The Remnant Fly project is something I have wanted to kick off for quite some time. The idea is that the flies are made from remnants of other flies and the flies are all free-form. Before I get into what that means let me fill you in on some back story. I have been tying flies for many years. Mostly, warmwater (type) flies for chasing local warmwater species. When I started I did not have much in the way of cash for tying materials so everything I had I tried to maximize as much as possible. This means I would save many scraps, or remnants, that were left over from other flies and projects. That two inch bit of chenille, the upper half of that Schlappen feather, that one inch bit of rabbit Zonker, or that little clump of four or five strands of Flashabou would all get thrown into a zip-lock bag (and eventually a tub) for future use. The interesting thing is I am not a hoarder. I probably have more “junk” around my office than I should. Most of us do after roaming the earth for 50(ish) years. However, I routinely purge myself of unnecessary things in an effort to minimize. But not my fly tying remnants. I have gotten better at throwing out one inch bits of Mylar tinsel or gold wire but if it is two inches it can still be used. As all of this ‘stuff’ has accumulated I started cooking up an idea of actually tying some flies with this stuff. Most of the time when I am tying I am creating flies with more of a specific purpose. If I am tying a Yellow Sally for creating a video I tie a number of them ahead of time so I have the fly down and I can focus on my dialog during the recording. If I am tying for a trip or for a friend I have a specific pattern I am working on which calls for specific materials (this is were the remnants come from). More often, when I am teaching a class I hand out materials for people to tie their flies and usually hand out more than they need. I do not mind if they take the extra bits home with them but most often they leave them lying on the table. This is were the bulk of my ‘Remnant Material” has come from. So, as I thought about this box at my feet by my tying desk I slowly started thinking about what I would tie with all this stuff. That is how the idea of the Remnant Flies came about.
Now, my idea is nothing new of that I am certain. I am also very certain I am not the first (or last) fly tier to have such a box of snippets and want to create something from it. When I began thinking about what to do with all this stuff I realized I really did not have enough of anything to make a number of any certain pattern but I did have a whole lot of little bits that might make a lot of “one off” patterns. The concept is simple, I open the box, select a hook, maybe select some weight of some sort, and then start selecting materials as some form of fly starts forming in my head. Generally, I have no idea what I am going to tie. Sometimes, the resulting fly falls into the same ‘category’ of flies I am currently tying on Dressed Irons. For instance, if I am tying Redfish flies than the Remnant Fly might resemble a crap or shrimp pattern. If I am tying early season dry flies then the resulting Remnant Fly might turn out to be some sort of dry fly. Other times, the resulting Remnant Fly might not be anything like what I have been tying. Over the years I have had many ideas for various flies and sometimes some of those ideas come back while rummaging though my Remnant Box and thinking of something to tie. The wonderful thing is it is (generally) all spontaneous, on the fly and I never know just how it is going to turn out. Plus, you get to see the fly as it is actually tied for the first (and maybe only) time. When I do videos for Dressed Irons on specific pattern I try to be more polished but these video are going to be just tying and talking. So, not only do you get to see what I am doing but my thought process and problem solving process at the same time. Now, that might be a frightening notion to get inside my head but I am thinking it just might help other tiers to see how to look at fly construction, problem solve and develop their own patterns. After all, creating a new fly that you have thought up and then catching fish with it is quite possible the pinnacle of the fly fishing experience! – Enjoy.
The first four Remnant Flies (the first being published on September 30, 2021) will be available on YouTube for everyone to see. After that the Remnant flies will be only available through my Subscribe Star page. Subscribe Star is a service similar to Patreon where people can Subscribe to a content creator at various levels to help the content creator they like keep producing content. In return those subscribers get various perks. Usually it is access to content early or in my case access to specific content that is not available through YouTube or DressedIrons.com as well as discounts, stickers and other perks (follow this link to head over to my SubscribeStar page). I want to provide some exclusive content to my subscribers but also share the Remnant flies with the general public. So, each of the Remnant Flies will be published on Subscribe Star for one year and then be made available on YouTube for others to see. This way, they eventually get shared with everyone but my subscribers has an extra perk for their support.
I am certain more info will be coming as Remnant Flies are created and released but for now that is the direction they are headed in.
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As always, if you have any questions you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!
Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.