On the Fly: What is that guy using?

Cameron Scott
On the Fly
Cameron and Allyson Weathers show off a local rainbow trout, caught on a hand-tied fly.

When speaking of fly-fishing and targeting trout, Rene Harrop said it best by simply saying “to fish is to hunt.”

To be a successful hunter you have to have the correct tools to gain the edge over the critter you are targeting. And just like an archer might build their own arrows and a big game hunter might pack their own rounds, we as fishermen and women are able to tie our own “ammunition.”

The basic reason that all of us hunters do this is because there is a certain satisfaction that comes from getting the job done with one of our own products. For anglers it’s a fly that you tied. But not only a fly that you tied, but a fly that is the product of your own imagination, knowledge of the waters you fish, and the bugs the trout eat in those particular waters.

Creative fly tying gives you the opportunity to try and learn new things and get that “edge” over the fish. And let’s face it; sometimes the flies at the shops may be grossly over dressed or possibly much too sparse for your taste and more importantly the trout’s taste. There is an unlimited amount of materials, colors and variations of the two to choose from and work with.

For me, the best thing about tying my own flies is being out on the water, catching fish when no one else is, and having everyone wondering, “What is that guy using?”

When you really get it right, it can be one of the most amazing feelings you might ever have while fishing. Whatever you did to tie that fly was right from start to finish. From the hook that you chose to tie it on, to the color of the thread you used, to the color combination you decided to go with. Days like that will make you feel like the ultimate predator, and before you know it you will be spending more time behind a vise then you do in your own bed.

Just don’t let your tying time interrupt your time on the water… after all, that’s what we live for, right?

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or


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