Tying Zone, Step One is a Go!

As I looked around at everything I would need to get started on fly tying from scratch it became abundantly clear that my new hobby was going to get expensive quick if I wasn't careful. There is just so much you need when you start a new endeavor and have nothing. A good vise is about the only single item that will actually cost you very much itself. The rest is a whole lot of little things that can add up quickly. I decided to start with the big item, the vise, and work around that. After doing research and going into a fly shop and handling several vises I came to the conclusion that I had to have a Regal vise. Now this is probably one of the more expensive vises on the market but after seeing their simplistic and functional design, coupled with the ease of use it made it a no brainer. But buying a new Regal was not going to leave much room in the budget for the abundance of materials I was going to need so I started looking on eBay for deals.

There are people on eBay selling their life's worth collection of fly tying supplies all bundled together for prices that are very reasonable. Now I am no eBay whiz, this is for sure, in fact the only time I have ever used it, I used the "buy it now" feature so there was no bidding or anything involved. Just click and pay and I was done.

Being a rookie I learned a few things along the way, and had some fun. I started searching the site and found a whole set up, with a very good vise and a whole lot of materials, that at the time was very reasonable and well within my budget. There were 4 days left in the bidding for this set and in my exuberance I placed a bid right then and there. I was in the lead...for exactly 12 hours. Soon the item that had started out looking like a good deal was spiraling out of control in a price range that made me feel queasy. I bowed out. Then I found a great deal on a Regal vise. There were no materials with it, just the vise, but I figured I could always get the materials later. The deal on the vise was just too good to pass up. I started bidding early again and had the item won for a price so low I could hardly believe my luck. Then while I was at work the bid ended, and five minutes before it ended some one swooped in and outbid me, by $1. Oh the agony of defeat. Now this was getting my competitive juices flowing. Just the emotion that I am sure eBay thrives off of.

Determined to not be out done again I found another great deal on a whole package. There were enough skinned animals, and full bird capes in it to make any small fur bearing, or feathered animal very nervous, and a very nondescript picture of a vise with very little information on it. Now one thing I know through all this is I have done my homework when it comes to vises, and I was pretty sure by the shape of what I could see in the picture that this was an older Regal vise. Just what I wanted, a Regal vise with enough material to get me going and keep me going for a while. Time was running out on the item and the price was still right. I emailed the seller about getting more pictures of the vise to confirm my suspicions regarding it's maker, but it was the night before the items bidding was to end so I was not sure he would even get my email in time to respond. I withheld the urge to bid and simply noted the ending time when I planned to come back and make my move.

Time was winding down this morning when I jumped into the bidding. With 3 minutes left I placed a bid that put me in the driver seat with $21 to spare. Then I watched as the time ticked off. At two minutes all was well, no more bids. One minute, all's quiet...good. Then my cell phone rings and it is my lovely wife.

"OK I can talk and do this no problem."

Thirty seconds left, "yes, sweetie I will pick up some milk on the way home."

Twenty seconds left, 19...18...UH OH we have another player in the game. I was bid up. By now I was not sure what my wife was saying on the other end of the line, I was focused on the task at hand. I upped my max by 10 dollars with 5 seconds to go in the bidding and by the time the screen refreshed it had confirmed I was a winner! I felt like a champion. I had been beaten down by those veteran eBayer's for the last time. I went back in to check the bid history and sure enough, my bid had beat my wily opponents by 3 seconds...for the exact same amount. If he had entered one more penny or 4 seconds earlier I would be mourning my 3rd defeat in as many days.

The thing with eBay is, after you get that little thrill of victory feeling a screen pops up to burst your bubble.

"Payment options."

"Shoot, I knew there was a catch."

I never did hear back from the seller on what type of vise I just bought but I am not overly concerned as the tying materials alone in this lot where worth more than what I paid, and if my suspicions are true that this is a Regal Vise you will hear another round of celebration once I receive my item. Now I just wish I could buy that milk my wife asked me to pick up on eBay. That was kind of fun.


Pumpkin Carving

We carved some pumpkins around here last night...can you guess which one is mine and what is on my mind?

A fly that size ought to catch a good sized fish!

The whole bunch.


I Highly Recommend...

...catchmagazine.net. This online magazine dedicated to fly fishing photography and film launched it's premier issue last month and in my opinion these are some of the most incredible fly fishing photos I have ever seen. I am especially impressed with the pages dedicated to the work of Jason Jagger. Some amazing timing involved in taking pictures like that, and as an amateur who has sat on the bank focused on a rising fish trying as I might to get the perfect timing on the shot I can say, it is a million times harder than it looks. I look forward to future issues.


Starting a New Hobby

Well winter is creeping up on us here and with that comes shorter days, less yard work, and basically more free time in the evening where I sit around wondering what I could do in that space after the kids are in bed but before it is time to nod off for the night. I have decided to start using this time to pursue the art of fly tying. I figure it could be good in a multitude of ways. It will help me stock up my depleted fly box and keep me occupied with a creative outlet. Thus I have begun my shopping for a good fly tying set up. I am a bit impatient about getting started on this although it is something I debated last winter and never got around to. If anyone has any ideas on what to look for or any tips on resources for the beginning tier I would love to hear them. I guess it is the next step in the evolution of the fly fisherman.


Raising the Ghost

Well during the best fishing months of the year around here (late September through October) I have yet to be able to get out on a river once so I have resorted to videos like this to really get the blood pumping. I am not sure it makes things better or worse to see things like this. Steelhead rising for a dry fly is not an everyday occurrence. Given it's rarity I am surprised this video doesn't look all grainy like those Bigfoot and UFO videos you see. Enjoy this cut from the film "Raising the Ghost" courtesy of Fly Boys Fishing, and try not to slobber all over your keyboard.