Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Portable Kit for Tying Salmon Flies "In-Hand"

Getting back into the swing of things  

     As a professional musician, a lot of time is spent waiting around. We wait before and after sound checks. We wait during travel. We wait for our perpetually tardy colleagues to show up for rehearsal. I figured there had to be a better way to kill time. With a little inspiration from Adrian Cortes, who seems to tie flies in the most unlikely places, I decided to make a portable kit for tying salmon flies "in-hand." 

Old fly box, repurposed

     I needed to use minimal tools and materials. The first step was portioning out materials that can be used in many different patterns. I gutted an old fly box, lined half of it with cork, and filled it with thread, tinsels, dubbing, floss, wax, etc. I can stick hooks into the cork and keep a pair of scissors, hackle pliers, tweezers, and a bodkin inside and still manage to close the box. If I know the pattern I want to tie, I pre-portion the materials, put them inside a small baggie, and store them in the fly box. This is truly portable.


Time to kill...


The main kit

     To store more materials, I repurposed a case for a portable DVD player. The DVD player is long gone, but the case is still useful. In it, I keep hackle, more hooks, feathers of all sorts, etc. The fly box fits inside this case, so everything is right where I need it. I keep the case in the back of my car, just in case I find myself waiting.


Portable lighting

      Since most of my work happens at night, one issue that has arisen is a lack of light. I bought a small USB power bank from Marshall's and a couple of small USB lamps from Ikea. They don't produce a ton of light, but they're not too back as long as the fly is held directly beneath them. The power bank and lamps fit in the DVD player case. 


Small and very portable


     Viola...a better way to wait around. I'd rather fish in those waiting times, but I'm not usually near bodies of water. Tying can be done virtually anywhere...in the car, backstage, or at the train station. I can even stash the kit in my cymbal bag. I wish I had thought to do this sooner! 
   


Black Silk and Rosy Dawn...ready to fish!




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