Viewpoint: Make Something That Is Both Useful And Beautiful
Trout Unlimited | Mason Griffith Chapter
Why learn fly tying? It’s a craft that lets you make something both useful and beautiful. Beautiful because it is something you make yourself and although there are specific ways of tying flies, once you learn how, you can make any fly any way you like. Some flies are specifically made to be displayed in glass cases. Useful because they provide a reason to get outdoors into the river. Whether you catch a fish or not, the thrill of using a fly you tied makes the experience better.
The initial meeting of the 2020 adult fly tying class, sponsored by the Mason Griffith Founders Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU), was recently held at the Old Au Sable Fly Shop annex on Ingham Street in Grayling.
The class, which is intended for novices and those who would like to increase their expertise, was attended by nine students. The three instructors were Mark Hendricks, who demonstrated the techniques necessary for the first steps in tying a fly on a closed circuit system so the attendees could see each step clearly, Bob Andrus, who has been active in many projects for TU over the years, and Karen Harrison, President of the local TU chapter.
Throughout the course each participant will have all of the equipment and supplies provided, although those with some equipment are encouraged to bring it to help them become more familiar with the equipment. Each session will have multiple instructors so everyone can receive individual help.
The first session dealt with the basics from how to set the hook firmly in the vise to tying in materials, dubbing, and completing a fly. In each of the following weeks each student will learn how to tie one or two different flies.
The classes are held every Wednesday evening from 6 p.m. to approximately 8 p.m. and will run for seven to eight weeks. Because space is limited, those who missed the first classes but would like to attend future classes should contact Karen Harrison (269-744-2716) or Bob Andrus (989-390-2814).
Guest instructors will be available each week and will include several professional fly tyers.
The local chapter of TU has been providing a fly tying class every winter since the late 1970s. Over the years regular instructors have included Peter Jones, Al Haxton, Paul Mesick, Mark Rais, Terry Warrington, and Jim Wilkinson. Guest instructors have included Al Borchers, Andy Partlo, and Steve Pels.