a delightful blast from the not-so-far past from Jeff Kennedy and the much missed Drawing Flies 52 project.
i’m not the nostalgic type but Jeff’s and Jason Borger‘s fly and fish art collaboration where very special. their art is still out there, easily viewable for anyone willing to do a little research. i guess its the “what’ll they come with next week ?” i miss most.
some nice little gifts for us from The Watershed
this should come in handy when we’re in one of those
‘can’t figure out what fly to use for whatever that species is’ moods.
five minutes of psychadelic-psalmon fly eye candy beauties to distract you from your work day from Tom Herr. enjoy !
très cool acrylic painting by Tom Hanson via this week’s MidCurrent
click the pic for more of Tom’s nicies.
by Matthew Cousineau
not usually attracted to digitally reworked images, Matthews’s ‘paintings’ leave a strong deep-dark mysterious and appealing aftertaste. his flies are alive, beautiful and they mean business. they tell their own story while complementing the originals.
i like this and i like it a lot.
in the film below we’ll see sort of a visual step-by-step of how the image was created. not being bored by any technical details we can just go along for the ride and enjoy it’s various transformations in the same manner as a timelapse film of a blooming flower.
be sure to click the image or the following link to access Matthew’s page Custom Fly Art for more beauties. enjoy !
and sometimes it’s just as well !
if you feel the need to understand this post’s title click the pic. either way, enjoy !
previously showcased David Stenström outdoes himself once again both in tying virtuoso and in photography skills with this little caddisy beauty originally created by Hiram Brobst of the Pocono Mountains region of Eastern Pennsylvania.
i don’t like the concept of perfection but if i did, this would be very close. woW…
as a lot of us casting geeks know, Jason Borger‘s been working on his soon to be out (and looooong-awaited !) ‘Single-Handed Fly Casting – A Modular Approach’ book so we’ll half-pardon him for not keeping up with Jeff Kennedy and their Drawing Fish and Flies 52 weekly challenge but once again, the wait was worth it !
here’s a Popsicle splash
and here a Royal Wulff
one for every flavor, both gorgeous.
but thought you might like this super-sweet Christmas Fly by Jeff Kennedy better.
ok ! now that the shenanigans are over let’s get back to serious business !
in fly selection, once we take away the fish-enticing elements and practical issues aspects we’re left with what’s to me at least, the most important.
the fly’s aesthetic appeal and the confidence that goes with it: two very combined elements. if i feel ‘inspired’ by a certain fly i’ll not only enjoy fishing it more but will believe with a much higher degree of (semi) certainty that this is the one that will fool the fish.
now, to define exactly how that aesthetic appeal happens is about as intangible as trying to explain why i prefer to do it from behind or why chocolate tastes so good. it’s simplistic to say but simply put, it feels good and that’s about it.
anyway… today’s paradox has to do with the Royal Wulff. it’s a mega-classic fly all over the world, has caught tons and tons of fish and will continue to do so. legions of fly fishers swear by it and will probably have several at all times in their box. it’s the kind of fly that can bring far-away gazes, images of epic catches and produce buckets full of drool.
well, i happen to think it’s butt-ugly, is as devoid of mojo as it gets and i wouldn’t want to touch one with a stick.
seriously, for the life of me i can’t think of another fly that has the same effect. it’s almost as bad as if i where told that to continue fishing i would have to fish with worms.
experience has taught me that ‘never say never’ is a pretty good saying but as with the worm, i’d prefer to put the tackle away and take photos or just sit there and watch the water than to tie on that fly, let alone present it to some lovely fish.
now, Jeff Kennedy recently put up the image below on facebook stating that it was only half way done and several of us quickly suggested that he should stop right there. (“It’s PERFECT ! STOP !!!”) and here i am with what i think is the nicest painting of a fly ever, and the big and blown-up subject is none other than the dreaded Royal Wulff…
who knows, maybe i just exorcized the Royal Wulff within me and may get to like it some day. not.
by Jeff Kennedy
here’s a sneak-peek on a current and absolutely gorgeous work in progress.
“My first attempt at acrylic painting. 24″ x 36″ Green Butt Skunk. 70% done via finger painting! Brings back the kid in me.”
i like that kind of kid…
click the pic for more of Jeff’s artwork previously featured here. enjoy !
then check out Tim Geist’s photography of luscious flies at theflybrary.com
by Jason Borger
Ohhhhhhh, (add Homer drool sound) how this would look good on the back of the van…
more fantabulous heavy medium fly art by Jason Borger
“This is decidedly non-traditional, thanks to my wife, Kel. We were fishing on a stream near Missoula (the River Runs Through It town), and she spotted this pale, flat rock along with a little dark-orange stone that happened to be soft enough to use as chalk. Well, it took her about two seconds to put the two together and hand me my palette. And since the Bunyan Bug was on tap, I could think of no better way to draw it (and with materials from no better place).”
