Thomas, thank you for a very creative tying opportunity. Winter's Hope used to mean standing in a river waiting for the pulse of steel on the end of my line. I enjoyed the solitude and remember one morning on the Sky with snow flakes the size of potato chips falling. Winter's Hope has now followed me to the saltwater where I spend most of my angling hours. Winter's Hope now congers images of large Coastal Cutthroat or Resident Coho aggressively hitting my fly. I took Bill McMillan's colors and converted them to a flat wing tube fly. I tied the fly two ways, first without weight so that I can skate it on the surface with a floating line. I then added a ProTube Orange Cone to allow the fly to fish subsurface. My hope is that tomorrow I will have my flies rewarded with willing fish on Hood Canal.
How does this owrk? Do we vote? Can we vote for our own fly?
I wouldn't vote for mine anyway. Too many other good ones.
Remember the movie Putney Swope? Where the board of directors (of the TV advertising agency) weren't allowed to vote for themselves, so they all voted for the token black guy, thinking no one else would. He ended up chairman of the board.
Made a zillion dollars doing racy commercials. Not sure how any of that relates to fly tying. But it reminded me of it. Somehow.
Sandy - read the rules, it's not a vote. I am the adjudicator of this Salon. I choose the winner.
The winner then gets to choose the next theme and winner for that theme, and so on and on as long as people are interested in continuing the monthly contests.
If everyone followed the directions, we wouldn't need a separate gallery as all the flies are supposed to be posted to the members' WFF gallery which is very simple and get's them in the WFF archive not a bunch of varied websites.
Steve and I headed to Hood Canal today to test Winter's Hope. The snow on the Olympics would prove to be a good omen. Fishing was not red hot but steady and Winter's Hope was rewarded. The weighted version of the fly produced a small Resident Coho. Switching to the unweighted version brought two nice Coastal Cutthroat to hand. The pattern was fishy and I will continue to refine it to be one of my go-to Winter patterns.
Thanks kelvin, it was an epic day. Steve Knapp was on-fire and has some great new flies. Perfect weather and steady action made it a great way to end the year. I look forward to fishing with you in 2012 buddy.
OK, here's the result of the first Salon, themed "Winter's Hope". My intent is not to set a precedent or expectation that future adjudicators comment on every fly submitted. Doing it just helps me with the decision. The future adjudicator's only responsibility is to set the theme and choose the winner although they can do more than that if they have the energy and inclination...
Brian Thomas - a very fine interpretation of the original McMillan pattern, something to fish with great confidence.
Kelvin - a small, trout sized fly on a #10 up-eye. The description linked it to a snowy day and that certainly fits with the sparkle in body and the white/black body materials. However, in my minds eye when I think of a snowy day, there is still a lot of green due to our preponderance of Douglas fir. When I look at Kelvin's fly, the black, white and yellow in the jungle cock nail make me think "snowy owl" - probably due to the many photos floating around of snowy owls on rooftops in Ballard, etc. because of the irruption year. Also, because it's tied with the osprey as my second favorite bird behind the crow/raven(of course). Finalist
JackD - several interpretations of the McMillan original, all exquisitely tied. The herl butts and ribbing on a couple of the flies is just perfect. I also appreciate the alignment of the golden pheasant crest in the top right fly, something I struggle with mightily... My favorite is the blue-butted fly in the center front for the subtle blending of colors in the collar and wing. I'm a big proponent of pulling in the ideals of the Impressionist movement into fly tying - blending many small bits of color to form a different general hue. I first read about this (in fly tying) in John Atherton's great book, The Fly and the Fish which I highly recommend.
