Fly-fishing Voices

A place to call your own

Photo Credit: Don Oliver | Special to the Drum

The pandemic, plus the San Juan River and Southern Ute Reservation closures, and lots of snow, may have inspired you to start tying your own flies. I know the local fly shops, and probably the non-fisher you share a habitat with, are very happy about this. After all, you can only watch a limited amount of Fox and CNN News before you, and anyone you’re close to, goes absolutely bonkers. 

To get started you most likely purchased some type of beginner tying kit. These kits usually contain a vise, a few spools of thread, a dozen hooks, some tools, hackle and feathers. Just enough stuff to set up on a small out-of-the way table in the den, that no one will really notice. You can also keep all these things neat and orderly. This soon ends. 

As you get more into tying you discover the large amount of space dedicated to tying in your favorite fly shop. You also have now, most likely, subscribed to some publication dedicated to tying flies. There is an endless amount of materials and tools to help you become a dedicated tier. Welcome to my world. As all your new purchases needed to support your new habit begin to expand exponentially, a small voice whispers in your ear, “Clean up this mess or I’ll do it for you, and you won’t like the end result.”  It is now time to find a place that allows you to spread lots of stuff out, and tie flies in peace and solitude. It’s time to have a place to call your own.  

You will need a location large enough for a tying bench, shelves and cabinets where you can keep all your new purchases neat and orderly, extra ventilation for cigar smoke, a non-carpeted floor that cigar ash won’t bother, T.V., and an extra chair for a tying buddy, or to just sit and watch T.V. shows about tying flies. All of this fits nicely into a prefab tool shed, or a room added to your home. If you buy a prefab tool shed remember to add a couple of windows and a good heater. A screen door is also nice for the summer. 

Most of my friends and I would have a hard time justifying that type of expense for a hobby. So, now you are relegated to finding an unused location in the house. The first place I would look is a study or library where studying and reading no longer occurs. Both of those sounded good when the house was built, but in actuality don’t receive that much use anymore. That space probably already has shelves built-in that will hold all your tying paraphernalia. Next, I’d look at that small guest room that hasn’t seen a guest in a really long time. Even if that location has been converted to a project room, your new tying habit ranks right up there as an ongoing project. Still no luck? How about a really large walk-in closet that is filled with all sorts of holiday decorations. If you have a closet similar to this you will have to empty it in secret and put a lock on the door to which only you have the key. What you don’t want to happen is to get tricked into a corner in the garage. It will be cold, and the light is really bad.  

Regardless of where your tying room ends up, make it a happy place, a place that allows you be creative. Those creations you can use to fool fish when we’re all allowed to go outside and fly fish with other people again. 

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