The 2014 Sowbug Roundup occurred March 20, 21, and 22. I have been tying at this event for a number of years and I think this one was the best attended yet (my unofficial observation). The Corp was generating all three days so there was nowhere to fish.
I have been tying for 40 years, seriously for the past 25 years. I first started tying in my teen years. My dad got a bamboo fly rod for ordering a lot of washing machine parts from a vendor. It was the most beautiful fly rod I had ever seen and also the first. It came with a number of bright (gaudy) flies. I attached an automatic fly reel and started fly fishing. I started tying flies after reading an article in Bassmaster Magazine (November/December 1979) titled “Roll Your Own” by Dave Whitlock. In this article he described tying the Whitlock Eelworm Streamer. In the 1970’s it was hard to find fly tying materials locally. Today it is much easier with anything and everything available over the internet.
I have been demonstrating fly tying for a number of years at the Sowbug and Southern Council Conclave. However, I always learn something new at every event I attend. This year was no exception.
Boot Pierce was tying a Wooly Bugger. Nothing new there. These were small. Instead of using a body and hackle, he tied his with Ostrich herl. No hackle. What was new to me was the way he wound his herl. He advanced the tying thread to the eye and tied it off. Instead of placing the thread over a thread holder. He simple placed the thread over his little finger and held the herl away from the hook as he turned the rotary vice. So simple. You could use a thread holder like the one on the Nor vice, but this is much quicker. You can see this better in the following picture.
Everyone was tying their favorite fly. There were two mice patterns being tied. One tied by Terry Tanner using a stacked hair technique; the other a pattern using wound strips of fur glued to a foam under body. This fly was tied by Don Lawler.
For those of you who think only old men attend these events, here is a picture of Leslie Allen talking to several female fly tiers and fisherwomen.
If you have never attended one of these fly tying conclaves, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn how to become a better tier and fisherman (or fisherwoman). I’ll see you at the Sowbug Roundup in 2015.