I did it. I succumbed to the flame like a moth to an electric bug zapper. I tied flies.
Full credit and blame for this second try at fly tying (aggravation, frustration & the occasional cuss word) goes to Austin “the Otter” of the very good blog, 365 Flyfish. He kept writing all these beautiful entries about this fly and that fly he was tying that a desire I previously thought dormant was resurrected.
On Saturday night I sat down with my daughter Kaitlyn, age 14…aka the young whippersnapper, and went to work on creating flies so tempting for fish that I would never fear a skunked day on the river again.
My first fly brought to surface all the reasons I quit tying flies in the first place. It was originally intended as an olive colored San Juan worm because Kaitlyn snaked the red chenille before I could. But then, the karma of my former abilities arrived. After a mild (in my opinion) pull of the bobbin things went wildly out of control. There was snapping and snarling then suddenly my first fly looked like the hairstyle of an 1980′s rockstar from Twisted Sister. All that was missing was some tight black tubing and a flashy bead.
As I ran upstairs to grab some hairspray so I could properly set my new Twisted Sister fly, Kaitlyn was already whip finishing her first fly with a triumphant, if not slightly smug, smile. That’s the problem with young whippersnappers, they have no doubts when they have one upped, out manuevered, or schooled an elder.
My fly morale sunk to the depths of a lake trout, but I didn’t give up. By the time I had my next hook securely set in the vice Kaitlyn was already on her third fly.
I did manage, second attempt, to tie my San Juan Worm. An ugly version that will never feel the grace of water or the thrill of fish lips around it’s warped profile. When I was basically done, Kaitlyn (on fly number 6 now) assumed the role of instructor and helped me with the whip finish. Whippersnapper.
I understand that if there are people reading this that tie flies they may be tempted to think, ‘good gawd lady, it’s a San Juan worm, the easiest fly known on the tying circuit’ and I get that. I know….Whippersnapper (now at fly 10 and moving through the beginners book to the harder flies) said the same thing to me. As evidenced once again this weekend, it’s just not my talent….at all…..
As I struggled with fly number three, a plan B formulated in my mind. As I watched little Miss Whippersnapper whirling off yet another fly, I realized I’ve got a perfect scenario here at the new house. I have a kid. I have a basement. I have money to buy fly tying materials. She’s short like one of Santa’s elves. I could set up my own personal fly tying shop! I’ll be manager and owner who will submit fly requests on a daily basis and let her do her thing. Her payment will come in the form of frequent trips to the river fishing with her Mom…..
Feels like a win-win scenario to me.
p.s. The Twisted Sister Fly is unique, absolutely one of a kind and cannot be reproduced. All requests to own such a beautiful twist of fly tying art will regrettably……be declined.