Pioneers and Legends


Not to be confused with Freestone
Just got through reading the piece in the current issue of NWFF on Harry Lemire...and the fact that he tied those amazing flies "in-hand". WTH...are you kidding me? That is really quite amazing given how near perfect these look. It was a great story about him and one of his proteges.

Does anyone on the forum tie flies "in-hand" -- no vise? I just started a #18 PT... will let you know how it turns out :eek:

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
Only on the days I forget my vise;). On that note I think I will throw together a small set of materials to take on camping trips, just in case I run out of something on the river.
I was surprised that my in hand flies turned out pretty nice though, You just have to make them less complicated. For instance when tying in hand forget the dubbing loop and just dub your thread.
Although I wont be tossing out my vise anytime soon, I think that I will continue to work on the skill because its fun and different and I think it will make me a better tyer in the end.
I watched Harry many times and he always amazed me and inspired me. Something I'm pretty sure I won't ever try....I can't get those flies that good using a vise let alone without one. He will be missed by many.
Occasionally I've contemplated what tying 'in hand' must entail, but I've never tried it. Heck, sometimes two hands AND a vice don't seem to be enough!

That being said, I suspect there are a few things that make sense for tying 'in hand.'

1) tying on larger hooks is easier than smaller hooks (I don't know about that size 18, freestoneangler).

2) Since one hand has to serve as vice, but two hands are needed occasionally, I'm guessing you have to throw on half-hitches frequently to secure the thread.

3) you have to be a lot better organized than I am when you start :)() in order to have all the materials available and prepared before you start each fly.

What other techniques and/or practical modifications to fly tying do you think are needed to tie 'in hand?'

I know I've mentioned this before about hand tying.
When I was a young nipper I would accompany my Dad on his Atlantic Salmon trips. His gille, McTavish, tied flies by hand on the river to match actual conditions. He had bits of materials in all his pockets, in his hat, everywhere. He waxed his thread with earwax. He tied patterns which were big or small, heavily or sparsely dressed, dark or light in color, flashy and not so flashy - all to match changing conditions on the river and to move very particular or stubborn fish. Quite a guy.

You guys may want to pick up a Harry Lemire DVD. Most enjoyable. IMG_1016.jpeg

Latest posts