© 2011 Joshua Stark
There's nothing like a New Year's resolution to give you a kick in the pants.
I jest. Although I did make a resolution to to tie a dozen flies per week, I've quickly fallen behind. No, what did get me back to the fly bench was a combination of events and, as Frost might put it, "promises to keep." But, in a good way this time.
Last year, a very good friend of mine got married. She'd invited us to the wedding, but it being in Massachusetts, we were unable to attend. Instead, I began making some presents to send their way. I packaged up some nocino and some green walnut ketchup and some fig preserves. I also endeavored to tie them some flies, since he is a fly fisherman, and I believe she is now, too.
I sat at my bench with the idea of tying some impromptu salmon flies from some beautiful feathers that Holly had given me, as well as some feathers from our ducks and a couple of snipe unlucky enough to have flown in front of my shotgun last season. I looked at my cache of feathers, floss and thread, and after a few attempts, I realized that I needed to practice some of the basics. It had been probably two years since I'd really tied any flies.
Other life events quickly overtook me. I lost my part-time job, and we had our baby boy. The weeks ticked by, turned into months.
At one point, I commented on some birds that Chad Love had taken, mentioning that I'd love to tie some flies with those feathers, and he responded with an offer to send me some. Then, Holly started photographing feathers, and I offered to tie some flies for her, too.
What was I doing?
Today, it hit me: I was getting myself into trouble, that's what. Not really; really, I was subconsciously kicking myself into doing something I love to do. I love tying flies.
Many writers better than I wax poetic about the endeavor; all I can say is that there is a poetry inherent to it, a chance to make something beautiful and functional out of some beautiful and functional materials. It is amazing, and quiet, and reflective.
So instead of trying to jump back in with the more complicated salmon flies, I backed down a bit. I tied two elk hair caddis and an adams.
I hope to get back into the fly-tying swing of things soon, and I'm finally off to a good start.