An important question...

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Randy Diefert, Nov 9, 2005.

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  1. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

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    Seems like a master tyer is equal parts skill and innovation. There are those who can tie nice, well-proportioned flies, but they add nothing to the sport by way of innovation. That's one thing that separates the master tyer from the offshore (or in shore:) ) commercial tyer. It seems like the truly great tyers emerge because of skill, innovation, and passion. Interesting topic.
     
  2. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

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    FT,

    I used the term "off-shore production tyer" in my post - not "tyers from Asia". (Please, either re-read my post, or stop 'furling' my words to support your rather weak and vacilating rebutals.)

    In my opinion, as skilled as the off-shore production tyers I referred to are (and usually relegated to tying one type of fly), they're little more than Xerox machines.

    Don made a great point. If you're aware of Alec's versatility at the vise why contradict yourself by portraying him as a single-style or one dimensional tyer? As you have such a close and personal relationship with 'the gentleman from Yorkshire', I'd think you'd choose your words much more carefully.

    The hole is getting deeper, Laddie, and ye might use yon *Spade* to extracate yoursel'. *g*


    Big Tuna,

    Well said! I think you've hit the bulls-eye hit on a very important criteria in defining a Master tyer, that being 'innovation' - add to that, creativity, originality, and imagination. Personally, I also believe that 'passion' is at the very core of greatness and accomplishment.

    Hywel
     
  3. inland

    inland Active Member

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    I have thumbed through FT's FISHING FLIES in his winter steelhead boxes.

    Um, Scott and DJ...anybody that has the nad to post pics of hairwing flies, and gush about them, with beads just doesn't compute. After viewing your flies on salmonfly.net they are certainly clean for a series of mostly simple hairwings. Why not step it up and produce some quality photos of what you can really do with the more difficult traditional Spey, Dee, and full dress salmon patterns (whether they are traditional recipes or YOUR OWN freestyle). Tie a real black doctor and many questions will be answered. Why not attempt the Blacker Flies? Every fly I have in my box is comparable or better than your photos and I consider every one of them a fishing fly. Nothing special and certainly not worthy of benchmarking skill. In fact I would consider this barely average skill of a competent tyer.

    But this discussion is more about personal attack on FT and his views.

    Tight lines,

    William
     
  4. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

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    Inland,

    "...anybody that has the nad to post pics of hairwing flies, and gush about them, with beads just doesn't compute."

    You mean, 'nads' - as in juevos or cojones? I didn't realize it took a big pair of stones to post a few flies on the 'Net. What didn't 'compute', the beads? When and where did I 'gush' about my tying? The only adjectives I've ever offered about my own work are 'acceptable', 'decent', and on rare occasion, 'reasonable'. I wouldn't call that 'gushing'.

    "After viewing your flies on salmonfly.net they are certainly clean for a series of mostly simple hairwings."

    Thanks for your critique! I trust 'clean' and ' mostly simple' are good as it relates to tying, yes?

    "Why not step it up and produce some quality photos of what you can really do with the more difficult traditional Spey, Dee, and full dress salmon patterns (whether they are traditional recipes or YOUR OWN freestyle). Tie a real black doctor and many questions will be answered. Why not attempt the Blacker Flies?"

    Should I apologize for the quality of my camera or my lack of skills in macro photography? O.K., I'll play,...I'm sorry.

    As to your question about 'stepping up' and tying the more difficult traditional Spey, Dee, and full-dress Atlantics, classic or free-style - everything I aspire to do eventually comes in time. Please keep in mind that I'm still learning to tie a simple, yet clean, hairwing.

    And, exactly what burning question(s) will be answered if I attempt to tie a real Black Doctor or the Blacker flies?

    "Every fly I have in my box is comparable or better than your photos and I consider every one of them a fishing fly. Nothing special and certainly not worthy of benchmarking skill. In fact I would consider this barely average skill of a competent tyer."

    Good for you, William,...good for you! I've never thought any of my flies to be 'special' or worthy of 'benchmarking skill' - and I would hope that they'd be considered fishing flies, too.

    If you judge my work to be the barely average end result of a competent tyer, then I'll take that as a compliment, and thank you.

    "But this discussion is more about personal attack on FT and his views."

    I disagree. It's a spirited discussion about the criteria of a 'master' tyer and a difference of opinion. Nothing more.

    Hywel
     
  5. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Hywel,

    The three countries you mentioned as places where offshore tying is going on, Singapore, Thailand, and China, are Asian countries, at least were the last time I checked an Atlas.

