Last night I made another pilgrimage to Pietermaritzburg to attend an evening with members of the Natal Fly Dressers Society, South Africa’s oldest fly tying club. I was there to demonstrate a few of the fly patterns that have served me well during the past river season, a couple from the early days and some thoughts, for what they are worth, on tying and fishing micro flies.
It is always an enjoyable evening with friendship, good humour and a few glasses of fine red wine. They are an enthusiastic bunch, mostly from the middle to older generation with many interesting stories predictably of a piscatorial nature and not the least of which, is the knowledge they share from their years of experience as flyfishers. I mention ‘older generation’ because it is something that seems to be synonymous with many of the clubs today and not just common to fly fishing. It is worrying that there are not more of the younger generation participating, and also the fairer sex. But, when I asked a keen young flyfisher and fly tyer the other day why he wasn’t a member of a club his reply was a question to me, “Why should I? I can get everything I need to know about tying flies from the internet.” – it is the reality of today’s digital revolution and cyber world. Of course he is not wrong and I agree with the wonders of all that available information – I use it too. Except it is a blinkered approach in my humble view. There is so much more that can be gained from a gathering of likeminded individuals with interests in common, the social interaction, the sharing, the learning and more. In my book and call me old fashioned, there is simply no substitute for knowledge based on experience – it’s that blend of age, experience and youthful exuberance and energy. But enough of the heavy stuff for now.
I tied a little #16 midge pattern that proved to be of great interest to many trout during the past river season.
I also tied a couple of what I call my “vintage” flies from earlier days when I used to fish stillwaters quite regularly – The Coleford Limey and a small dragon fly imitation.
I talked also a little about how I approach tying micro patterns, some techniques I use to keep the process simple and the fly minimalist. I take they view that unless you are wanting to prove something to yourself by way of tying and fishing challenges, there is nothing one can do with a #32 or thereabouts, that you cant do with a #18 or #20 fly. Here is the #20 Klinkhammer I tied for the demonstration.
At the close of the evening I was presented with a bottle of wine – I guess the label is somewhat appropriate and says it all! Thank you gentlemen.
All images and copy in this post are copyright Peter Brigg Photography © 2014. All rights reserved.