Fly Tier Showcase- Mike Townend

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most salmon flies make me think of drag queens: ghastly, tarty-tasteless gaudy caricature creatures haphazardly put together with ill-died feathers and plastic diamonds.
whether they catch fish or not is irrelevant, it’s the human factor and the horrendous side effects of complacency and a general sense of ineptitude induced to both viewers and creators of such tackiness that’s still wreaking havoc (of sorts) in the fly tying world after hundreds of years.
one could say they are the neon lights used to lure in trucker-cap crowds to the local strip mall. (please use your imagination for that last part and don’t actually go there) anyhow, this is some serious shit and not something to be taken lightly so let’s see what a recognized  expert has to say about this phenomenon.

“Hence man’s otherwise inexplicable passion for salmon flies and hence his attribution to precious stones of therapeutic and magical virtue…. In other words, precious stones are precious because they bear a faint resemblance to the glowing marvels seen with the inner eye of the visionary. “

Aldous Huxley’s pretty in-deep quote from his marvelous essay Fly Tying Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell’ shows a much higher understanding than i ever could as to why these gaudy flies are so popular and get the most ‘likes’ on Facebook.

now, on the other hand and thank goodness !, we have these quasi-mystical shrine-like flies tied by Mike Townend of Aberdeen, Scotland prompting aw-inspiring reflections such as:
“The hook, for example, of that fly–how miraculous it’s tubularity, how supernatural it’s polished smoothness! I spent several minutes–or was it several centuries?–not merely gazing at this salmon fly, but actually being it—or rather being myself in it; or, to be still more accurate (for “I” was not involved in the case, nor in a certain sense were “it”) being my Not-self in the Not-self which was the salmon fly.”

right. rendering the acquisition of  illegal lotions and potions pointless, thanks to Monsieur Townend we get to view, absorb and be the sublime and not have to wait eight hours for it all to wear off.
(hmmm, the more i re-read all this the more it all makes sense but in case it don’t, if you ignore the words you’ll at least enjoy these awesomely stunning examples of what can only be considered ‘feather poetry’)
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silver and gold

made with-

love
hook- Carlige de Musca G800BL #16
thread- Veevus 14/0 yellow ‘goldened’ with a permanent marker
abdomen- Veevus silver wire small
thorax- Hends Spectra dubbing gold flash
hackle- hen cape furnace

a semi-realistic Baetis Nymph step by step

by Johan Put

looks good, huh ? if you want learn how to make one,

click the pic to find this super-duper fly’s step by step !

‘roll-over wet

designed to stay as close as possible to the surface film during the drift by using a light wired hook, a prickly herl for the body and some hare dubbing as the head (to catch water and slow its descent), if needed, in faster waters those two elements can get some floatant with a little help from the Fly Brush. cast across stream with an upstream reach mend, watch for a swirl and gently strike.

made with:
love
hook- Maruto C47 barbless #16
thread- Veevus 14/0 brown
body- one fiber from a large dark brown mottled feather (not sure what bird but any big feather would do)
hackle- creamy grizzly hen
head- Mad Rabbit ! dubbing (hare)