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WbranchJanuary 29th, 2009, 4:01 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2724
I thought you guys would enjoy those pics! The desk has someting like thirty-five drawers and a dozen cubby holes. plus two secret compartments. It's funny, I bought it about seven years ago and only within the last two months found another secret compartment. There is one shelf of the lawyer's bookcase you can't see - that is where I keep my three original Richardson chest boxes and my hair and feather wing salmon and steelhead flies.

I'm a Virgo and it is said that Virgo's are very detail oriented. I like neat - you should see my C&F swing leaf fly boxes - talk about neat!!

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
FalsiflyJanuary 30th, 2009, 11:21 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
I'm a Virgo and it is said that Virgo's are very detail oriented.


Ditto. Aug 27. I will attest to that.


Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
TrtklrFebruary 2nd, 2009, 8:09 am
Banned
Michigan

Posts: 115
i'm kinda surprised by how many vises that clamp to the table i see i haven't been tying too long i figured the natural progression was to a metal base for my vise. I'm also surprised to see the center drawer still in the desks of those who have a clamp to table vise. every time i look at a desk that i think would make a good tie table it has a center drawer and i figure i would just take it out.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
WbranchFebruary 3rd, 2009, 2:18 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2724
Some guys love vises with a pedestal base and others, like me, swear by the clamp on. I tie lots of streamers and prefer a vise that is not going to tip when I'm lashing hair to the hook shank. If you know anyone who works in a machine shop they could easily make a pedestal for a clamp-on tpye vise. Have your friend get a piece of steel about 1/2 x 4 x 7 inches and and a piece of round stock 1" diameter x 2" long. Drill & ream a 3/8" diameter hole through the round stock, then drill & tap a 1/4 - 20 hole on the center line of the round stock, inset a 1/4" bolt into the hole to tighten the 3/8" rod on your vise. and get it welded to the plate about 2" in from one end and in the center width wise. A machinist could knock this off in less than an hour.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JADFebruary 3rd, 2009, 3:06 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
I made this one 20 years ago, this might help give you a better mental picture.

JaD



They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
EricdDecember 31st, 2009, 2:57 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Does anyone else have photos of their desks to share? I'm searching craigslist for a good roll top desk that I can lock, so my kid doesn't start tying flies better than me... he's two.
WbranchJanuary 8th, 2010, 12:03 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2724
Eric,

Here is a nice Winners Only roll top. The ad says "Pick up only" and the area code is 705 so I don't know where that is in relation to where you live. Winners Only makes some really nice roll top desks. I have one that has thirty drawers on the top plus another eight cubby holes. The base is 31" X 60" with six drawers, a center drawer, and two double door storage in the back of the knee area. Cost me about $2300.

http://eauclaire.craigslist.org/fuo/1516682363.html

Here is another link -

http://www.homefurniture2go.com/product/HXA147/Deluxe-Roll-Top-Desk-by-Regal-Manor-Furniture.aspx
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnJanuary 8th, 2010, 1:12 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Matt,

I looked back at your tying area and whoa! Please tell me you cleaned up something because you knew you were going to take a picture of it. I go in to these tying spurts and I don't want to stop the creative process or something and before I know it I'm stepping over stuff strewn around everywhere.

My first impression was...engineer...It looks so organized.

Several years back I actually had one of those furniture makers advertising in the back of fishing mags make me a desk. It is very nice. It is basically a flat table with drawers all along the back of the table. Like you desk the drawers look like the old library card file cabinets. Some of the drawers are wide enough to hold necks and some are more like the library file card size. Under these drawers is an open area and there are spool holders and tool holders that slide under the drawers and out of the way.

My wife claims that I designed the basement build-out around this tying bench. She is somewhat correct. My basement is a walk-out and the house juts out a bit just beyond the sliding door and this created a nice alcove. The guy that finished the basement built me a half-wall/counter/book case to my left between the sliding door and the desk. There is a nice window to my right with an old hopechest filled with materials under it. I then have a nice walk-in closet where the rods, waders, etc are stored.

It appears that we have created shrines to the sport, eh!?

On my left, across the room, is a big screen hooked to the sound system. There is a bathroom and full kitchen down there...It is no longer just the spider infested corner of the cold basement it once was, or the home prior to this one.

It is kind of a strange feeling to be 56 and have a set up this good. I feel like I have to crank them out sometimes...Like I only have so many fishing seasons left and I have to justify all this. My old fishing buddy says, "It looks like a professional tier lives here!" I have tried to get nephews interested in the sport so I can rest easy at night knowing someone will put it all to use.

Anyway! Maybe we need therapy...He, he! My wife tells anyone that will listen that her husband is a very intelligent man, wonderful to talk with etc, just don't ever ask him about fly fishing or ice hockey under any circumstances! She has said, "I have seen people actually nod off during his 'Life-Cycle of the Mayfly' talk!" When she was showing folks our basement after it was done she would wave her hand in a dismissive way in the direction of the tying area and say, "Girlfriend! We don't want to go there! Don't ask!...Really...Don't!"

