Moving Forward in 2021

Since starting Dressed Irons one of the hurdles I have had to repeatedly traverse is figuring out what flies I should tie and create a video for.  There are so many interesting patterns and more and more being created everyday.  As with many of the fly tying classes I have taught over the past 16 years I took the approach of [one] what is in season (fishing wise that is) and focusing on flies for that particular season.  Second, what flies are interesting to tie and fish that would fit criteria one.  Lastly, what do I think people would want to see tied (again fitting into the first two criteria).  I figured this would give me a start.

I think this formula has worked well, for the most part.  I did take a few departures and focus on some flies that I just enjoy tying and learning, but for the most part most of the videos I have created have been received pretty well.  What was most interesting is the most views and comments I received was on the Carrie Stevens patterns, the wet flies and the Bucktail streamers I did.  People really like the more classic patterns.  I am also in this group of fly tiers that REALLY like the older more traditional flies.

When I first got interested in fly fishing and tying wet flies, classic streamers and bucktail streamers were still in fashion.  Dry flies and nymphs were on the rise but swinging streamers (traditional) was still a common go to technique.  Not certain if that was the entire case back in the late 60’s or just my perception, either way it fascinated me.  The small bits of feathers, floss, tinsel and wool that made so many flies just captivated me.

Looking at 2021 and thinking about what direction to take and flies to tie I have decided to do something I have wanted to do for many years.  That is to almost exclusively (because I still can’t resist throwing together some big flashy waking thing of a mop that scares all but the big fish away when it lands) on older patterns from before the 1950 (to the best of my research).  This will include, but is not limited to, soft hackles, wet flies, freshwater streamers, bucktail streamers, Spey & Dee flies, classic Atlantic Salmon flies, dry flies and things used in the older days.  My major focus is three fold, one, focusing on the techniques used to create the pattern.  Two, the history of the pattern and three, the materials used and their history and modern substitutes.  In keeping with the major goal of Dressed Irons, I want create a visual record of how these flies are created and fished.  Oh, yeah,, that’s the forth thing… when I can I will take these out to the water and document methods of fishing these flies.

What this mostly means for Dressed Irons is that over the coming months and (maybe) years older patterns will be the norm.  I am currently starting with soft hackles flies.  I had ordinally wanted to start with wet flies but an opportunity came up for me to tie a bunch of different soft hackle patterns and I decided to start with them (see the tying video on the Partridge & Yellow).   I have about 20 or so soft hackle flies in the queue for videos and possible a few more.  After that on to wet flies, or maybe bucktail streamers….  hmmmm don’t know.

I think everyone will enjoy the videos and the flies as well as learning a little history about the flies (where I can find it).  Don’t be surprised if the odd modern streamer or topwater bugs gets thrown in the mix as I progress.  Like I said, I still love a good Bass fly!!

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the flies I have tied here on Dressed Irons.  As always, if you have a pattern you would like to see tied let me know and I will work it in the schedule.

Be Well!!

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