Hooks, hackle and life’s little quirks

Well hello world, and how do you do

Before I begin to post anything I guess I should introduce myself and let you know who I am. I am the father of 3 very happy and sometimes very crazy little girls, all under the age of two. Our oldest is almost 2 and the twins are 5 months old, and it has been a whirlwind since they have been born. My wife is the greatest and most patient woman in the world, specifically because she puts up with me. She accepts my quirks even if she doesn’t always understand them. She loves to put a smile on my face (hey, how many wives will give their husband a sword as a wedding gift or a sonic screwdriver as a christmas gift (only us good geeks get this, yes Johnny she is an enabler). She is the best thing ever to happen to me, I am so lucky.

I have worked at a little of everything in my life. I have worked at fisheries research overseas, bartended, flown remotely operated vehicles to the bottom of the Grand Banks, Karaoke host (I was actually payed for this yes), helped organize/manage 22 graduates in 15 countries and am currently the Electrical Officer aboard a oil shuttle tanker servicing Newfoundland’s Grand Banks Fields. I get to play with electricity on a ship bouncing around in the best of weather.

As the name of this blog suggests fly tying will probably be a main focus. I have been tying flies since 1994, but have taken a little hiatus since 2004 when my father passed away. He was the reason I started tying when he bought me a fly-tying kit for Christmas, think it started out as his way to get cheep flies, but quickly turned into an art and a passion for me. After he passed away, less than two weeks later a gentleman showed up to the house, saying that he never met my father, but has heard from several guys that he had this “killer fly” for a pond out around my way called Punchin’ Pond, and wanted a quick peek at his fly box. I rarely tied flies after that, I couldnt, reminded me too much of the loss of my Dad. The last time I really sat down to tie flies was the Friday night before he died. He wanted me to show him how to tie the Punchin Wulff, now I tried to show him how to tie for years, usually to no avail, but this Friday Night he was adamant that he wanted to tie lots of punchin wulffs, so I grabbed the opportunity. We sat at the kitchen table for hours that night tying fly after fly. And at the end we had a big handful of flies. And that was the last memory I have of him, that and remembering the big smile he gave me when he dropped me off back in town that Sunday. This is one of those memories that I will never will forget.

Now as a father myself I think I am ready to start again what I so much loved to do, and spent so many hours at, just to perfect the art. Tying flies reflects so many similarities to life. First you need a strong hook, a base for stability, a love that is so strong that it is not only the beginning of the process, but the backbone that keeps everything together. The thread is what keeps us in place, our ideas and values and our choices in life are the hackles and dressings. Things may not always go as planned, but sometimes a misplaced tag can be backed off and re-secured no harm done, other times when our frustrations may be getting the better of us we may break our thread, but like life we pick up the pieces and start where we left off. At the end of the process we have something that we can be proud of, something we built with our own hands. It may not be perfect but seeing your own fly disappear under the water with a big splash gives you a big sense of “I did that”.

Maybe I think a little too much about this, or maybe not enough, I really havent figured that out yet. Who knows where this blog will evolve to, it may turn into a step-by-step on how to tie Newfoundland’s common flies, It may turn into a showcase for me to show off my fly-tying photography (none yet but been reading a lot on how the professionals capture their best flies), perhaps it will be a venue to tell stories of my 3 little girls or maybe tell a story or two about what its like bouncing around in the North Atlantic for 6 months of the year. I guess I can be sure that it will include a little about fly-tying, a little about life, and a whole lot of other musings.

Cheers, enjoy the ride.

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