I dropped in on the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware this morning. I was delayed thanks to ice and bad drivers on the road. Which are cleared and dry, but still be careful at night. Lewes was Blanketed in a light layer of snow, which made for a picturesque scene, frozen. The club was all set up and tying away, there were a lot of donuts, and cake. Seems the boys have upgraded the snacks, we may have to start swapping recipes as well. Next week I am bringing a “To Go” box. I missed the meeting last week due to car issues, and it made me realize how much I enjoy these Saturday gatherings. I bounced around the room, said hello to everyone, and settled in for some rounds of tyin flies and tellin lies. Bob was tying a Bushy Deceiver, a wild looking bright yellow fly. He thinks it will do well this spring in the back bays for flounder. I would have to agree, especially since I know where he plans on fishing … sorry, not telling you that. Somehow we got on the subject of fishing with corn, and then Roy asked me if I ever saw a corn fly. I was waiting for a punchline, and then learned about pellet flies. Ed told us they used to tie flies that looked like the pellets fed to the trout in the farms. Mimic the favorite food, and you catch fish. This story reminded me of the French Fry Fly and Bread Crumb Fly story from last year. Someone tied a fly to mimic fries, since the fish were used to eating the leftovers the ducks didn’t get, fed by people, in a stream near a McDonald’s. I am going to start coming up with some weird things for these boys to mimic, and I guarantee they will nail it. Roy was tying the tiniest shrimp fly I have yet to see today. I forgot to ask what he intended to catch, the mimic was obvious. He also tied some small mouth, and large mouth bass flies.
Mac gave me a tour of his fly collection today, and he barely scratched the surface. If you are in the market for flies, you should check out the shop’s collection at Lewes Harbor Marina. They are all hand tied by Mac, and he is very talented. Today he had a bunch of flies tied with bass hooks that have the weed guard wire. One of these is foil flash, shaped like a small fish, the hook is sandwiched between the pieces, and eyes are glued on, he figures it will drop like a dead minnow. These folks spend as much time tying flies as they do figuring how to fish them. That is the “art” part, knowing how to tie up a fly so it moves in the water, as well as attract with flash, a pattern, or mimic There was a discussion on where to place a weight on the hook shank, to govern action. How the cone head weights create a jigging motion in flies. Mac had an assembly line of flies he was tying. He will tie many flies in steps, to keep the mess down, and speed up the process. This is a good technique to keep yourself well stocked, especially when you get on a roll. Joe does the same thing with his shrimp flies, so he doesn’t have to keep changing set ups while tying. Mac had some huge flies as well, and not from the flash, but monstrous hook sizes. One was a Cod Fly made from a 7/0 hook, and a Chum Fly. This fly mimics … you guessed it, chunks of chum, and is intended to be used in a chum line. He had a huge assortment of crab flies this week, and showed me all kinds of interesting ties. We are looking for a hook set up I gave him last year to try out, which should make an interesting fly. Mac grabbed a hook today, and said let me show you the first fly I ever tied. he wrapped some thread on the hook shank, cut a rubber band in half, and proceeded to wind and tie the rubber band. I asked if it was a grub mimic, and he said correct. It looked just like a grub or maggot, and he tied it in less than 3 minutes. Simple effective fly, the first he ever tied, and as usual he made it look simple.
The club was tying, tearing up donuts, and stories were flying as usual. Roy moved to the back table, and some of the boys joined him to instruct on a first time fly tie. They were going back and forth with techniques and tips. It is honestly like being at a tennis match, they volley from one subject to another , back and forth, back and forth. Everyone was giving solid advice, and I joked with Paul. I rarely see him tie but he knows all the little tricks, and always helps everyone he can. He will work the room like a “Maitre d” checking on everyone, joining in the fishing banter, and making sure they are all having a good time. Once again I am reminded this club is cool, and the fun they have on Saturdays. This entire room forgot more about fishing than I will ever know, but will teach you anything if you are willing to learn. It is a pleasure to sit among them on a Saturday morning, and feel like one of the “gang”. At some point I might have to actually take the time, and tie a fly. Bob gave me a nice fly he tied up today to try long lining at the rail in the early morning hours. I am grateful for this gift, and have different plans. There is a place I have always wanted to long line a fly, and I will have to wait for spring. I mentioned what I wanted to do, and was informed it has been tried before with mixed results. When that happens, I will tell you all about it then, maybe. I talked with the club today, some of the boys said they would be willing to come out on a Monday night at Old Bay, demonstrate fly tying to the DSF fishing meetings, and to promote their club. One we highly recommend for avid, novice, or eager fly anglers.