Anyway! Fellow brother-of-the-angle..."May our hands always be busy."

Take Care!

Spence

Nice fish photos by-the-way! I haven't been out west since just before Labor Day 2004...In 1995 I swore I would return every year, but no such luck...
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
EricdJanuary 8th, 2010, 1:56 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Thanks for the links. I was given some bad news. My wife saw what I was searching for online and said flatly, "No Way!" It turns out that our house will not accommodate such an "eyesore." I then showed her your tying area photos to convince her that all of the tools and materials gather in one spot very nicely, gorgeously I think, but that made her scoff and walk away, but not before she said, "there's actually a website called "Troutnut?"

I come here for reassurance as well as an education.
Jmd123January 8th, 2010, 8:13 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2536
Ericd, my condolences. I think I speak for all when I say you can come here any time for solace and salvation...And, thankfully, being a bachelor does have its advantages...

When I am not actively tying, I keep my stuff in a couple of tackle boxes. Of course, after collecting materials for 20 years now, the boxes are about ready to EXPLODE. And as a consequence, any area I designate for tying - right now it's a desk in the basement of my family's home - usually ends up looking like a bomb went off after an hour or so from all of the stuff I am pulling out and piling up all over the place. Later this year, after I get my own place again, plus a danged JOB and some $$$, I might just invest in a nice tying table where I can keep things more organized and FIND things.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchJanuary 10th, 2010, 1:37 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2724
Oldredbarn,

I'm a Virgo and like to keep the tying area relatively neat. However I often am tying a couple of patterns at each sitting as I get bored tying more than four of the same size/pattern. So I probably had recently cleaned the top of the roll top and then saw the thread here about our tying areas and it just happened that mine was clean. I tie pretty much everyday from early January to the end of March and clean the work area every 2-3 days. After March I tie as little as possible as I fish Tuesdays through Friday noon and spend the weekends with my wife and on Monday's I do all the yard work so my tying has to get done during the winter months.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnJanuary 11th, 2010, 10:26 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Matt,

My tying program is similar to yours. Right now I'm cranking them out. Tonight I start attending a winter tying class set up by one of the local TU chapters. It's in a middle school and its been pretty much the same guys attending it for years. I sat out a half-a-dozen years because of my bad back, but started back up last winter. We will meet for a couple hours once a week...It is a good way to get me out of the house and converse with other folks with a similar interest.

One of the problems with having a nice tying area like we do is not wanting to leave it. It's like owning a cabin. All your vacations are there. It is a bit of a drag to have to tear down and move the stuff elsewhere. The drive is a ways from my home as well, but the group of tyers are a good group and have been around.

The materials are paid for with a materials fee and we usually do a couple related patterns each evening. We meet for ten weeks and will finish at the end of March. There is usually a demo by the instructor or guest tyer and then we retire back to our vices and duplicate it.

I sometimes think to myself that I could get more flies tied if I just went straight home and tied them and forgot the long drive. However, the social side is fun and keeps you trying something different. After our last class in March we head over to one of the local watering holes and have a few "pops" and something to eat and talk fishing etc. We have a big Fly Fishing Expo here in March that goes back 30+ years and all this dovetails nicely into that and then Opening Day.

Well take care! October and November here in Michigan were nice, but now it has decided its wintertime...It's cold and snowing...Well a little snowmelt in the spring will be good for our streams.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
OldredbarnJanuary 11th, 2010, 10:49 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
P.S.

A good friend of mine, who is thought of as one of the better dry fly tyers in our state, had for years tied on his old Thompson A vice. Someone had created for him a little wooden stand with a cup on it where you could store your bobbins etc and attach the vice. He sat up shop in his basement on an old kitchen table and actually tied commercially cranking out dozens of flies. He wore out jaws and would replace them and it has always been somewhat funny to me that a guy who could tie so well did it with such a humble set up.

We used to get together and tie and watch a hockey game and his mom would make us homemade perogies and apple pies...Washed down with a couple Molson's...Paradise!

My friend finally broke down and retired the old Thompson and purchased a fancified version of it the HMS, I think it's called...He has been so helpful to me over the years. I skipped Fly Tying 101 because of him and on fishing trips he would point out materials I'd need at a good price before I knew I would need them. I have some wonderful Indian necks that are the perfect tips for wings that he made me buy back in the mid-90's...

I think of his humble set up in a similar fashion as a great pool player. He can beat you with the house stick. He doesn't need a fancy cue.

I think he just got used to his set up and never really thought of changing it. I wish you could see some of his flies. For years, if I ran in to someone on the river that knew our connection to each other, I'd have to do everything I could to keep them from nosing in to my fly boxes..."Hey Spence, Let me peek in your boxes...What's Bill up to these days?"

All from an Old Thompson A...

