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Shawn, tying one of his flies "in hand"
Shawn, tying one of his flies "in hand"
CaseyPFebruary 1st, 2010, 5:16 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
here is a photo i took of our own Shawn Davis at the Somerset show 1/22-24. we have a lot of talent amongst the posters on this site!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
TroutnutFebruary 2nd, 2010, 12:01 pm
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2565
Nice-looking setup he's got there!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Shawnny3February 3rd, 2010, 10:07 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Thanks, Jason. I am quite proud of my display boards, which I made myself with a little help from, yes, my mom. They're quite heavy and a pain to transport, but they give a nice atmosphere at my table - I think they were worth the work.

And thanks for posting a pic, Casey. It was a fun show, and I had a good time demonstrating in-hand tying, something very few people bother with anymore. Even though it presents some challenges, there are a number of significant benefits to tying in hand that should not be ignored. You have a more intimate connection with the fly, you can turn it in many more directions than you can with a vise, and (this one's really cool) you can tie with either your right or left hand winding the thread. While all I've ever tied in hand are large display flies, I'm sure in the future I'll begin tying some of my fishing flies in hand, too. There's something that just feels right about it.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
OldredbarnFebruary 3rd, 2010, 10:24 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Shawn,

There is a tyer here in Michigan named Jerry Regan that grew up in Grayling and has tied all his life. He is a production guy and is very incredible to watch. Over all these years of tying commercially he has all these tricks and short-cuts that only all that experience could provide. He is the keeper of the flame here in Michigan and ties all the old traditional Au Sable flies. He wears an old shop apron and deer hair flies everywhere.

He has an old bobbin that just holds the thread spool and has a small opening in it for the thread to pass thru. He palms it in his hand and the thread passes through his index and thumb and he ties this way. It's not a bobbin like the one in your photo, the ones we basically all use, it just provides a way for the spool to spin as he ties.

I visited your site and you do some beautiful stuff. Both you and Mark (Softhackle) show us "hacks" that there can be some art in all this.

Thanks!

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
Shawnny3February 3rd, 2010, 4:38 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Thank you, Spence. Interesting you mention the bobbin (or bobbin holder, which is I think technically correct - I say bobbin). My first in-hand tie was a Gray Ghost, a rather modern pattern. No one knows for sure whether Carrie Stevens tied with a bobbin (though she did claim to have never used a vise), but since bobbins were in very common usage by the time she tied, I assume she used one and therefore do the same. A bobbin is also important for her patterns because her hooks were eyed rather than blind-eyed. When tying with blind-eye hooks, there was a common classic technique for keeping the thread taut between steps referred to as holding the thread "in catch". "In catch" refers to pulling the thread through the narrow opening between the tapered tip of the blind-eye hook and the silk gut eye (or leader, depending on how the fly was to be attached to the line) to keep it from unraveling when you take your hand off it. Eyed hooks don't have gut eyes or leaders tied in, so there is nowhere to hold the thread in catch.

I was worried that using a bobbin for older patterns would be a historically inaccurate way to tie, but I've been informed by a very knowledgeable classic tier that many of the Victorian era tiers used bobbins. Certainly they wouldn't have used one made with fancy alloys and a ceramic insert, but at least they were available at the time. I may one day eschew the bobbin, but I'm comfortable with it right now. Kudos for noticing that I'm using a bobbin in the photograph - good eye. I was wondering if someone would bring it up.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
OldredbarnFebruary 3rd, 2010, 6:27 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Shawn,

I really didn't notice the bobbin in you photo...In fact I really don't know if one is used or not when tying vise free. I guess I brought the bobbin up because Jerry Regan is the only guy I know of that uses a rather unique one when tying.

I have never really thought of trying to tie vise free since I'm all thumbs as it is. That's interesting, what you said about "holding the thread in catch" though. Now that you brought it up I'm wondering if his bobbin might make it easier since the thread is controlled by his thumb and index finger.

Take Care!

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
Jezzicaz789February 3rd, 2010, 11:24 pm
Posts: 1
Thank you for the post.
Hi guys, Im a newbie. Nice to join this forum.
__________________
http://moviesonlinefree.biz
OldredbarnFebruary 4th, 2010, 8:59 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Hey Fellas! Look at this! You post one photo of a handsome young fly tyer making jewelry and BAM!..here come the ladies! Way to go Shawny! Who is this Jezzicaz young man? It's time to fess-up mister!

He, he!

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
Shawnny3February 4th, 2010, 11:41 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
It's bad enough that I meet all sorts of shady characters on here and spend hours scouring databases of bug porn. I guess this is just one more reason to hide this site from my wife, I guess.

-Shawn

P.S. Don't be driven away by our ramblings, Jessicaz. We're a bit of an odd sort on here, but the information is generally pretty good.
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
FalsiflyFebruary 4th, 2010, 12:58 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 657
Yes indeed it does seem as though Shawn’s popularity is taking off. Go you stud.

I guess this is just one more reason to hide this site from my wife, I guess.


Caution Shawn, This thread may just hit the internet big.
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."
JADFebruary 4th, 2010, 1:11 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
I think it's the one day beard, and the hairy chest, and the red thread that is the turn ON

This is fun
Thanks Shawn

JAD

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
MartinlfFebruary 4th, 2010, 2:55 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2998
Can we tell it's midwinter, and nothing but midges hatching?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
OldredbarnFebruary 4th, 2010, 6:23 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Louis,

Throw in a New Years resolution diet and following your wife to the gym 4 times a week, she's working with a trainer, and it puts a strain on a time of year that's already hard for me to handle. I'm whipping out the flies!

In a month or so the Fly Fishing shows will start up and then we will get it going again...

Hang in there boys...The days are already getting longer!

Spence

I forgot for a moment...My Wings are struggling to boot!
"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

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