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The evolution of my Bench


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Lately, I have been looking back at the progress I have made to my fly tying skills. I spent some time gathering up pictures I have taken from the last year of benchtime. The latest set of flies needed to be put through the studio. Fortunately, Deanna saved me time and pushed a dozen through the photo box she uses for her jewelry business. I will try to put these pictures in order to hopefully illustrate the evolution of my tying skills.

As time went by, I noticed my storage was becoming an issue. I also realized how many bass pro receipts were hidden in drawers.


The first set clearly shows that I was not paying attention to Lefty:


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As time went on, I would start to move up and get more creative:




This was a fly I tied for a fly swap on another site. The confidence level was starting to take off after getting past this one.




After taking some time to scope out a few Clousers I got from John G, I was ready to give them a go.




At some point, I started to get interested in Steelhead fishing. Having never fished for them, I went on a google mission. What I found were these patterns:


Egg sucking leach with a little milt:




A cheap popsicle knockoff or two using a jig hook and conehead:


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The egg eating clouser I called a cradle robber. I used craft fur for the white on this one.



My attempt at Senyo's Steak and Eggs I tried a few different stonefly materials. Dub and brass wire, dub abd red rib and black rib only. I liked them all equally:



Lastly, I few basic eggs using some flashy Chenille I often use on Wooly Buggers, and an Eggi Juan Kanobi. I tied the Kanobi simply due to the cool name.





I have yet to try these steelhead flies. I have tried to schedule an outing the last few weeks. Unfortunatly, between work, family obligations and the weather, I have been unable to drown these bad boys. I will wait patiently and let it happen when it is time.


Although the checkbook is getting hit every few weeks, I do not regret taking to the bench. There is nothing more fulfilling than catching fish on something you made yourself.


Below is my first smallie fooled by one of my own. Although not a trophy by most veteran fly fishers, this one fish will always be my first trophy:




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Great stuff, thanks for sharing. The whole fly tying thing and God forbid, rod building, can become quite addictive. But what a great way to spend those cold winter nights, listening to a little music, pop or beer in hand, and trying to create the next great fly in your box.

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Thanks for sharing. Since I gather that you are new at tying, I should note that you come on the scene when the number of patterns out there is growing like a nuclear reaction. It is a trick to pick and choose among so many.


It is interesting to note the number of your flies that include weight like beads, dumbels, and cones. My uncle who mentored me in tying 50 years ago would have labeled them creations of the devil. The only weighting he woulld permit was use of x heavy hooks. But then, around 1890, one of the Orvis elders declared that the Royal Coachman is not a fly because it does not look like an insect. That's progress. (PS I was not there for that declaration.)

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