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Tying appreciation

The individual's fly


Marvin Nolte's Jock Scott.
Marvin Nolte's Jock Scott.

My reading at the moment is a book on tying classic salmon flies. I've dibbled in the margins of tying classic salmon flies, nothing more. To be frank, I prefer appreciating them. That said, until you try tying a fly you don't always appreciate the skill needed to make a feather do something it may not naturally want to do. I get the impression that's how we tend to approach classic flies, we zoom in on the details. We ooh and aah over the unusual materials, we wonder at the skill and patience (or determination) of the tyer manipulating delicate materials so they sit exactly, or coaxing many materials into a coherent wing.

The thing is, if you look at a few examples of the same Classic Salmon fly, the same pattern, they don't look the same. Actually, that's not completely true: if they all come from the same tyer they all look the same. Actually, that's not true either! Chances are if examples of a pattern come from one skilled tyer they will look similar after he/she has decided how the fly should look.

For examples go to www.bestclassicsalmonflies.com and look for True Classics on the sidebar. Select a pattern and you'll see it tied by a handful of tyers. Pick the Jock Scott and you will see a group of well-tied flies. Do they all look the same to you? Automatically, I seem to start looking for the example I like best, or picking out the parts I rate highest. But these are all well tied, deliberately tied, each tyer choosing how their fly will look.

That got me Googling for other Jock Scott's. To date, my favourite is by Marvin Nolte . I like the overall proportion and the execution of each part. (My biggest criticism is the over-exposed photograph.)

Again on www.bestclassicsalmonflies.com we can choose flies by one tyer to get a feel for their tying style, how they want that fly to look.

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