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Hints from fly 'un-tying'


Ryan 'un-ties' a fly.
Ryan 'un-ties' a fly.

This week I inherited a 40-year-old carbon fibre rod, built for my grandfather, a spliced greenheart rod by Wm. Garden, and also a few old Wheatley boxes. The carbon fibre rod is still useable and it should make an interesting comparison with contemporary rods. There was nothing to be salvaged inside my grandad's old fly boxes. The skeletons of flies hang in the clips, few have wings, some are no more than rust. But there are a few hints of the flies he fished, the bodies of a couple of Blue Charms and Logies.

Meanwhile, I stumbled on a fly-tying website by Ryan Houston. Ryan won tying the FF&FT Fly-Tying League competition so I know the quality of his tying. It is well worth a prowl through his galleries.

How I came to his site is sort of convoluted, but it came via Ronn Lucas, Sr. website. Look for an article entited Vintage Fly Dissection by Ryan Houston. The title is self-explanatory, Ryan 'un-ties' an old fly, actually several flies, and comments on the tying. That careful 'un-tying' process is, I believe, used by some classic tyers to obtain vintage hooks, gut and some feathers, e.g. indian crow, chatterer, when condition allows. For the fly-tying geeks amongst us there are actually a couple of surprises in Ryan's dissection, but I'll not to spoil the ending. Read it for yourself if you're geek enough.

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