Musical Fly Tying

I nearly always listen to music while I am tying flies. This weekend I am continuing the work on an order of twenty-one dozen drys; four dozen each: sulfur duns and PMD duns in four styles; sizes #14, #16, #18; the boxed selections as listed on and the remaining twelve-plus dozen is all my Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger patterns in standard and custom sizes and colors. I just tied the first two – ever – of my Floating Caddis Emerger in size #20. With the Hi-Vis indicator, and a custom dark dun half-wing, that gives the pattern nine components – yeah – seriously – on a size #20 dry fly hook. They are turning out very well. I like the looks of these “Micro-Emergers” very much! I have every confidence that these little guys possess serious potential to give trout a sore mouth. I’ll do some photos of them before I ship the order; if I can, remember, for those of you following my posts regularly, I have been having camera trouble and can not shoot on Shutter Speed Priority. I’ll have to see what I can do on the still-working automatic setting.

Listening to the Best of the Corrs CD while tying those #20 “Micro-mergers” – there I just thought of a name for them – plus the fact I checked some information this morning in an older post I made last year, that had little to do with fly tying and a lot do do with music, combined with recent renewed interest in my 1970’s vintage Premier drum kit, has prompted this short break from tying to make this post. I did some editing on this archived post post this morning:

Perhaps if you have time and like music, you may find it interesting. Continuing on with the renewed interest in my drum set; I got them set up properly over a month ago in late July and have been playing them periodically. In the middle of this past week, I started looking on eBay for drum accessories. Amazing volume of stuff there. I thought I would add a couple cymbals to my set. With some really good prices, I could not resist. So far I have bought, used, but in very good condition, a Zildjian A 17″ Medium Thin Crash, and a Zildjian A 15″ Thin Crash. Both cymbals are nearly in new condition, one has a “flea’bite” which is a small nick in the edge, for $130. That will do diddly to negatively effect the playability of the cymbal. The retail price of these two cymbals is nearly $400. I am also “watching” a few 14 Zildjian A 14″ Fast Crash Cymbals, within the week I’ll pick up one of those too. In addition, I also found, rather unbelievably, a 1975 Premier natural birchwood finish 16″ x 16″ floor tom-tom that is a perfect match to my set. I bought that too. Paid more for it alone than I did for my entire set in 1978, $200, bought it used back then from a local drummer who needed the cash. The new floor tom-tom will replace the old Ludwig non-matching white pearl floor tom-tom I used to use.

I also am bidding on some hardware; a Ludwig floor cymbal stand and a Ludwig boom stand. Guess I’ll be needing at least two boom stands when I get this set where I want it. I already have a 16″ Zildjian Medium Thin Crash cymbal that dates from my rocking days in the ’70’s. It’s the one on the high stand to the immediate right of the set. Here’s a photo of my Premier Drum Set:

My drum set - a vintage  Premier PD6500 Powerhouse set.

My drum set – a vintage Premier PD6500 Powerhouse drum set. The hardware is not Premier; that is all Ludwig except the stand on the far right is Rogers. The ride cymbal on the left is a vintage Zildjian from the ’60’s, and I also have a 22″ vintage 1950’s -’60’s Zildjian ride cymbal that needs a stand.

I am going to have to move the entire set out from the corner of the room a bit when I add the second floor tom-tom, and the additional cymbals and stands. I am also giving serious thought to starting a band or perhaps joining a local rock band if one should need a drummer. I haven’t played in a rock band since 1979. I can also substitute a little bit as both lead and back-up singer. Playing in a band won’t curtail my fly fishing-tying circuit that much, and there is always the possibility that due to rising costs of table fees, hotels, gas, meals, and other expenses, I’ll stop eventually doing the major Fly Fishing Shows. Just a possibility, I will have to see what transpires with my band ideas.

I’m going to sell the small 14″ Ludwig Standard cymbal on the right, and then I’ll have four Zildjian crash cymbals in order, 14″, 15″, 16″ and 17″; plus the two ride cymbals and the hi-hat. Sweet! I can’t wait!

Here is a photo of my grandsons, Gabriel and Andrew, banging it up during their visit in July:

My grandson Gabriel rocks on!

My grandson Gabriel rocks on! With some help from little brother Andrew. Are they having fun or what?!

Those boys loved those drums!

I’ll soon be making custom music CD’s loaded with all types of music that In can pipe into my family room and play along anytime I want. Listening to and playing along with my favorite songs, now, that’s great fun, relaxation, stress-relief, and entertainment. In between drumming breaks I’ll be listening to music while tying flies.

22 comments on “Musical Fly Tying

  1. Terry Chapman says:

    Well, well, well! What is next for you Don? I guess you just answered that question. I too like some music with my tying but prefer straight ahead jazz in a piano trio when I can get it. In any event, two great pursuits in one seating is never a bad thing. Play on!! And of course micro-mergers for sure if my knotty thumbs will comply.

  2. Don Bastian says:

    Hi Terry;
    Thanks for your comments! I think I told you this before, but one of the songs to be on my “play list” will be Rosemary Clooney singing Memories of You with the Benny Goodman Trio. Just piano, bass, drums (brushes) and of course, Benny on clarinet. Great song, and Rosy’s rendition is one of the most sensual and sexy female leads I’ve ever heard.
    And the Micro-mergers, you’ll have fun with ’em! I just finished the #20’s and am halfway through the 18’s. Thanks again!

  3. Kelly L says:

    I thought that long awaited singing and tying video came up….lol. Good blog again Don. 🙂

  4. Don Bastian says:

    Ha, ha, ha Kelly! You’re holding me to that aren’t you! 😉 And rightly so! I gotta get on that…Thanks for your comment! Glad you enjoyed my ramblings!

