Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple II

Fly Tying Clear and Simple II

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When I started tying flies I didn’t know what I was getting into. After watching some fishing videos that included segments on tying, I decided to take the plunge. I picked up some supplies and a $10.00 vice at the White Elephant, a local discount hunting, fishing and toy store. I also got a copy of Skip Morris’ original book, Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple.

Volumes I & II

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Then I went home and worked my way through the book, starting at page one – ending on page 80. I tied all 15 of the patterns with excitement and wonder. They may have been the ugliest examples of the patterns, but they were mine. And they caught fish. I remember those nights with great fondness. During those weeks spent with Skip Morris, I learned more about fly tying than in any other time of my life.

So imagine my excitement when, as I cruised the library, I saw his new book, “Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple II.” I brought it right home and devoured it. There are 18 flies with full instructions in this volume. They cover Nymphs, Streamers, Emergers and Dry Flies. Additonal pattern recipes are listed in the back.

It follows the same logical, easy to follow format of the original. Start with a picture of the finished fly, a description of the history and use of the fly, the recipe in a shaded box, then step by step instructions of the details of tying the fly.


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After each step, if there are common problems at that stage, he pauses the instructions to review things that might cause confusion or mistakes. It is such a great idea to fix the problem right then, not after you have finished the fly. It really is just like having an instructor looking over your shoulder.

Problem Solving

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For people who like a curriculum, a clearly laid out path of instruction, these two books will start you on the road of fly tying. How far you go will depend on you and what your goals are. But if you work through these two books, I believe you would feel comfortable tackling any fly you want. You won’t be a master tyer, but the basic foundation will be laid by a master teacher.

Get the books. Work through them. Have a great time. Treasure your first few flies. Save some to look back upon to mark your progress. You will be amazed how quickly you improve.

Back to Mac

The old and the new computers

Well the big, beautiful, beast arrived yesterday. After years of Windows, I am switching back to Mac.

apple IIe

Apple IIe

I got my first computer, an Apple IIe in 1983. I’ve often joked that if I had bought either Apple or Microsoft stock instead of the computer, I would be a millionaire by now. But I loved that computer with typical Apple mania. It had a whopping 64 kb of RAM (that is kilobytes, not megabytes or gigabytes). The monitor was a green cathode ray tube. It was wonderful.

Then I upgraded to an Apple IIGS. That was a monster of a machine. It had a color monitor, 8 MB of RAM and could display 256 colors on the screen. With this machine, I learned about modems, message boards, and eventually email and the World Wide Web.

By the late 1990’s, Windows was dominating the market. Programs for Apple were hard to come by, so I got my first of a series of Dell PC’s. They have been good solid work horses. And since Windows XP, the OS has finally been stable. But the computer landscape never sits still. Where programs ruled the 90’s, this century is more about connections and the internet. Also, since the iPod, Apple has regained market share.

I’ve been running a hybrid home network for the last 14 years. When I abandoned my trusty, old Apple, my wife adopted it to learn about ebay, email and the rest of the Web. She has had her succession of Mac’s along the way. So by switching back to Mac, I will only have to maintain one operating system. Also the networking will be easier. And now 99% of what I do is word processing, surfing, spreadsheets and photography. All these things run smoothly on the Mac.

So to get back to the start of this post, my new 27″ iMac arrived yesterday. I spent 15 minutes setting it up (15 minutes to get it set up, plugged in, registered and my email running!). Now on to the process of installing programs, transferring files and getting comfortable with it.

It’s like Christmas in August.