In addition to my passion for fly dressing and fly fishing, I spend a lot of my free time researching the history of old traditional flies for both Salmon and Trout. I feel that this has added another dimension to my fly dressing and fishing interests. When reading old reference books, I am continually impressed at the level of detail some of the fly dressers of old went to when dyeing materials, recording in meticulous detail the results of their efforts. Thankfully, this obsession for detail and research is still alive today. I know of several like minded people that spend probably all of their free time either fishing, fly dressing or thinking about how they can use differently certain fly dressing materials.
I enjoy and appreciate all aspects of fly dressing and find it extremely stimulating and challenging to learn the different skills and techniques required in dressing the wide range of flies and patterns that exists from Classic Salmon flies to traditional dry and wet flies for Trout.
Traditional Trout flies are fascinating and still capable of catching their share of trout. Although I use a wide variety of modern dubbing materials, I still use a tremendous amount of natural dubbing such as Hare, Mole and luggie to name but a few. I much prefer flies with dubbed bodies than floss, especially for Trout.
Today we are spoiled by the wide variety and quality of fly dressing materials available to us fly makers/dressers, especially when you consider the range of threads, some are extremely fine and strong. That said I am always drawn back to Pearsall’s Gossamer when dressing many of my trout flies, especially the old game hackle spiders.
Dressing Classic Salmon flies has taught me a lot of additional techniques that have added additional enjoyment to my fly dressing activities through the many friends I have made and they have passed on wee tricks that they themselves have learned. Almost all the techniques used in dressing Classic Salmon flies can be used when dressing trout patterns regardless if they are old traditional patterns or the more modern patterns.
I am still spending a lot of time experimenting with natural dyes or shades obtained by using natural dyes such as onion skins. My aim is simply to gain a better understanding of the skills used and the problems that were encountered by the fly dressers of days long gone. By achieving that level of understanding will add to the satisfaction I already receive from this fascinating and rewarding obsession.