Near Death And Fly Tying

Self Tied Wooly Bugger

As some of you may have noticed, its been a slow period of fishing for me. In fact, since my trip to the Mooi river over 2 weeks ago, I haven’t had a fly in the water at all.

Sadly the reason for this wasn’t a pleasant one…I landed myself, thanks to Sharon, a bad strain of the flu, and as a result was man down for just over a week. But I suppose the glass is never half empty, and everything happens for a reason…So while I was unable to get out of the house and into the water, I decided it was time to get out the old (and rusted) fly tying vice, and get to work.

Step 1: Acquire some literature: After doing a bit of research on the web, and browsing a few of the local book shops, I was fairly undecided about a good book to learn from. Shaun to the rescue…Thanks to a very kind fellow fly fisherman, living remarkably close to me, I had soon looked through a few books, and borrowed a book the looked good for beginners. This led me onto step 2…

Step 2: Acquiring the materials: Having the book was great, and it really got me excited, but this serves little purpose when one doesn’t have any of the necessary tying materials. Shaun had prepared me for this by warning me that most of the local shops (of which there are only 2) had very limited stock. In fact, limited doesn’t begin to describe it. Anyway, fingers crossed I headed down to the bigger of the two shops and filled my basket with a few of the items I deemed necessary. This turned out to be a rather expensive exercise*gulp* But I suppose from this point in I’ll only have to buy a little at a time.

On to step 3…

Step 3: Tying a fly: So after the week of preparation I was finally sitting in front of my vice, which had a hook neatly clamped in the rusted tip. I hope fish can’t smell rust, or I’m in shit. The hook of course looked too small, and the materials lying in front of me looked nothing like the pattern I was hoping to build. But with a little faith I got going. After 30 odd minutes, a lot of reading, and having confused my hands several time, I had a (fairly good looking) wooly bugger in my vice. Tying it off was another story, but we’ll get there eventually.

All in all it was a great exercise, and I’ve now got the confidence I need to continue, learn, and improve. Thanks again to Shaun for all the literature and advice.

Step4: Improve: Well, that’s all for now. I’ll keep you all informed as I learn new techniques, and get onto tying smaller, more complicated flies. Hopefully I’ll also post some step-by-step guides on my site in the near future.

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