1morecast - Wow, what a nice freestyle married wing. I really appreciate the interpretation of the theme into the fly. I don't know if the fly was actually tied to the theme or whether it just fit, but it doesn't matter because either way, it works perfectly. The integration of the colors flows from tip to head topped off by that beautiful sunset of a married wing. The pastel color gradation almost remind me of the palette in some of the Degas ballerina paintings. I've never been particularly fond of the paintings but always liked the blending of soft colors. To be a bit critical, the tail might be a smidge long and seems to have got a little wild, also a bit of messiness in the head, neither of which is a problem for me as I tie to fish. Finalist
pittendrigh - the photo is no longer showing up but that's OK because I remember it. I have really enjoyed Sandy's flies on this and the Classic Fly Rod forum, especially how he pushes the boundaries on use of material and techniques. The site seems to be down right now but if you tie trout flies, it's wort your while to check out his fly tying page on Montana Riverboats or search the archives on the classic forum. For the fly submitted, if this was a "which fly will catch the most fish" contest, the submitted midge would win without a doubt. I don't fish midges as I suffer from a serious case of swingophilia but I'm taking the materials usage in this fly to heart in my own tying.
Jeff Sawyer - I have no doubt this fly will catch a steelhead but I think it suffers due to the photograph, maybe influenced a bit by the whiskey! I had no idea who King Julien was so I googled it. Jeff's right, the headdress for the Lemur King is a match. This fly will fish but if I were to offer contructive criticism it would be that it might be helpful to tie it a bit more sparse. Again, this might be an artifact of the photo, but myself and others have found that with this style fly, the minimum amount of materials to create the outline works best - easier to cast, cheaper to tie.
Marty's fly is, of course, tied perfectly. Someday, I hope to be able to tie something this nice. For me, it's a true sign of skill when one can be use minimal materials to acheive maximum impact and that what we have here. "Brevity is the soul of wit", Shakespeare's famous quote from hamlet applied to fly tying. Amazing.
JackD #2 - The rule was one-entry per tier but I have to relax it for Jack's second fly because it's defintely a 'stunner'...
Richard Torres - The classic Blue Charm, a nice representation of a classic British pattern. It's hard to evaluate as it's wet but that might eb the better condition to judge a fishing fly anyway... I agree with Richard that the color combination suits our PNW winters; black, brown, a touch of orange and the wash of blue in the collar/underwing. Tied a little fuller with a featherwing like this one looks like a killer for the clear, low-water runs of midwinter when you don't want to be throwing big junk to spooky fish. My primary criticism would be that the head could be smaller but that's personal preference and probably has zero effect on the fishability.
Steve Rohrbach - Here we go... What a cool use of the original palette, a pair of tubes for sea-run cutthroat. I've written before (here) that the Coastal Cutthroat, particularly the sea-run life history was the fish that got me back into angling after a too long hiatus. I've tied a lot of flatwings, even a few on tubes, but I've always looked the the east coast striper patterns for inspiration. Thanks to Steve, I'm thinking I should be focused a little closer to home in the future. One of the stated criteria for winning my month was that the fly should inspire me to tie and this pair does that for sure. Finalist
OK, I have changed my mind at least three times as I wrote the comments (which was the point of writing them...). I came into this predisposed to choose 1morecast's married wing. How could I not? It's just too damn pretty and a perfect example of a free interpretation of the theme. I admit, I applied a 'penalty point' to anything connected to the original McMillan pattern. In retrospect, I should not have chosen a topic with such an obvious connection so the penalty should really be applied to the adjudicator!
I then thought I should choose Kelvin's fly because again, it's a faithful and original interpretation of the theme as will as a fly I think will catch some fish.
Steve's flies, while carrying the 'McMillan Penalty' still perfectly fit my criteria "the fly that teaches me something or makes me want to get back to my tying desk.".
I was supposed to fish today but I tweaked my back at my kid's wrestling practice and want to heal up for my upcoming trip to the OP. So instead of fishing, I'm going to walk upstairs to my 'man cave' and tie some tube flies.
Thomas, thank you for selecting my flies. I had fun thinking about the challenge and really enjoyed the creativity exhibited by the rest of the tiers. I am working on a theme for January and will have something posted later today. I hope people continue to support this Salon as we will all learn and grow in our fly tying.