Missoula, nostalgia and A River Runs Through It. read more HERE
dancing Fabergé inspired art flies by Dariusz Ptak
by Pelle Bergström
can’t get enough ? click here for more wordless beauty. enjoy !
just like their creator Roy Christie, born on the wee ‘Putting back the rocks’ burn * , these very much ‘out of the box’ flies are an ingenious alternative to the more classical patterns.
i’m still in awe with this hackling method. not only does it leave a perfect ‘puffy’ and buggy imprint on the water’s surface but they’re also as durable as imaginable. to prove the point, at shows, Roy throws them on the ground and stomps and grinds them under his cowboy boot !
other parts of the fly, specially the hook, might get a little wear and tear from this rather extreme exercise but the hackle at least always come back in very fishable form. as we see below and on the sbs, the hackle is wound then later entrapped by the monofilament support. in actual terms, even though the feather’s stem is still there, the strong mono takes over as the major support of the fibers.
designed as emergers, the abdomen/tail section lies below the surface, further helping the degreased leader tippet sink and stay under the surface where it’s most discreet to the fish. f’n brilliant…
i could go on and on but i’ll let Roy explain all this and more on the video below.
so, to make this lovely little number-
painted by Jeff Kennedy
you’ll need to start by making this,
sure, there’s a few more steps before, during and after and to find them you can click HERE for another great step by step via UK Fly Dressing
and if that doesn’t do it for ya, here’s Roy himself tying and explaining how to make this amazing fly. enjoy !
a few in various colors and variances from one of my boxes. some where tied by Roy, some by myself.
don’t leave home without ’em !
burn 2 (bûrn)
A small stream; a brook.[Middle English, from Old English burna; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.]
another great one, also one of my all time favorite fly illustrations by Jason Borger from the Drawing Flies 52 Project, October 2010
‘Gray Hackle Peacock
chum, chum. who wants some chum ?
– tier and photo author unknown-
definitely something to offend the the trout fly traditionalist… but these little* beauties are a tad more realistic and a bunch more enticing than just about any fly out there.
a fine way to “match the hatch”, no ?
it’s pretty certain they’d work on a lot of other species both in the salt and in freshwater. for the latter, imitations of the smaller fish that often get flushed through hydro-electric turbines would do the trick on big predators out for an easy meal…
the creative tier might include other fish parts such as the midsections and tails.
* maybe not so little as they’re destined for billfish. a conservative guess puts those hooks at a size 6/0 or bigger.
in it’s music form it’s noise pollution at best, in fly art form it’s awesome !
hard to say that Jeff Kennedy has outdone himself because every drawing he makes is a real treat but WoW…
click the pic for more eye candy.
a drawing from last year’s Drawing Flies 365 series by Jason Borger i particularly like-
the Grey Hackle Peacock.
another wonderfully funny and cool fly drawing from Jeff Kennedy.
” This is not your run of the mill Easter Bunny. This is a bunny with attitude!
I think about all of the rabbit I have put on flies, and this fly may come back to bite in my dreams. This is one waskly wabbit! “
by Jason Borger
not one usually attracted to fly fishing art, maybe because of a lot the articles and materials we use are already beautiful and stand on their own but most probably that i need a break from all this sometime… but Jason’s ‘cave painting’ caught my eye. in fact, a lot of his images do and for some reason this one stands out. taken from last year’s collection Drawing Flies 52, a collaboration between Jason and Jeff Kennedy.
“So, for my fly, I went for the feel of a cave painting, done with brushed and blown pigment.
Why a cave painting? Well, to my mind, such paintings have survived for thousands of years, and they seem an appropriate analogue to Tom’s (Helgeson) lasting legacy. The brilliant blue of the fly had to be there, too, of course, and it’s brightness has more than one meaning. Visually, though, I wanted the spots to be like gems embedded in a cave wall, around which an ancient artist had constructed his work.”
click the pic for Jason’s Blue-Butt Caddis article
an absolutely stunning fly created by Mike Townend of Aberdeen, Scotland.
saying i’m speechless seems superfluous but ummmm, too late…