Monday, June 23, 2014

New Materials make New Flies

This happens fairly regularly, but often as tiers we come across some new material in either our own exploration or because a dealer comes out with something new.

For myself these moments are just another opportunity knocking.

However, opportunities always come with the possibility of failure.

Thus I try to approach new materials with a bit of critical thinking.

So lets break it down:
1. Do I have a plan on how I can first use the material?

I won't buy a material without at least one use for the material in mind already. Often tying with the material will inspire other applications. Think Jujubee midge .

2. Do I just need one or several colors?

This goes back to the planned application. I'll give a real life example.

I recently picked up some of Fly Fish Food's Bruiser Blend dubbing.  I knew I wanted to use it to make a head on a baitfish pattern and use in a similar fashion to Senyo's laser dubbing. Knowing this I can assess the usual colors I make my baitfish patterns and purchase those: White, black, grey, chartreuse, olive, cream.

Alternatively I might need only need a specific color to represent a certain feature on a fly that I have been working to prefect for a while.

After playing with the bruiser blend for a while I discovered that its length and fluid nature would be ideal for crawfish claws. Always keep your eye open for unseen potential with fly tying materials.

Friday, June 20, 2014

#3 A small Carpenter's square

I keep a Carpenters square at my tying desk mainly because it works great for cutting 6mm foam. But it also doubles as a ruler and straight edge whenever it comes up.

For 6mm foam I can get really nice level cuts because the 6mm fits just under the ruler. An under used technique in fly tying is simple measuring. You will discover that you can produce very consistent looking flies by taking a few measurements along the way.