Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ask The Expert

As I've been rambling since this spring, I finally started working on Atlantic Salmon Flies (hereafter ASF). This is really a hobby. Also it's my objective to pursue more in fly-tying world and to develop myself into a higher level. However, ASF is one of those "saying is an easy part, actually doing is THE HARDEST part" thing, really......

Just like my guiding. The beginning of my guiding career was very humble. I was a good fisherman and willing to work but......... getting trips, making living, etc...... it wasn't smooth. There I met someone who was willing to teach me and share his knowledge and experience. Now, besides him, I work with some of the best & most renowned outfitters in the area.

The same goes with ASF. I've got instructional videos and books. I bought materials, including some exotic materials (been posted here as you may recall). Since this was started as a hobby level, I started tying and experimenting myself. Well, it didn't come as it was supposed to be or as I expected. I could keep doing and someday it would come to pieces, maybe. But for certain level of fly-tyers, wasting materials, especially exotic ones!!, is hard to accept.......... Also, even if I would think I am doing well and my fly is OK, is it really? I needed someone that I can ask for evaluation and critiques.

There I came to know THE Expert. At that point, little did I know he was counted as one of THE BEST ASF tyers in THE WORLD!! The more I was interested in ASF, the more I saw and heard his name. He is one of those quiet individuals. So I don't mention his name (for now) as I don't want you to think I'm trading his name. Just like my guide mentors, he's willing to teach me and share his techniques and knowledge. I asked him for an assignment for me to complete. His first assignment is Green Highlander.

So I got an objective to pursue. But then again, it was humble....... I knew the first step was to do it on my own but also I had to get better without wasting good materials. For the first several ones, it was painful toward the end as they just didn't look good even in the middle of tying. I re-read books and re-watched videos. Then I asked The Master for a hint. He pointed out my problems and taught me solutions. I started to work again on Green Highlander. Just after his valuable advises in one email, my ties started improved, even presentable!!

This is Green Highlander with practice materials = different colors and less expensive materials, yet I was still using some of hard-to-get materials
 Practice tie #2
Practice tie #3

I finally sat down with formal materials. This is my first ever Green Highlander!! Not bad, huh?? And this is my 14th attempt to tie since this spring!! From that humble beginning, I couldn't believe I came up like this!!

Another one!! Some improvements accomplished but also new homework........

This is so far my best, that I have tied last night.
I owe great gratuities of mine to my Master. I'm still working on Green Highlander but the one for evaluation will be done soon.

Although I have merely opened the door of The Greater ASF world, I have already found one thing. Tying ASF is a true commitment. Yes, it's still a hobby for me (as I'm not trading or anything) but without strong commitment and willingness to pursue and get them done, they don't come. And I have developed a mind-set to do so. For the last several ties, I've been happy to sit down for 3 to 4 hours just to complete one fly . I have even started to adjust my life so I can tie one fly in the morning and another one in the evening. This is the commitment, isn't it?

Of course I still fish!! and will do so through winter!! After spending many hours at my tying bench, visiting DePuy's ( and catching a few trout is truly enjoyable and relaxing.........

Indeed relaxing to fish with simply tied flies........

I have also started working on my antler projects too. Let me see what I come up with this winter.

So I will keep updateing ASF, fishing report, and antler projects.
Also I'm tying trout flies and shooting videos of me tying........ WOW that's a lot!

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