“Wanna tie a fly Pop?” It was a whisper, but it woke me. My son’s weight leaned against my chest. When I cracked my eyes, his gleamed back inches away. I took a deep breath and smiled.
Fly Tying (Shady Flies)
I started tying flies twice.
I admit I discovered it slowly. I had just started tying for my next trip to the Yakima River.
It happened again and I shook my head. The moment I went to tie the flashback into the flashback pheasant tail I was diligently creating, my thread broke. It happens. Rare. But still happens. The olive strand unraveled just enough to taunt me. Hope? There was no hope. I was done with this fly and reached to throw it away, then stopped. Could I save it?
When I began tying flies, I was stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. Part of the government budget sequestration in 2013 meant that my USAF fighter squadron was grounded for six months. Bad, because I loved flying and instructing in the A-10 Warthog. Good, because I had the opportunity to fly fish more and began learning how to tie my own flies.
There are times on the river when you are sure. From where I stood in the cold flowing water of the Provo River, I could see the water bend downstream and speed up before the bridge. Saw the rocks and white breaks beside gentle pools and midcurrents that hugged the bank walled with overgrowth. I knew that seam held fish. I was sure of it.
“We sure are losing a lot of beadheads Pop.”
Tying your own flies is a huge leap in the pursuit of becoming a great fly fisher. If you are just starting out, congratulations. Now that you have decided to start tying flies, you may be asking, “what fly should I learn to tie first?” The Zebra Midge is an outstanding answer for many reasons.