Well this year was my first experience of tying at a show and i have to say it was great. I know alot of the guys there have been doing it for years so are use to people coming to chat to them about tying, flies, techniques and certain materials. For me this was new but enjoyable at the same time.
I would have to say for any aspiring fly designer its a must, with so many top fly dressers on show you will come away with more knowledge and ideas than ever before. I have been tying for over 20 years now and still find people who can surprise me and help me understand new ways of tying flies.
I was lucky enough to be tying at the Deer Creek Stand for the 2 days of the BFFI and even luckier to be tying next to people like Conan Fyvie, Dai Jones, Dave Lindsay, Rich Johnson, Olive Johnson, Scott Kane, and Christopher Rawle.
Dai Jones Busy at the Vice
One thing i have learned from tying at the BFFI and also from watching many other people tie flies, is that there is no such thing as a exact wrong and right way of designing your flies.
One problem i feel nowadays is that there is a snobish attitude towards people designing new flies and calling variants of old patterns the original names.
Recently a great example of this were my Diawl Bachs, yes i admit they are not exactly like the originals BUT they are still variants and by definition still diawl bachs, which brings me to my next section.
Conan Fyvie and Dave Lindsay
Learning is one of the key features of fly tying and luckily for me a sat next to Conan Fyvie and Dave Lindsay who helped me tie my very first pike fly. As fly dressers i believe we have the expectation and responsibility to help others no matter what their ability is to tie a better fly. I can find nothing better than a angler tying better patterns from help i have given them.
Although apparantly this year the BFFI was quieter than normal years i thoroughly enjoyed it and would encourage all anglers to have a look no matter your skill and experience im sure you will learn something and maybe get some inspiration for tying that killer pattern.
My inspiration came from a young irish fella who was tying beetles which inspired me to give them a go and these are what i came up with the day i got back home.
Thanks to all the ladies and Gentlemen who came and chatted to me over the weekend at the BFFI 2013.