    However, I have not seen you post anything that provides information on what it is about the flies a person ties that makes him a master tyers, which is afterall, what this thread is supposedly about. Saying a tyer should have originality, creativity, imagination, innovation to be a master tyers tells a person nothing about what he should be looking for in the flies he is looking at to determine if they were tied by a master or not, which is after all the only criteria upon which one can determine if a tyer is a master or not. One must see the person's flies, or a photo of them; otherwise, it is impossible to measure and quantify objectively whether he ought to be considered a master tyer or not.

    And saying only tyers who originate new flies, come up with a new tying technique, or use innovative or unusual materials is the criteria for determining if someone is a master tyer certainly excludes all the classic, married wing salmon tyers and the tyers of the classic spey and dee flies such as a Megan Boyd or Marvin Nolte. (I know Randy you don't want names, but there has to be some point of reference for this to make sense.)

    Likewise having passion as a criteria provides nothing upon which someone can make a determination as to whether a person is a master tyer because when you look at his flies, how the heck can you possibly know if the guy or gal had passion when tying the fly?

    There must be objective, measurable ways of making the determination or it is meaningless.

    It is easy to determine if a person's flies are well-proprtioned, are neat and clean, have nicely formed heads that are not overly big for the fly style; have good, smooth floss work; have dubbed bodies of the proper diameter for the style of fly; have hackle of the right size, length, and quantity for the fly style (including whether the hackle is tight against ribbing tinsel on spey, dee, and classic feather wing salmon flies); have neatly tied, proper length wings, have even ribbing wraps; have well formed tips and tags; have throats that are not too bushy or too sparse; have cheeks and shoulders that are well formed, sit in the proper place, and are of an eye pleasing length and width; etc. because these are all quanifiable, observable, measurable characteristics. However, how can you possibly quanitify, measure, observe passion, imagination, and creativity? For that matter, measuring and quantifying innovation is very difficult for the simple fact that at any given time there are old techniques being re-discovered. For instance hair wing salmon flies, which were supposedly "invented" in the early 20th century, when in fact, they were in use back in the 17th century in the UK, and this is know because there have been examples of them found with authenticated dates. The use of beads on bodies is another example, this was used as far back as the late 19th century in the mid-west and northeast for streamer bodies and bass flies. And for still another example, the all Kystal Flash or Flashabou wings, there were flies tied back in the 1930's with mylar (many different colors of mylar too) wings, which is exactly the same as using Kystal Flash or Flashabou as a wing.

    But then again, the materials used on the fly have no real bearing on whether it is a fly with the measurable characteristics to be consider to have been tied by a master tyer because materials used have nothing to do with proportions, etc. which are the observable, measurable, quantifiable characteristics flies must be judged by. Or else, there is no way to tell if one fly is superior to another or for that matter if a fly is poorly tied to take it to its logical conclusion. Therefore, the measurable, quantifiable characteristics of a fly must be the criteria used to determine if it was tied by a master tyer or a merely good tyer.
     
  6. Don Johnson

    Don Johnson Duke of Furl

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    William,
    First of all, the content of my posts was not a personal attack on anyone. Addresing the dissemination of misinformation was the extent of my intent; no more, no less. If FT wished to convey a different meaning then it should have been worded so.

    Secondly, I have never posted any of Hywel's flies anywhere. Of the various sites his work is on display, it is the ultimately the responsibility of the web host to post the pics or not. Whether those individuals have nads or not is none of my concern. If my calling his work "masterpieces" is construed as me gushing, then so be it. Last time I checked I still have the right to an opinion. If you don't concur with mine, fine. I like his work, as do others, but not I'm nearly as impressed with his flies as I am with how quickly he has gained the skills necessary to tie as well as he does, which (also, in my opinion) is well above average.

    Lastly, through my response to FT's first post, I feel partially responsible for this thread diverging from the original topic. Sorry.

    Randy, I don't know how Master Tyers obtain their title. I don't even know any that have that title. We ought to start a list of contemporary and historical tyers and debate how each of their respective styles differ.
     
  7. Scott Behn

    Scott Behn Active Member

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    First, this is my opinion and nothing else...

    I personally think this whole "master tyer" is a bunch of bunk. To me the only judge of my flies is and always will be the quarry I'm after...the fish!!!!

