Podcast: A Half Century of Fly-Tying Evolution, with Tim Flagler


[Interview begins at 43:55]

How has fly-tying changed in the past 50 years? It’s changed a great deal in the time that Tim Flagler and I have been practicing it, and I often get questions from people about what has changed over the years. Tim and I discuss the way information was shared, what hackle was like back then, innovations like beads and synthetic materials and chemically sharpened hooks, and advances in fly-tying tools. Our main conclusion is that fly tiers today have never had it better, and it continues to evolve almost daily.

In the Fly Box, we have lots of rod questions and the usual queries that people can’t seem to find an answer to anywhere else—and we’re glad to help! Some of this week’s questions are:

  • I am taking a rod-building class and want to know what rod I should add to my quiver (and he details the rods he already owns).
  • I have heard that Florida snook fishing is best from shore during the summer, but also that the season is closed. Can I still target them and release them?
  • What do you know about fly fishing in Bermuda?
  • Can I put a 9-weight line on my Clearwater 908?
  • What Mirage LT reel should I put on my 11-foot Blackout rod?
  • Are there any introduced cutthroat populations in the eastern US?
  • For fishing from a float tube for brook trout in Maine, should I get a 10-foot 3-weight or 4-weight rod?
  • Would it be bad to wear tick repellent when fishing? Will it harm aquatic life?
  • Why do  reel manufacturers put the drag adjustment on the opposite side of the reel handle? I find it cumbersome to adjust my drag.
  • How will warm springs in my river affect bass behavior and feeding?
  • What is the minimum length of rod you recommend for most trout streams, other than small streams?
  • How do stocked spring creeks in Missouri compare to Colorado rivers?
  • Where can my friends and I find a good fly-fishing coach?
  • What clothing, equipment, and flies should I take for a bonefishing trip to the Turks & Caicos? 
  • I am new to New England and have been frustrated with high water conditions.  What can I do to have more success in high water?

2 thoughts on “Podcast: A Half Century of Fly-Tying Evolution, with Tim Flagler”

  1. Ever see the videos Borger and his son did that showed different vices and basics without tying specific know patterns.

  2. I tied my first fly almost 50 years ago and my most recent fly within the last few minutes. (A royal Wulff streamer using all natural materials.)

    Thanks guys for the half century journey down memory lane. A lot of water has gone under the bridge and I have floated both excellent and awful flies under it; sometimes catching a fish.

    Jack Dennis’ Western Trout Fly Tying Manual (1974) became my bible with its grainy b&w photos and descriptions. Yes, a lot happened between each photo but at least the text matched the picture.

    I could have listened for another hour and regret not being able to throw in my two cents. It’s great to reflect upon the good old days but I will take today’s materials, tools, techniques and methods in a heartbeat.

    Keep it up guys.

    Bill Love
    Sandpoint, Idaho

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