  5. Kelly L says:

    LOL…I have not forgotten your promise. I always enjoy your blog. Your grandsons look like they are having a great time in that photo!

  6. Peter Rodgers says:

    Rock on!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Thanks Peter! Those boys don’t may not understand the meaning of that phrase, but you should have seen them get all turned on and wound up when I started playing. They just started dancing, big smiles! Thanks for your comment!

  7. Bill H says:

    Oh great! Next it’ll be bongos and you’ll be callin’ yourself the reincarnation of Maynard G. Krebs! Never let it be said that you weren’t eclectic.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Bill;
      I can play bongos, but normally choose not to. So far in 61 years I’ve never claimed to be the reincarnation of anyone. I can be eclectic though.. Thanks for reading and for your comment!

  8. Dave Lomasney says:

    I can play dual’n banjos on my guitar Don…sign me up!…I need LOTS of practice though!

    I’ll have to play in the boys band for now!…They look like they’re have’n a good jam session!

    Very nice set!


    • Don Bastian says:

      Well then, Dave, start practicing! 🙂
      I am really excited about this – since I left the last rock band I was in, 1979, I have only played intermittently – at churches, a couple musicals for the local theater groups, and on occasion I’ve sat in with a local band. I have literally not played at all though for at least eight years.
      Once I get a set of remote stereo floor speakers set up in the “drum room” I’ll make CD’s of all kinds of music to play along with. Right now I’ve got The Glenn Miller Orchestra going…it’ll be a real mix. Frank Sinatra, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, oldies like Knock on Wood, Hold On I’m Comin’, Mustang Sally, Devil With a Blue Dress On, The B. B. King / Clapton CD, classic rock songs. I Can’t Drive 55, Sammy Hagar, and Carry On Wayward Son, Kansas, great drum parts! Don’t forget LaGrange, Z Z Top.
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your musical talent! My brother plays guitar, Emily plays guitar, mandolin, and clarinet. Come up to New Gloucester some night when I’m there – we’ll have a real jam session! :mrgreen:

  9. Paul B says:

    Wow Don, I had no idea you played drums, so do I!! That is so cool! I played in all the bands in high school, marching, jazz, pep, and concert band. I have two drum sets right now. My old 70s Slingerland 5-piece and I have a newer Gretsch. I always wanted a Gretsch, so I bought one a couple years back. I was playing in church every Sunday the past couple years and also played bongos. I love bongos, so much fun! But have been busy with other things these days and haven’t been playing lately. Anyway, if you ever want to talk drum shop, shoot me an email!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Paul;
      As people get to know each other more, they often find they have more in common. Now that I’m getting interested in playing again it’s hard to believe I ever stopped, but I guess that is a cycle of life. I started off with a very small, three-piece Ludwig set, only one cymbal, no hi-hat, – it was all my mom could afford, and then I added a hi-hat, floor tom-tom, more cymbals, then another bass drum, then another bass-mounted tom-tom…then I bought the Premier set. I’ve been away from the drums and hardware for so long, I see they now have a double bass pedal, so you can play double-bass drums without having two of them in your set.
      Thanks for your comment!

  10. Ben B. says:

    Nice kit, Don! Those old Premiers are great drums, especially the snares…crisp, crisp, crisp! Have fun with the new cymbals…

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Ben;

      Thanks for your comment! Yeah I agree, the Premier snares are an equal to the Ludwig Supraphonic snare drums. Like many products these days, I believe that better quality is often in the vintage products, compared to the contemporary production. And I’m sure I’ll have fun with the new (to me) cymbals! Thanks again!

  11. Alec S. says:

    Don I was on ebay trying to find the same model guitar that I played last time I was in a band (’84). Silvertone model 1457. Holy Moly. Talk about inflation!
    I almost never tie without music playing… Generally it’s rock. Lately it’s been the Small Faces (check out the single “Tin Soldier”) and The Pretty Things (“Parachute” and “S.F. Sorrow” LP’s) Both are great old British bands that have made this summer time at the vise a special pleasure!! Looking forward to hearing you beat the skins some day! Alec

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Alec;

      Wasn’t that Silvertone guitar a brand sold by Sears? Or am I wrong? That’s funny! I’m like you, I almost never tie without music. I used to have my room downstairs, and had the stereo piped into the room. Only problem was, I could not shut off the music when the phone rang. And sometimes I had it loud enough that it was hard to even hear the phone…now I listen to music on my C-drive in the computer. I have such an eclectic mix, ranging from oldies, and I mean old – Louis Jordan and the Tympani Five, Big Joe Turner, The Dominoes; and even older than that – The Very Best of the Andrews Sisters – Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (1937), with Vic Schoen and his Orchestra; Glenn Miller Orchestra, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney; Frank Sinatra – and then, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Foreigner, Huey Lewis and The News, Chicago Transit Authority, 1968, great album, Men at Work, Dire Straits, The Corrs, Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins, Del McCoury, Alison Krauss, Dwight Yoakum, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, SRV (love Voodoo Chile!, AC/DC, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons…
      When I turn the shuffle on, my music is as Forest Gump says, “…Like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.”
      Soon I’ll have those floor speakers in the tying / drum room, and I’ll make up CD’s to play along with. That will be lotsa fun!
      Thanks for your comment!

      • Bob Stanton says:

        What boy doesn’t love drums, eh? Don, with that Premier set, I imagine you as a fly tying Keith Moon! No explosions in the house though, please.

      • Don Bastian says:

        Hello Bob;
        You’re right about that! You’re right too, about Keith Moon, he played Premier drums. I won’t be doing anything to destroy this set. 😉 Next time my grandsons come to visit I’ll have another floor tom-tom and am few more cymbals. Thanks for your comment!

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