I decided this week to show something a bit outside the domain of traditional art but which is nonetheless a long practiced skill involving imagination, dedication, observation, patience and skill. This would be the art of fly tying.
Fly tying is a specific niche area of fishing that many people find and fall in love with, a passion that lasts a lifetime. Fly fishing differs from traditional spinner rod-and-reels in several ways. Firstly the rod can be quite long up to 10 or 11 feet in some cases. The reel is a hand crank-style. It remains open to so you can pull out line or wind line back in depending on your needs. This is essential especially when hooked into a large fish as you want to ‘play’ the fish and allow it just the right amount of line so that you keep it from snapping the thinnest end of your line (you cant just muscle it in). And the biggest difference is the line of the fly rod. It is called fly line, and comes in various diameters or weights and this is what makes casting a fly rod possible.
The fly is what you are using as your bait, or your lure. The goal of flies and fly fishing is to imitate natural insects of terrestrial or aquatic origins so that as it floats by in the water a fish will strike. The best fly tiers are made with experience, they learn about natural hatches and bugs and they practice how to best imitate those insects on the hook.