Future Fly Tiers?

This is a recent photo of my grandson, Gabriel, and me at my daughter’s home. He seems very interested in fly tying at this stage – he’ll be three in late January.

My grandson, Gabriel, and me...he's on the right track to become a future fly tier. Perhaps he's thinking, "Is this a Grade #1 Cape? Might be good for soft-hackles...Hmmm.""

January 2011 - Gabriel at age two...pointing to the soft-hackles in my hand, saying, "Bug!" Note his hand on the vise handle...he loved the rotary feature. He'll probably be a Regal man like his pappy.

When this photo was taken, Gabriel was just up, first thing in the morning, still in his PJ’s. He was two when this picture was taken. If you look close, you can see a few Bergman Fontinalis wet flies lined up along the edge of my tool caddy. (You can click on the photos to enlarge them, and another click will increase size to full screen).

The other really amazing thing about the second photo is that the first thing I did was show Gabriel a #10 Fan Wing Royal Coachman, and without a word, he made the sign language for butterfly. And I did not know that, but when he did it, my daughter said, “Did you see what he did?”

“No,” I replied.

“He just made the sign for butterfly,” Kim answered. Gabriel had been watching sign language DVD’s since he was around ten months of age. He’s smart, because he had a pretty good vocabulary of that long before he could communicate orally.

My oldest grandson, MJ, checking out wet fly Plate No. 3.

This little guy is MJ, is my first-born grandson. I was spending time in December last year at his great-grandma’s house, Lou Anne’s mother, lending a hand to her, and also catching up on visitation time with him. While there, I finished the assembly of this frame, mounting the flies, hand-lettering the pattern names, etc., for this custom-order of wet fly Plate No. 3 from the book, Trout, by Ray Bergman. When I placed it on the floor where he could see it, MJ was transfixed and just stared at it for a while. He wore the bib during the day because of drooling resulting from teething. Later, after delivering the frame I showed him the painted color plates from the book, and he pretty much had the same reaction. Maybe he’ll be Bastian-family fly tier number two?

These two boys represent part of the joys in my life. They were born eleven days apart in January 2009. They are so much fun to be around. Living five hours apart, one in Connecticut, and one in Cogan Station, makes the occasions they are together very special. They each have a younger brother, Benner (MJ) and Andrew (Gabriel). I am very thankful for them, and very blessed to have four grandsons.

The photo below is a sample of what their behavior is like when they get together; playing in the dog crate. I can only imagine what they’ll cook up when they are older. MJ loves his cars, see him clutching them to his chest.

Gabriel and MJ playing in my dog crate. Their decision to go in, one followed the other. Boys will be boys!

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Snipe and Purple

This soft-hackle wet was sent to me a while back by my friend in Jarrettsville, Maryland, Bill Shuck.

I thought I’d post the photo, recipe, and a few notes here. Soft-hackles are among the most effective of wet fly patterns.

Snipe and Purple

Hook: Daiichi 1640, #14

Thread: Pearsall’s Gossamer silk #8, purple

Hackle: Snipe wing upper marginal covert

Body: Unwaxed tying thread

The use of unwaxed silk allows the body to darken when wet; this is a classic pattern, still popular today, and according to Bill, was originally designed to imitate stoneflies.

Snipe and Purple