Vices and Flies
Winter is that time of the year when my fly tying station becomes a centre of focus. Here I spend many evenings hunched over the vice, glass of red wine within reach, the sounds of my favourite music in the background and the occasional visit from my grandsons who always want to be part of the fascination of it.
But, mostly it is a time to replenish favourite flies, experiment with a few new patterns and attempt to improve others based on the past season’s experience.
My approach to tying is centred on a few solid, in my opinion, cornerstones.
I don’t try to create exact imitations, but rather generic ones with distinctive features that the trout will recognize – wings, legs, feelers, shape, size and colour.
I like materials that will give the fly a buggy appearance and provide movement or perceived movement; dubbing with plenty of guards hairs, peacock herl, CdC, soft flexible hackles such as grizzly, partridge and Coc de Leon.
I avoid overdoing the sparkle, adding just enough to reflect light and sheen, giving an impression of luminescence that you would expect to find in the natural.
I guess the average size is about a 16, with a few 12’s at the upper limit and down to some 22’s at the other end. I seldom go below this simply because I don’t think it makes much difference at this end of the scale. In truth though for me they are just plain hell to tie. If I do, it is rather to prove something to myself than for the fishing.
Guest blog by Peter Brigg