Many know that my introduction to fly fishing was through fly tying. I bought a vise and tying kit before a fly rod and reel. I was into making my own bass lures at the time for gear and the fly tying aspect and how it mimicked real insects really struck my fancy.

I tied crude flies and soaked in as much info as I could. I read all sorts of books. This was before youtube and social media was big and embraced by the industry. LaFontaine, Schweibert, streamside bug guides, hatch charts, fly patterns, what materials were used for what, I fell in love with it all reading and tying.

I started taking classes, worked for a shop, studied with a teacher regularly and learned a lot. Started teaching classes. Tied thousands of flies. Got pretty good and fast at it. Then I started creating my own, playing with different materials, and widdling down patterns to the few things trout really need to be tricked by a fly. That tried and true, size, silhouette, and color, in the order. Really researching and reading about howna trout sees its food in the natural world and developing and changing patterns to better represent that. After a while you settle into a kind of style for your flies. They end up having a look. Its pretty neat as a tyer, to have people recognize my flies in anglers boxes.

Tying flies is also a way for me to stay busy, make a little money, and tie flies for guiding offering my clients a unique addition to the trip.

There are days it feels like a chore. I have Pat Stones to tie for the guide season. Gonna see if we can squeak through the spring with 6 to 9 dozen. With 4 legs because fish cannot count. But most days its a few hours and a few dozen flies while listening to tunes. I enjoy it and it starts building the stoke for the season.

Coming up its nymphing, streamers, midges, and BWO’s. The snow hasn’t stopped falling for 2 days now and its stacking up nicely for our snowpack. 45 days or so and things will start to percolate and get a little fishy. Tying in anticipation for the season and the spring fly patterns are a lot of fun. Besides the pat stones of course.

So if you are a fellow fly tyer I wish you good proportions and thread that doesn’t snap. If you like to use handtied guide flies you know where to get ’em.

See ya riveraide soon anglers.



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