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123January 11th, 2010, 2:42 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2536
Spence, what are you tying these days? I'm pretty much just working on steelhead stuff - gaudy Woolly Buggers and KBFs with heavy dumbell eyes, eggs, egg-sucking leeches, and hellgramites, including a few "egg-sucking" hellgramites just for fun (and who knows, they just might work...). I might do some Spring nymphs and big stoneflies (heavily weighted) as well. Probably about mid-April I will switch over to dries (Hendricksons, Adams, Elkhair Caddis, Wulff patterns, etc.) and more conventional WBs and KBFs for both trout and warm-water lake and pond fishing.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Shawnny3January 15th, 2010, 11:15 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
What's a KBF?

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Jmd123January 15th, 2010, 11:47 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2536
Shawn, that's secret code for my Killer Bass Fly:

Grizzly marabou tail - original is natural, also try dyed colors;

15-20 or so strands of Krystal Flash over the marabou tail - original is silver, for dyed colors try gold or copper with brown/tan, etc.;

Solid tinsel chenille for the body - original is silver to match tail, use other colors to match other Krystal Flash colors;

Collar of grizzly saddle hackle or other soft webby hackle about 1/8" behind hook eye, flared backwards towards tail - colors to match grizzly marabou in tail;

And finally, bead-chain eyes tied on top of hook just behind hook eye - silver in the original, other colors to match tail and body flash.

Also, substitute dumbell eyes for deeper waters when necessary - RED works particularly well!

If you can't quite picture this, I promise that one of these days I will post illustrated tying instructions & variants on this site under the fly tying section.

Jonathon

P.S. This pattern in copper & brown caught me a 16" smallmouth in 2007 and hooked a 20"+ brown (lost unfortunately) for me in 2008.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Shawnny3January 15th, 2010, 7:49 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Ah, yes - I remember your having mentioned it before. If I remember to before my next bass fishing trip, I'll have to tie a few up and give them a whirl. Thanks for the recipe.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
WbranchJanuary 16th, 2010, 7:46 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2724
Oldredbarn,

"It's like owning a cabin. All your vacations are there."

Funny you should mention that - I have a little cabin on a very good trout river in Pennslyvania. It just so happens to be located on a great pool with good numbers of large trout that rise often.

I'm located within half an hour of four other famous trout rivers that I used to fish often before buying the cabin. Now though I seldom venture away from my "home pool". Maybe it's because I've grown older and less likely to want to visit my old haunts. A lot of it though has to do with being situated on a great river that has all the major hatches from mid April right into late October. Now I like to just sit on the bank overlooking the pool with a libation waiting for the first mayflies to start floating down and seeing those magical riseforms!
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnJanuary 18th, 2010, 7:19 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Wbranch,

Man! You are living large! Beautiful tying area, a home pool. Wow!

There is a section of the Mainstream of the Au Sable that I've been found hanging around in from time to time. It is a section where the river narrows and is probably one of the more difficult to wade on the "Holy Water" section of the Au Sable.

I've discussed this elsewhere here because it's in front of an old fishing club, now in private hands, where Schwiebert used to fish. It's not so populated due to it's difficulty and even I avoided it for awhile before my back surgeries. Imagine a straight away with sweepers and structure on both sides with a nice trough down the middle...The really fun part is getting to the end of this straight stretch at sunset and later...The river makes a very hard turn to the left and there are some nice fish hanging on the outside bend there with undercut banks as cover...It's what we like to call a "soup-line" on the Au Sable...All the food gets funneled to the right side of the river and pours into the bend at the end...

The not so fun part...at least to some, is the difficulty of a good drift in all that commotion at the end as the river makes a hard left. There are a few deep holes in this section and a heavy current and I've seen folks go under here...Rusty Gates used to call this stretch "Stonefly Alley"...I've had some nice fish rise up to a nicely placed dry stonefly imitation in those calm little areas/pockets up against the structure...A trout coming to your fly, from the deep, dark, depths in fast water is something to behold...Especially when you know that any second your fly is going to be ripped right out of there by the current...

Anyway! You said in another post something about needing a good grouse skin. Last year I picked up a nice one from Blue Ribbon Fly in W. Yellowstone. I ordered it online but have never been dissapointed by them. I know it's always better to put your hands on it, but the grouse and a whole pheasant I got was so nice I felt bad pulling feathers from them...The damn things don't appear to have ever been out in the wild...It's hard to find a damaged feather.

Do you have any good patterns that use grouse you are willing to share???

It appears that you and I are at a good place in our lives...The only difference between us is I'm still a wage slave and it appears that you are retired...We are very lucky men when you view the big picture, eh!

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
WbranchJanuary 18th, 2010, 2:37 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2724
Hi Spence,

"it appears that you are retired...We are very lucky men when you view the big picture, eh!"

Yes, I retired at the end of April 2005 just in time to get in a full season on th erivers I fish. I was 61 and 8 months - my wife wanted to wait until I was a full 62 and I said "What and miss May - August in the Catskills?"

If one can get out at 62 (or earlier) with no mortgage and a decent amount of loot they should do so. I never think "gee I wish I had worked another XX years."
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
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