Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A New Vice

H: March 11, 2014: I finally took the plunge at the Somerset Fly Fishing Show this year—I picked up my first vice vise ;). For the past year, I've resisted the natural inclination to start tying my own flies, primarily because of all the STUFF you need to buy, organize, store, hoard...

You haven't been to my friend, Kat's, fly tying cave. Granted she's a professional salmon fly tier and a serious tying history buff (there's an upcoming article on her in Fly Tyer magazine). She ties in hand, makes her own dyes from lichen and barks, and has even considered cultivating silk worms so she can harvest and stretch their guts. The amount of tying materials she has accumulated puts most fly shops to shame! While I admire her singular passion, it's also a tiny bit scary (her husband, Rob, would agree with me ;).

Hence, my resistance to go over to the dark side of fly fishing—that bottomless black hole of feathers, furs, notions, and hooks.

Regal Revolution vise
My new vice: the Regal Revolution.
But one can resist for only so long...

At the show, I ended up getting a top-of-the-line, full rotary, Regal vise. Crazy, huh? Well, this flygirl doesn't mess around. I figured I'd never outgrow it and it would last me a lifetime, or two. Kat helped me select some hackle materials and get a few basic tools and supplies. A couple of shopping bags and several $$$ later, I was ready to knit some flies ;).

These past couple of months, I've tied with the Julianas (classic Catskills style March Brown dry, emerger, and comparadun) and my NYC Fly Meetup group (Caddis emergent sparkle pupa, deep sparkle pupa, and buzzball, a la Gary Lafontaine). I must admit, it's been a lot fun, very educational, and hopefully rewarding once Spring decides to finally get here (hurry up already!!!and I can put some of these flies to good use.

NYC Fly Meetup group Fly tying workshop
My new knitting circle ;). A great group of tiers from the NYC Fly Meetup. Photo courtesy of Brent Taylor

Next up, I'm going to try my hand at tying a few intruders for my upcoming steelhead trip. Yeap, this flygirl is headed West to the Olympic peninsula in 2 weeks time. I can't wait! Now, I just need to get some more STUFF...