Life gets in the way, I get it. Still, there’s no excuse for not doing what you love and tying up some new flies at the vise after a long day of work, or even better, a long day of fishing. Speaking of which, here are “7 Warning Signs You’re Not Fishing Enough.” If you have to ask, you’re probably in trouble. The same problem goes for fly tying. Find out if you’ve lacking in your fly tying sessions by checking out the warning signs below. Even if you’re the tiniest bit worried, you should probably tie some flies.
1) You’re Flybox Is Empty
This one is the most obvious, and it doesn’t just apply to your main flybox, the one you bring with you every time. There’s always plenty of reasons to have spare flyboxes loaded with flies on hand at all times. Whether you’re going fishing with a friend that doesn’t have enough flies, or if you fish for multiple species, if you’re fishing a new area, the list goes one. If there’s even a single slot in your flybox that’s missing a fly, it’s time to whip up a few dozen.
2) You’re Not Finding Materials All Over Your Clothes
The easiest way to tell if I’ve been tying flies is to look at my clothes. I’m usually covered in more deer hair than a buck, have more glitter and shimmering material covering my body than a striper and usually have dried UV Clear Cure Goo covering various parts of my hands, arms, and somehow, my lower back.
3) You Heard Of A New Pattern You Haven’t Tried Tying Yet
Every time I see a new pattern that I haven’t fished with before or even just haven’t tried tying before, I have to run to the vise and give it a try. There’s a long list of flies that still haven’t graced my vise yet and I can’t wait to carve out some time to actually give them a shot. Usually when I see a pattern that works for a species that I want to chase, before even going out and fishing for the species, I’ll be on my vise tying up some new patterns that should work. Even if I’m going fishing for the new species with an expert that already has flies for me, I want to at least try tying them and ask the angler for any advice for tying for that species. The more you tie, the better you become.
4) You Don’t Relate Every Number You See To Hook Size
This one is for the truly afflicted fly tyers, the ones that can’t spend even a few days away from their vise. If you’re at the drive-thru and the phrase, “I’ll have a number 8,” conjures up the image of a small streamer being tied on your vise, you need to skip the line, go home and start tying. Maybe grab that sandwich first though…
5) If There Are No Holes In Your Fingers
Aside from being covered in fly tying materials almost constantly, you can also usually tell that I’ve been tying a lot of flies by looking at my fingers and seeing tiny red circles all over them. When I’ve been tying a lot and my focus is waning, or the beer is flowing, I’ll start pricking my fingers left and right with the hooks. Sure it doesn’t hurt the first dozen times, but after a few nights in a row you notice that stinging feeling throughout the day. It’s still not enough to prevent you from tying though. No way.
6) You Haven’t Mastered Every Material Yet
Have you mastered any material yet? Ha! That was a trick question, you can never master any material, you just become really, really good at it. Even then, there’s always room to learn a new technique, or even just think of a new way to tie with a material you’ve been using for a long time. The possibilities of fly tying are endless, so make sure you try out every possibility at least once to find out what you like best.
7) You’re Stressed Out
Like anything that has to do with fly fishing, fly tying is therapeutic. The more time you spend turning feathers and fur around a hook, the more calm and collected an individual you’ll become. If work is being a pain, if the to do list is getting too long, if it’s getting a little harder to daydream because life is just getting in the way, try spinning up some new patterns. Once those new bugs start piling up, the weight will lift off your shoulders and you’ll be ready to lift up a rod and procrastinate a little more.
Tie flies more. Sign up for a fly tying subscription to Postfly now and get everything you need to new patterns every month.
Need something to listen to while you’re tying flies? We’ve partnered with the Fish On The Brain Podcast to add a little fly fishing audio to your life. Whether you’re listening while spinning deer hair or slogging your way to work on the morning commute, click here to listen to the Fish On The Brain Podcast now.