"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

Sunday, March 10, 2019


I have done a lot of demonstration fly tying at events both big and small. It seems that a very similar phenomenon happens at all of the big events. I will call that phenomenon "Jimmy".
The rest of the guys at the most recent Fly Tyer's Row. An amiable bunch of guys, and that's an understatement!

"Jimmy" is a small child, usually male, usually in the 8-12 year old range. He spends most of, or usually the entire, day at the event, and at least half of the day hanging out in the fly tying area. He goes from tyer to tyer, asking all sorts of questions and telling all sorts of stories. His questions are usually pretty basic, such as when he picks up a bobbin and asks what it is. His stories are usually much more complex, as he relates tales of heroic outdoors conquests that either he or his dad or the both of them have partaken in. Oftentimes his stories revolve around a giant fish that was caught, or how he caught that giant fish on a fly he tied himself, but the stories might also be about how he saw the biggest moose in Manitoba, or how his dad built their log cabin with his own two hands. You have to take "Jimmy's" stories with a grain of salt, but then again, he is a fisherman after all...
Me, all by myself at Fly Tyer's Row. I think they all left because somebody shouted "Free beer!" 

"Jimmy" always seems to like me. Probably because I have a keen knack for thinking and communicating on an 8-12 year old's level. Just ask my wife... Any ways, "Jimmy" seems to come around to chit-chat and watch me tie a lot, always admiring whatever fly I happen to be tying that day, and talking at me non-stop. Even when he asks questions, it is obvious he isn't listening to my answers. He seems to have the attention span of a gerbil. Oftentimes I will tell him outlandish stories of my own, just to see if he is listening. He rarely is.

Every once in a while he shows up at my table with a parent, usually his dad. Up until that point I have wondered to myself, "Where is this kid's dad?!?!" Dad always seems like a nice enough guy, maybe somewhat aloof, although he rarely seems like someone who would have built his own log cabin...
The latest "Jimmy", holding some of the flies I gave him...

I don't know if "Jimmy" would spend so much time around me if I weren't handing out free flies. You see, I almost always hand out all the flies that I tie at an event like this. It's a good way to get newbies more interested, and most experienced fly anglers are happy to get a free fly every once in a while. Especially if they have listened to me tell them how great my flies work... "Jimmy" has a knack of showing up when no other people are in the vicinity, and a guy like me can't help but tell him to go ahead and take another fly. This past Friday I was tying at an event, and that night's "Jimmy" ended up taking home about a dozen of my flies. Oh, that "Jimmy"!

Three of the flies "Jimmy" got from me... Oh, that "Jimmy"!