Watching a better fly tier

Bonsai

Jerry
I guess that I am going to get some flak for this. I assure you that I mean this in the most complementary way. I was on YOUTUBE watching some fly tying clips and I stumbled on one by April Vokey. She was tying a tube fly for steelhead. This a very pretty young women that can tie better flies than me, out cast me, and I am sure out fish me any day of the week. But I have to tell you I was fascinated watching her hand movements as she tied that fly. They were so feminine yet every movement was necessary. When I am with a bunch of guys (usually) tying flies there is a clumsiness and a lot of redoing of wraps and resetting of fir and feathers. I would move over and just watch her tie anytime.
 

Bonsai

Jerry
Well, most of the time I was watching her hands and I didn't expect her movements to be so feminine. Watch Joan Wulff cast; she is a elderly women that can still bring the grace of a dancer to the sport. I would love to be able to have a fly tying session with April or a casting lesson form Joan.
 

keekster4504

Active Member
What'cha expect...something to the contrary??
I mean...yes. That often is the expectation with any underrepresented group. I *think* what he was getting at is that, in a sport so dominated by men, it's easy to forget or just plain not acknowledge that women can bring something different/special to the table...that fly fishing isn't defined by men/masculinity, that's just been the paradigm historically and what the angling community has come to know as "normal". When underrepresented groups enter any area, whether its a sport, career, region etc, it can be hard to see any other way to do it than the way that it's being done. But some really special things can happen when that is rejected--doing it "our" way isn't worse, just different. That diversity of perspective almost always moves the field forward in a positive way. Someday, maybe it won't be exceptional when a woman is an accomplished caster/fly tier/rod builder/guide etc.

I don't know if that makes sense... just my two cents as a woman in what can (sometimes) feel like an old boys' club.
 

Rock Creek Fan

Active Member
I am teaching my daughter how to tie. When she is in the mood, she asks and I will show her techniques. She now ties streamers, nymphs and dries (with and without posts). Her small, nimble fingers have a lot more dexterity and finesse than I ever have had. She does not fish , maybe some day - for now she just enjoys sitting down at the vice. And yes - they do catch fish :)
 

FinLuver

Active Member
I mean...yes. That often is the expectation with any underrepresented group. I *think* what he was getting at is that, in a sport so dominated by men, it's easy to forget or just plain not acknowledge that women can bring something different/special to the table...that fly fishing isn't defined by men/masculinity, that's just been the paradigm historically and what the angling community has come to know as "normal". When underrepresented groups enter any area, whether its a sport, career, region etc, it can be hard to see any other way to do it than the way that it's being done. But some really special things can happen when that is rejected--doing it "our" way isn't worse, just different. That diversity of perspective almost always moves the field forward in a positive way. Someday, maybe it won't be exceptional when a woman is an accomplished caster/fly tier/rod builder/guide etc.

I don't know if that makes sense... just my two cents as a woman in what can (sometimes) feel like an old boys' club.
Stereo types...
A man that ties with grace of a lady and woman that casts with the grace of a gorilla (man).

Breaking them is just one thought away.
 

Bonsai

Jerry
All wonderful comments and said very well. Keekster, I wish I had said it the way you did. Rock Creek, how old is you daughter? I enjoy working with young kids. FinLuver, the last thing I wanted to do is Stereo type any one. That was the point of my initial comment. John, I enjoy watching Davie tie, I love his accent even though I don't understand everything he says. I am glad everyone (so far) has taken this well.
 

rawalker

Active Member
Great thread!
male or female, watching tiers much better than me over the years has taught me a lot, some I even remember!
I stopped being amazed at how much better women are at doing things than me a long, long time ago, when in my young thirties I went back to college and took calculus for fun. In the class was a 16 yo high school girl who made me work my butt off to keep up with her. Amazing.
I will check out April's tying videos and McPhail too. I can always learn.
 

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
Because I love streamers so much, I think I get the most out of Gunner Brammer's fly tying videos. He's a little younger, but learned under the tutelage of Kelly Galloup and is very good at articulating why he does what he does. I also really like the few videos that Brad Bohen put out with his musky flies. These, combined with taking a couple of other popular musky guys flies apart, I really learned a tone about tying big streamers and making them do exactly what I want them to. The nice thing is, many of these same techniques can be downsized and used with smaller trout streamers (i.e. building bulk out of next to nothing). It's always about how the fly swims rather than what it looks like when it's dry. Some of my store bought flies that look the best are the ones that swim the worst.
 

Speyrod GB

Active Member
Gunnar has some great videos. I really like his seasoned geezer and trout nugget. I need to play around with those flies a bit more.

I'm sure there are more great videos out there. The search will continue.
 

Rock Creek Fan

Active Member
Rock Creek, how old is you daughter? I enjoy working with young kids.
She is now 22. She started when she was 15. I hope to spend more time with her now that she just graduated from college and is back home for the time being.

I was fortunate enough to attend some of the great tyer demonstrations back in the King Dome days. Since there were different tyers each day I planned my attendance around who and when they tied. Being able to watch and ask questions during and after the demo helped me so much.

I also remember there was a gent from Overlake Fly Fishing club that tied some crayfish. I was blown away it looked even better than the real thing.

I also attended special (paid) events at some local fly shops when a 'guest' would come and give small group lessons and help with our tying.

I realize there are so many more resources today than when I was learning (books and fly shows) but that one on one helped me be a better tyer so that at least they catch fish :)
 

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
April is a consummate professional. I enjoy watching her tie flies. Every time that I do, I have learned something new.
 

Latest posts

Top