the hook–that is it.  Should not have taken so long, but of course I once again underestimated the difficulty of the fly tying skill.

Our fly tying contraption.

Now, most people who do this on a regular basis have their very own room to fly ties and keep it set up 24/7.  We on the other hand have all of our fly tying things in a Tupperware box that sits in the closet until I get enough courage to actually attempt to make a fly. We set ours up on the kitchen counter when it needs to be.

To make our squirmy wormie fly: (This was a team effort–it took 4 hands occasionally)

  1. Get a size 10-12 hook and put a gold bead head on it.  James had to do that because I was not able to get the head around the hook part.
  2. Wrap the copper wire around the shaft of the hook to the curve to make sure it has enough weight to keep it under water.  Make sure that the head is locked in place by wrapping a lot of wire right behind it.  Make sure the wire is tight, otherwise it just moves around the hook as you make the rest of the fly–super annoying when that happens.
  3. Take the sparkly thread (that was a must for me) and wrap it from the bead head down to the end of the copper wire, covering it completely.
  4. Take one of your squirmy wormie bodies and put it on top of the hook shaft–we both needed to hold the worm part onto the hook while I wrapped the sparkly thread around it from head to toe.
  5. I folded the worm body over its self twice to make the worm body thick enough to where I thought it looked ok.

IMG_20160206_144517287_HDR.jpg Tada! Squirmy Wormies

Can you guess what color I picked out?? Of course the neat pink one with sparkly thread!! We made our squirmy wormies for $0.50/each, not $1.50/each from the store.  They may not look like the ones from the store, but James did say he had a lot of bites when he used them yesterday–sadly he did not catch any fish though.  He told me a few times that he likes my squirmy wormies more than the ones from the store! He actually really liked the sparkly aspect of them.  And! The fly on the upper left, the sparkly tail feathers were his idea and he said the fish loved it!


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