08 February 2012

Deer Hair Flies

So one of my goals this year was to learn to spin deer hair well and create flies that catch both the fisherman and fish.  Not long after the year began, Diane Blair of the Blair Flare fame decided she would offer a Tuesday night class on tying Deer Hair flies to the first eight or nine folks that enrolled.  Most of the recipes, tips, tricks, and methods Diane is sharing originated from Mike Verduin (who has to be rolling over in his grave laughing at some of the stuff I'm doing).

I think it is important to note, I can not use scissors well, articulately, with any kind of accuracy, or for their intended purpose.  I can use them to stab someone's eye out or poke a hole in something, but I just struggle with the art of cutting, and to me, it really is an art.  My Mom swears it is because I would not play with cut-out paper dolls when I was a child, but I think I wouldn't play with the paper dolls because I could not cut.  Seeing my frustration with scissors, my Dad taught me how to tear paper using the straight edge of a counter top, ruler, or something, and so from 1st grade on, that is how I cut.  For my circles, I would tear a square around the circle, get Dad's X-Acto knife and straight-edge templates, and cut my circle.  For 45 years, I have made it through life quite well employing this cutting method--until now, that is.

Why this diatribe on scissors and cutting?  To create a deer hair fly that works, it has to be cut and shaped into a respectable form!  Uh oh, for me, because there is not one straight edge, not one X-Acto Knife, and not one cutting method I can successfully employ other than snip-snip.  Five years ago, my parents gave me a really good pair of Anvil Ice curved scissors for left-handed folks, and they work very well (Mom and Dad still receive The Fly Shop's catalog from that order).  A plethora of new, really sharp razor-blades abound in my travelling fly tying bag.  Diane gives great instructions.  I-just-can-not-cut!  I mean I went Sweeny Todd on last week's fly, the Fruit Cocktail--see pictures below.  I could not even stick in legs there was so little hair left.  However, at least my hair was packed in pretty tightly, not Mike George tight where the fly is shaped with sandpaper instead of scissors, but it was really tight.

I am pretty proud of my Mike's Mouse from two weeks ago and my frog from last night's tying lesson--learning to tye a bottom color, a separate top color, stack, and tie in spots, but it takes me a very lllllllloooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg time to trim and cut.   Cody resolved the way to get my catches on video by buying a Joby Gorilla Pod  (my camera shoots great video in an HD 1080i format with a simple, one-touch button).  I'll just wrap the Gorilla Pod legs around the tube's crossbar, push the button, and video my fly being hammered by a bass--hopefully.

Last week, I fished my Mike's Mouse, and it did fish well and caught a fish; no pictures because I couldn't figure out how to hold the camera, rod, retrieve line, and shoot video, but Cody saw it.  I was thrilled to no end and behaved as if I had never caught a fish before in my life.  Usually, I am a pretty cool customer and act like I have successfully fly fished in my life, but I was very excited over this mouse.  I haven't taken the frog out for a test, but I have the perfect spot to field test it.  Of course, I will have to edit out the girlie screams and whoops, if my fly catches fish.  Someone asked me why I was fishing my flies after taking such exact tongue-holding, excruciating efforts to create it.  My feeling is that after spending all that time spinning, tying, shaping, slicing, and cutting, the bloody thing had better well work, and the only place to see that is on the water, 'cause it sure ain't ending up in one of TailWaters' fly bins!

1st & 2nd weeks flies
Joby Gorilla Pod

3rd Week's Badly Cut Fly

Rather lopsided

4th Week's Spotted Frog

1 comment:

  1. Oh you have done a pretty good job with deer hairs to make flies I like these all and I read that you are not good in use of scissor if yet then its okay and remember that use always scissors which provides smooth cutting and extraordinary sharp. The scissors like these features you can see in Japanese scissors and if you need to buy scissors then click here


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