Monday, February 15
An Articulation Complex
There are a few themes that pop up without fail every time I sit down at the bench and try to fill my streamer boxes.
To start, there are too many bad ass patterns that trigger immediate indecision. This creates a problem for an average tier like me. I end up with one of every pattern, all tied like shit, that will never see the water because I have no faith in them. It's not hard to lose a day watching Brian Wise spin up the newest, sickest critters...maybe it's the dub step that keeps me coming back for more. The second and perhaps more glaring issue that no one seems to talk about is materials. I spend what I would consider to be a fair amount of money on fur, feathers, and synthetics, and never seem to have the right combination for the flies that I just HAVE to tie, which leaves me using substitutes. My flies end up looking like some mismatched regurgitation that Kelly Galloup aborted early on in the design process.
We've all thought it, so let's not pretend that while tying a quadruple articulated Cluster Fuck tm you haven't at least entertained the idea that this new age streamer design has been set in motion by the material companies. Give it a few years...the go to streamer will require 4 packages of rabbit strips, which of course will be in short supply by then if this trend continues.
The most challenging problem, at least for me, is the amount of time they take to tie. Hear me out. It's not that they are too time consuming...it's that I have too much time to think while tying. I'll start out with an olive Drunk and Disorderly in mind, and by the time I'm done, I've mentally committed to tying an olive over brown, a brown over olive, half olive zonked and half brown, olive with brown mallard flank and brown with olive mallard flank, olive with a touch of chartreuse and chartreuse with a touch of olive, olive over white and white over olive, olive with copper flash, and olive with only olive flash, olive with only a brown head, brown with an olive head. The problem only compounds with every pattern and color combo, and inside of an hour I've decided I need 4,000 drunk and disorderlies just to be safe. Then and only then can I move on to the slop mops, the skin heads, the sids, the pearl necklaces, sex dungeons, red rockets, double deceivers, the circus peanuts and peanut envies. But wait...the maraceiver first.
As I tie, I'm generally cycling through a few of the following thoughts:
"has anyone ever caught a fish on a streamer"
"holy shit, this is going to catch a DONKEY"
"spinning and trimming deer hair is voodoo...I'm never doing it again"
"damn...when did I get so good at trimming deer ha- AW SHIT"
"this is uncharted territory here...guess who's about to hit the front page of every fly fishing publication known to man...street cred, here I come"
"I should probably stop this fly right here...It's getting the razor blade treament"
"maybe I'll just throw it in the box...you never know"
"I think I'm going to share this on social media...this bad bitch would go viral"
"Streamers are for dip shits and people who don't know how to fish bugs"
"Bugs are for bitches, streamers are the only way to go"
"I should just buy a Rapala...or is it RAPala...raPALa...?"
"I just dropped $150 on material...where did it go...it was right here a few nights ago"
"I'm only going to fish and tie Galloup's patterns this year"
"I'm only going to fish and tie Andreas Andersson's stuff this year...now there's a guy that knows what he's doing...not like that Galloup joker."
"I'm only going to tie Mike Schmidt's stuff this year...he seems like a solid dude and I need to simplify"
"I should be a streamer designer. I think I'm only going to fish my stuff this year."
While I'm on this tangent I may as well add that, although I love it just as much as the next person and use it religiously, the circus peanut is literally just a double woolly bugger with estaz wrapped eyes (or a dubbing loop if you're feeling crazy).
It's quite possible that the real problem with streamers is the time they take to tie. In the 20 to 60 minutes it spends in my vice, any given streamer may be involuntarily committed to the catching of 3 or 4 fish, 12 chases, and hooking into at least one true legend which escapes description. This fish of legend destined, in time, to meet the streamer and replace the jaws of my vice with it's own. It's never routinely landed in my imaginings, although often times its sheer size is witnessed and noted by whomever else occupies the imaginary river that flows through my vice and spills out onto the material trimmings and unspun hope that fills my bench.