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PAmikeJuly 27th, 2009, 2:44 pm
N East PA

Posts: 5
hey all new to the site. i was wondering if anyone knows just how to go about obtaining 3-5 classic salmon flies? i just saw an article in Hatches about a tyer named Bud Guidry and man those flies are just breathtaking! well i am now inspired to get 3-5 of these flies to put into a frame and display on my wall. i am a flytyer but i dont tie classics or artistic flies. any help would be greatly appriciated! thanks in advance.....
Shawnny3July 27th, 2009, 6:02 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Nice to have someone on a site dedicated to bugs interested in classic salmon flies, Mike. Strictly speaking, though, most of what Bud does is not "classic" but "artistic" - salmon-fly folks are pretty choosy about the terms they apply to patterns. Bud is one of the great artistic tiers of our day, and will probably be remembered as one of the great tiers of all time by the time he's finished. He's also a really good guy and with a magnetic personality - a life of the party type.

I do artistic tying and make my own hooks for my pieces. I actually had the honor not long ago of having Bud commission a hook from me, which you can see here. The link to the homepage of my site is in my signature. Please feel free to look around.

Salmon flies are typically fairly expensive. It's not uncommon for them to cost in the many hundreds of dollars. For that reason I also sell high-res photographs of my flies, which go from about $100 matted to $300 framed. Just to give you an idea of what you might be getting yourself into if you begin lusting after the jewels of the flytying world...


P.S. If you would like to contact Bud, I could get you in touch with him. Just PM or email me.
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
PAmikeJuly 29th, 2009, 5:43 am
N East PA

Posts: 5
thanks for the reply. you can forward the contact info if you like but after seeing what the prices or possible costs would be i dont think i am in the position to do anything right now. i am your basic trout bum who fishes wherever the chance presents itself. i tie my own flies but i dont thing i want to get involved into learning the classics right now. i am a single parent, corrections officer so those kind of fees are just out of my range. that kind of money buys alot of school clothes :).....thanks anyway but i will just have to read books and mags and admire for now.....
Shawnny3August 6th, 2009, 8:30 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Sorry to be the one to point out the financial realities, Mike. As someone responsible for a family of four on a teacher's income, I can certainly appreciate the challenge of your situation, and I'm glad to hear you have your financial priorities in order. This type of collecting is the stuff of whimsy, not need. In fact, I'm not a businessman per se - the only reason I sell my flies is because my extremely expensive hobby has to find a way to pay for itself in order for me to justify having it.

But please don't let the potential cost of artistic tying scare you away from it if you are truly interested in it. There are many beautiful materials which are not expensive that require only a keen eye and an imaginative mind to make them take shape into a beautiful fly. Artistic tying has no rules, which is what I like most about it.

Classic tying is a different story. The patterns are highly specific and typically require lots of expensive and rare (sometimes even illegal) materials. Substitutes can be found or made for some of them, but it is not easy or cheap to get into classic tying.

Artistic and classic tying (realistic tying could be tossed in here as well) are daunting but rewarding pursuits. Spending 50 hours on one fly cannot help but develop your eye for detail and proportion, your thread and material control, etc. - it just makes you a better tier, period. And then there is the immense satisfaction that comes upon completing a fly that you would rather put in a shadow box than throw to a fish.

The great thing is, with the advent of the internet, you no longer have to be wealthy enough to purchase very expensive flies or books to appreciate art flies. And there's certainly no harm in enjoying these flies from a distance. Click around and enjoy yourself. Who knows, Mike - maybe someday you'll find yourself able to afford a special fly and will cherish it all the more for how difficult it was to obtain.

Finally, if you want to see the best art flies in person, you live in a great location. Somerset, New Jersey, is home to perhaps the best flytying show (The International Flytying Symposium) and flyfishing show (The Fly Fishing Show) in the world, and is probably just over an hour from your house. The Flytying Symposium is smaller but has more total tiers and a more intimate atmosphere - it's in November. The Fly Fishing Show stops at a number of locations across the U.S., with Somerset being the largest stop (and the largest flyfishing show in the world, I believe) - it's in January. Check them out if you get a chance. I'll be there at least in November this year (I'm considering attending the Fly Fishing Show at a different location this year), so if you get to attend, please stop by my booth and say hello.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Jmd123August 10th, 2009, 12:36 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2589
Not all classic salmon flies are difficult to tie. A wonderful book I picked up my first year of fly-tying (1990) is John Merwin's Fly-Tying Guide (The Stephen Green Press, 1989). I don't know if this book is still in print, but it features many of the classic trout flies plus small selections of salmon, steelhead, bass, and saltwater flies. The ten salmon flies shown are all hair-winged, as opposed to married quill wings often seen on fancy salmon flies. I tied several of these patterns within that first year, including the Green Highlander ("difficulty level" 5 out of 5). Do 'em right and they are just as pretty as more complicated patterns - and from what I hear, several are still known as great fish-catchers. This book is a good basic guide to some of the best classic trout flies for those inclined to use them - I do, and they are deadly on trout as well as the warmwaters that I fish.

In my tying philosophy, I do not try to "keep up with the Joneses", that is trying every new pattern that appears in the magazines or catalogs. I use mostly classic, easy-to-tie patterns: Adams, Light Cahill, Hendrickson, Elk-hair caddis, Royal Coachman & variants, Wulff patterns, and (when the hatch is on) Hex imitations for dries; and for subsurface work, mostly Woolly Buggers, classic hairwing streamers (Blacknose Dace, Mickey Finn, etc.) or featherwings like the Royal Coachmen, and of course my Killer Bass Flies. I'm not much of a nympher, but when I do, Gold-Ribbed Hares'-Ear, Ted's stonefly, Montana nymph, etc. do the trick for me. Quick and uncomplicated tying allows me to crank out lots of flies so I don't run out by leaving them in the brush/logs/huge fish's mouth, plus create my own special variants for experimentation. But then again, I pretty much tie to fish...Oh yeah, I do like bass bugs, too, cork or deer hair.

To each their own - but if you can find it, check out the book I mentioned above. Tight lines with fish dancing on the end of them to you all!!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Cdcaddis18August 11th, 2009, 11:37 pm
Huntington, PA

Posts: 16
Cdcaddis18August 11th, 2009, 11:39 pm
Huntington, PA

Posts: 16
"I do artistic tying and make my own hooks for my pieces. I actually had the honor not long ago of having Bud commission a hook from me, which you can see here. The link to the homepage of my site is in my signature."

Flagrant self advertising. Since you provide links to sell your wares here you should be paying some advertising fees to the site owner.
Shawnny3August 12th, 2009, 5:00 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Good point, John - I didn't consider hair-wing flies in my response. Because tying classic patterns the way they are described in the old books does require such an array of rare materials, modern tiers more interested in the flies for their effectiveness on fish often tie hair-wing substitutes. As John said, these flies fish well, probably every bit as good as the full-dress versions, are more durable, and are much easier to tie. Another book I'd recommend on tying hair-wings is Pretty and Practical Salmon Flies, by Dick Talleur.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis

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