Early March

#1
hare\'s ear.jpg


Here was the plan: my wife would play with our Lab while I tried a few casts. A freestone stream flowing through a meadow in the Poconos offered the opportunity. The day was sunny, the wind light. Very little brush reared their ugly heads on the bank. Almost immediately I needed help:

“Joan?”
“Joan.”
“Joan!”
“What?”
“Can you tie this fly on for me.”

I had forgotten how poor my vision was, how unsteady my hands. She was patient, got a small gold-ribbed hare’s ear tied on, and ran off with Lana. After a few casts it snapped off in the wind.

“Joan!” – well you get the idea.

She spent an hour tying flies on for me.

“Isn’t there a better way to do this, where they are tied on already?”

That day I didn’t catch anything and lost half a dozen flies. But on the way home in the car, HandiFlies were born.

David Bershtein
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#2
View attachment 25161

Here was the plan: my wife would play with our Lab while I tried a few casts. A freestone stream flowing through a meadow in the Poconos offered the opportunity. The day was sunny, the wind light. Very little brush reared their ugly heads on the bank. Almost immediately I needed help:

“Joan?”
“Joan.”
“Joan!”
“What?”
“Can you tie this fly on for me.”

I had forgotten how poor my vision was, how unsteady my hands. She was patient, got a small gold-ribbed hare’s ear tied on, and ran off with Lana. After a few casts it snapped off in the wind.

“Joan!” – well you get the idea.

She spent an hour tying flies on for me.

“Isn’t there a better way to do this, where they are tied on already?”

That day I didn’t catch anything and lost half a dozen flies. But on the way home in the car, HandiFlies were born.

David Bershtein
I tried something like that. But I just got better glasses. Now I can see to thread those small eyes. I also have the shakes and if I brace my hands on something steady I have no problem threading them eyes. It's the knot I have a problem with. Shaky hands don't help.
 
#3
I tried something like that. But I just got better glasses. Now I can see to thread those small eyes. I also have the shakes and if I brace my hands on something steady I have no problem threading them eyes. It's the knot I have a problem with. Shaky hands don't help.
That is what brought me to develop handiflies. I have several fly tying shops making flies with a leader already attached and with a loop at the end. I have leaders made up with a loop at the end. Even with clumsy, cold, shaky or inexperienced fingers, you can put the fly through the loop and bang, you are in business. Now I can fish without the embarrassment of asking for help. Now I have to figure out how to carry them around. I guess I need a repro of an antique leather fly wallet. Do you know of a leather craftsman that makes them? I think they haven't been used since the 1930's. The one that lives near me died to get out of making me one. Maybe he was using that as an excuse to paraphrase Groucho Marx.

fly wallet.jpg
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
#4
I've never used them, but thought several of those "threader tools" looked like they would be of help...at least getting the line through the hook eye...which can be a challenge for all of us, particularly in low light conditions.

http://www.caddisflyshop.com/2020threader.html

I've been using hemostats as my fly attachment aid for years now.
  • secure to bend of hook
  • thread line through eye (cuss myself for not having cleared the epoxy when I tied the effing thing)
  • spin h-stat's
  • pass tag end through loop
  • slobber on line
  • cinch tight
  • check integrity by pulling at angles back 'n forth (to avoid cussing myself for a second time when, following the hook-up, one get's back a piggy tail)
I've done this for so long, it's somewhat muscle memory now. Whether this will serve me well into my later years, dunno?

Good luck, be glad you have a Joan in your life and keep at it.
 
#5
I took my first wife on a tower shoot. It was our second date. I shot a pheasant that landed on her head and got blood on her new coat.

Joan is my second and last wife. I have been much more careful with her :) She is one of eight kids. All 4 of her brothers and fanatical fly fishermen. She still doesn't want to tie flies on for me all day. You can get a dozen free handiflies if you would like to try them. They are on my website and on Facebook. PM me and I will set it up



I've never used them, but thought several of those "threader tools" looked like they would be of help...at least getting the line through the hook eye...which can be a challenge for all of us, particularly in low light conditions.

http://www.caddisflyshop.com/2020threader.html

I've been using hemostats as my fly attachment aid for years now.
  • secure to bend of hook
  • thread line through eye (cuss myself for not having cleared the epoxy when I tied the effing thing)
  • spin h-stat's
  • pass tag end through loop
  • slobber on line
  • cinch tight
  • check integrity by pulling at angles back 'n forth (to avoid cussing myself for a second time when, following the hook-up one get's back a piggy tail)
I've done this for so long, it's somewhat muscle memory now. Whether this will serve me well into my later years, dunno?


Good luck, be glad you have a Joan in your life and keep at it.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#6
That is what brought me to develop handiflies. I have several fly tying shops making flies with a leader already attached and with a loop at the end. I have leaders made up with a loop at the end. Even with clumsy, cold, shaky or inexperienced fingers, you can put the fly through the loop and bang, you are in business. Now I can fish without the embarrassment of asking for help. Now I have to figure out how to carry them around. I guess I need a repro of an antique leather fly wallet. Do you know of a leather craftsman that makes them? I think they haven't been used since the 1930's. The one that lives near me died to get out of making me one. Maybe he was using that as an excuse to paraphrase Groucho Marx.

View attachment 25169
There is a tool out there that makes it easy to carry around flies with a short section of leader on your flies. Gear fisherman use them to carry around your pre-tied hooks. It used to be made by Luhr Jensen. Not to sure who makes it now. It is about 3" around and about a inch thick. You take off the cover and place your flies in the center with your leaders hanging down. Replace the cover and give the lid a twist. It will suck up your leaders and you can put it in your vest.

I wish I knew the name of it, but when you get old your memory tends to slip a little.
And sometimes my memory slips a lot.

Edit: I found out where mine was hiding at. I took a picture of it. It is made by Mac's lures and it is called "Pip's Box". This god damn site won't let me down load a picture.
 

rainbow

My name is Mark Oberg
#8
I did a google search on your handifly and came up with a word for word post on another site. Is this a plug for your fly's?.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#10
I believe you can buy needle threaders at fabric stores. Those will work with a hook eye.

I wear trifocals and need the close up zone for tying on flies. Without the trifocals I'd have little or no chance of tying on a size 18 pattern.

I believe Orvis, or one of the major brands, sells hooks with extra large eyes for us old farts who can't see. I believe the model numbers begin with AARP.
 
#11
My current "plug," since my project is new, is to give them away free, a dozen at a time, to get feedback. Since I am an old AARP fart, getting chemotherapy to boot (no tears) it is not likely the giveaway will make me rich :)
Have I broken a rule giving them away?

I have hired a few custom fly tiers to work with me, so I will probably end up with a closet full of flies. When Thoreau published A Week on the Concord and Merrimac, he had to pay for the first print run. He got stuck with 700 copies. He said, "I have 750 volumes in my library, 700 of which I wrote myself."
 
#12
I have also been shamelessly "plugging" my short stories here. Since Amazon pays me $.70 a copy, the people here would have to buy 100,000 copies before the money rolled in. If this happens I will give it to TU so I maintain my dignified poverty status.
 
#13
If anyone wants a dozen of my experimental flies, please PM me. I will even pay for shipping. Some constructive feedback, however negative, is all the payment I want. Is this against any board rules? I like this forum and don't want to be arrested by the Washington Flyfishing police.

If the business makes a little money I can justify buying all kinds of new tackle to my wife :)