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Fly tying manual invokes many memories

Blog by: David Coulson , Colorado 12/2/2011

The recent tread on the FxR plus side asked what fishing books you would recommend for winter reading. Matt then emailed me wondering if maybe the bloggers/editor could all do a piece on "books that have affected my fishing life."  I have to agree it's a great idea and I’ll start things off.

Back in the seventies, around this time of year, I was talking strongly that I’d like to take up fly tying.  At the time I wasn’t very proficient with a fly rod, but I had discovered the effectiveness of a fly and bubble rig.  Looking to expand my fly collection and shying away from the prices of flies in the stores, I felt fly tying would be both a great hobby and a way to save a few dollars.  Well, I was right on the first account; the second, not so much.  Anyway, my loving wife picked up on my “hints” and suggested I hold off buying anything until after Christmas.

She headed over to Uncle Milty’s Tackle Shop (no longer in business) on South Broadway in the Denver Metro area to purchase me a fly tying kit.  Someone in shop suggested that kits were a poor value and sold her instead, a Thompson “C” vise, a few tools, materials to tie a couple flies Christmas day, a gift certificate, and a copy of “Jack Dennis Western Trout Fly Tying Manual.”  Needless to say, that was great advice and I got great use out of everything. 

The materials got “tied” Christmas day, and the gift certificate didn’t last much longer.  Not sure, but I think I was the first person in the store the next day.  The tools served me well for many years.  However, the book has outlasted everything else and is still part of my extensive library.  It’s still in good shape, but pick it up and you will see that it’s well worn from many hours of use.  For many years it was my fly tying “bible” and the guiding light for much of my early efforts. So much so, that the knowledge contained on those pages continues to influence my work today.

Occasionally, I still reference the manual, but in truth it doesn’t get read very often these days.  Still every now and then I pick it up, not to so much to read, rather just to hold it for a while awash in the many memories that it invokes, including this one.

Blog content © David Coulson
Blog Comments
comedyfisher, CO   12/2/2011 1:50:15 PM
How cool Dave. My first fly tying materials were from Milty's too! Do you know if Milt is still around?
MAC ATTACK, CO   12/2/2011 4:26:22 PM
Dave, That does bring back good memories. In the mid seventies I got my first tying equipment. To this day I still have and use my Thompson model "A" vise. I received the same book for Christmas in1975 and also still refer to it. Jack Dennis was a cult hero among fly tier's in the seventies. I have made the pilgrimage to his shop in Jackson at least five times. Tracy
LewsTherinTelemon, CO   12/2/2011 6:18:21 PM
Ahh... I tied with that book. I don't tie much anymore, but that book brings back memories.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   12/2/2011 7:16:00 PM
I don't know if Milt is around. I never really knew him, but I frequated the shop when I live on the south end of Denver. I agree on Jack Dennis being a "hero" during the '70's. And while I never made the trip specifically to visit his shop, when in the area I did make the effort to visit it. Been there a couple of times. Jim Poor's Anglers All also played a role in my development as a tyer.