Despite monumental amounts of rain in the Valley of the Sun and road closing snow in the high country, my mind never wanders far from fish filled waters. I spent a good amount of time this week at my vice. My tying is far from perfect, but it has become much more enjoyable because my flies are taking on some resemblance of their desired goal. Starting off, I stopped by the Orvis store in Scottsdale and had it in my mind to spend a Christmas gift card that my very understanding uncle and aunt had given me. It took me less then 15 minutes to blow through the limit, which is actually more time than I had thought it would take. Loaded with tying materials and a good book, I was on my way to start tying up some flies. I started easy and launched into a batch of brassies followed by a more laborious project of the bead-headed pheasant tails. Over time, I actually started to enjoy tying the pheasant tail nymphs and look forward to getting them wet in Arizona water.
I always look forward to Fridays. Generally, I am able to escape from work a little earlier than the usual 4 o’clock quitting time and my trip home takes me home close enough to stop by Cabelas or Sportsman’s Warehouse to say hi and paw through tying materials. This Friday, as usual, I stopped and was looking through various feathers and furs and actually opted out of several purchases because of the price. Usually my thought is, “I’ll just keep my eyes open,” or “maybe I can acquire what I need while I’m hunting.” After church on Sunday, Michelle had to stop at her “Cabelas” a.k.a. Jo-anne Fabrics. Usually, I wait helplessly in the front sitting area of the store specifically designed for men to drink coffee and look dejected. Today was different. Today, I felt empowered and started pawing through beads, feathers, fur, foam, and yarn. I believe I actually walked to the counter with more in my arms than my fiance did. I found that Jo-anne Fabrics is not a complete waste of time. I was able to find much cheaper beads, marabou, goose biots, and foam. Since being turned on to Jo-anne’s though, now I’ll have no excuse to complain when we go to a craft store. I had a bit of fun with foam once we left and tied several beetle/ant/bug contraptions. They are not pretty, but others seem to have success with them and they are extremely fun to tie.
I am looking forward to tying more and can not describe how much joy I receive from tying flies, but there is no substitute for standing knee deep in water and feeling that tug on the end of my line. Michelle agreed and looks forward to the day when her kitchen counter is no longer considered “fly tying central.”