The art of fly-tying
There are a number of reasons why anglers choose to make their own flies; to save money, to produce the latest patterns that are not commercially available, or to have the satisfaction of catching a fish with a fly of their own creation. Some are interested in inventing new designs with the hope that these will win competitions and will gain them fame and notoriety. However, fly-tying is not restricted to anglers and there are those that consider fly-tying to be an art-form.The craft of fly tying is challenging and requires great skill and experience which makes it an attractive and absorbing pastime.
Traditionally, flies have been constructed from a combination of fur and feather materials that are tied onto a hook. Most materials are inexpensive and readily available but some of the classic flies incorporate rare feathers and for this reason are mainly of interest to dedicated tyers. Whatever the reason for tying, the creation of flies for the purpose of catching fish completes the fishing experience.
An unique blend of skills
Fly dressing has so many aspects, including an understanding of basic entomology, the identification and selection of fly-tying materials and how to work with them, tying techniques and the intriguing history of fly pattern development, as well as artistic creativity. Primarily the fly patterns are designed to catch fish by deception but they can also be considered as works of art that can be framed and put on display. However, and more importantly, fly-tying provides enjoyment and a sense of achievement at all skill levels from the novice to the master tyer.
The club organises a series of events throughout the calendar year, ranging from talks and demonstrations by guest speakers, who are well-known personalities in the fishing fraternity to individual instruction for beginners. We also have two friendly competitions, one off the bank and one from the boat, with trophies and prizes, for members and guests. Sometimes we are invited to demonstrate fly-tying at country fares and local events.
We are commited to a programme of skill development at all levels. The club has a number of competent instructors who are happy to assist beginners and improvers alike in mastering the basic skills of fly-tying. Instruction booklets and DVD’s (available for a nominal price) are produced for club members. There is also some guidance on how to fish the flies successfully.
In 2015, starting on Monday 19th January, at the 3-Counties Hotel, Belmont; the Hereford Branch will be launching a new scheme under the auspices of the Fly Dressers Guild, which will be based on a national standard and offer the opportunity for participants to achieve awards at bronze, silver and gold levels. The aim of the Awards Scheme is to encourage participants to improve their fly tying skills at their own pace, through a structured learning plan with progressive goals. The Scheme is meant to be informative, enjoyable and encourage camaraderie and co-operation between those who are taking part.
Club business is conducted in a convivial and friendly manner with easy access to information and guidance on all types of fly-fishing. The combined membership has a wealth of information, on how and where to fish, which is freely available for those who need it.