Anglers, I Have a Confession

I hate tying flies.

Fly Fishing Support Group There, I said it. Let the ostracism commence. I’m not sorry. I don’t have the genomes that allow me to enjoy being that miserable.  It’s tedious and frustrating at best; at worst I get so angry I have to sit in the corner and count to ten. I have the heaviest thread I can find and I still break it off every time I tie a hair bug. If the thread doesn’t break, the bug sheds worse than my Blue Heeler mix and is a naked hook by the fourth cast.


“You should tie trout flies.” No thank you. That is unless you would like to know how sad and pathetic a man can look reevaluating his entire life.  The smallest I’ve ever tried tying was Zimmerman’s Backstabber (not even an actual trout fly) once a couple of years ago. The closest I could come up with looked like a troll doll suffering from a peanut allergy.


Matt Bennett makes it look super easy, and “Matt’s Lunch Money” is a Schedule IV narcotic that the federal government is considering regulating. I’ve watched Kyle Perkins crank out 100 zebra midges to my 1 clouser. Pat Cohen can pack deer hair tighter than nature can grow it. Mike Schmidt is a black magic sorcerer that has imbued his flies with the spirits of actual fish. I’ve actually witnessed one swimming in his fish tank after he tied it.  Me? No pattern I’ve ever invented has worked for me and they never land anywhere near where I was aiming.  I usually give up after a couple of hours and spend another hour wondering why bad things happen to good people.


I’ve spent a what feels like a lifetime hunched over a vise squinting, cussing, and stabbing my fingers. Not once have I ever sat back and thought, “This is fun, I should do this more often!” Life is plenty full of enough necessary things that fail to bring joy to me.  For instance: exercising, taxes, visiting the dentist, going to the DMV, eating salads, or prostate exams; those are only done when it’s absolutely necessary.  Tying flies falls into that category.   The times where that level of self punishment are required are; white bass season, lost all my flies in a horrible accident, going gar fishing, and the occasional starving bank account.


When I do tie, I adopt Mat Trevors‘ principles of tying.  Three ingredient recipes, or it ain’t happening. You guys that do tie, consider me a customer for life.  Unless I suddenly become a masochist, I’ll be relying on your product to feed my habit.

And I’m okay with that.

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