    Now with that said, I don't think that the gracious steelie, the coniving cuttie, or even the cheapskate Mr. Whitie gives a rat's butt what materials I have used or how porportioned my ribbing might be. As long as it looks like it belongs in the water column then I assume the fish is going to like it or at the very least it will piss him off which will work for me too.

    If you want to know how to judge a master tyer....become a fish!!!!:rolleyes:

    :cool:
     
  8. inland

    inland Active Member

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    Don,

    As I said his flies are clean. I don't like the gap between the eye and his head and I don't like the up-canted angle/paint brush look of his wings. That is his style and my personal opinion it isn't as appealing to my eye. However his skills are obvious.

    I guess I base my opinions on skill associated to feather wings. From full dress salmon flies to dee strips to speys and even Carrie Stevens style of streamers. Hair wings are a lazy way to dress a steelhead/salmon fly. To name a few...Where does Radencich rate? Veverka? Belarmino Martinez? Shewey and his skill with B. Mallard? Glasso?

    I consider Glasso to be the finest N.A tier (to date) and certainly one of the best ever. He could tie the classics better than just about anybody and developed flies that are now considered classic. That is a master tyer that ties 'Masterpieces'. I suppose it's just a matter of perspective.

    William
     
  9. Scott Behn

    Scott Behn Active Member

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    "Hair wings are a lazy way to dress a steelhead/salmon fly."

    Who are you calling lazy?????

    I don't think fish really care what the wing is made of...at least not as much as it seems people do.

    :beathead:
     
  10. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    William
    I think you are making a very big mistake with the above idea. The mistake that I am refering to is the mistake of short changing yourself. If that is your opinion, you are not allowing yourself to enjoy the work and creativity of some truly masterful fly dressers. Paul Miller, Kevin Perkins, Derl Stovall, Ed Hass, the amazing Warren Duncan and any number of Scandinavian and Icelandic tyers.
    As you have said, it is just a matter of perspective but I think you would be doing yourself a favor by giving these guys a longer, harder look. If you have the Art of Angling Journal, Volume #2, Issue #4, take a look at the article on Warren Duncan and the 16 pages of hair wing flys and tell me again about lazy fly dressing. And I am not just talking about the quantity of flys on these pages but the amount of creativity and consistent quality that simply can not be denied.

    My 3 cents
    TC
     
  11. Monk

    Monk Redneck

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    A master tyer is someone who will be remembered 100 years after their death for their contributions to fly tying. Alec Jackson, Wulff...these are all names that will not just last on the names of their flies, but in nearly every comprehensive book that covers the discipline.
     
  12. inland

    inland Active Member

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    You can call it what you want. (Duncan is a stud hairwing tyer as was Haas) But nonetheless hairwing flies are much easier to tie. Do I like some hairwing patterns? Yes. Do I fish some hairwings? Yes again. Lazy doesn't have to mean bad. Lazy as in a shortcut.

    William
     
  13. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

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    Inland,

    Now that you've generously given your opinion about my flies and style of tying, perhaps you'd be willing to publicly share some of your work.

    Are there websites or publications where one might find examples of your tying?

    Tim,

    You're dead-bang on about the tyers you mentioned, especially Ed Hass and some of the tyers from Scandinavia. Erling Olsen is a personal favorite of mine, and his original patterns and interpretations of some of the more 'classic' hairwings (like the Rat series) are sure worth studying. I'm also fond of Hakar Norling and Mikael Frodin needs no introduction, either!

    Randy,

    Sorry!

    Hywel
     
  14. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

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    It can only be a shortcut if you are trying to get somewhere else.
    Hairwings are their own endpoint. It is just a different style, no greater or lesser than a full dressed classic feather wing.

    TC
     
  15. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Tim,

    William isn't diagreeing with you. quite the contrary, he agrees wholeheartedly with you that hairwings are their own endpoint and their own style. All he is saying is that it takes a lot less skill to tie a hairwing than to tie a bronze mallard spey wing, dee strip wing, married wing full-dressed classic, or featherwing New England streamer in the fashion of Carrie Stevens, nothing more.

    Monk,

    Perhaps their names will be remembered, and perhaps not. I doubt if many folks alive now remember Reuben (or rube) Wood, or Dan Cahill and if it weren't for the work of Sylvester Nymes, I doubt many would know who Liesenring is. And then there are folks like Ira Gruber, Chief Needebah, and Dr. Henshaw who were all renouned for their tying skills and abilities during their lifetimes; but who are virtually forgotten by the tyers of today.
     
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