I’m lucky…. and I know it! Living in the Rockies can be tough for a fly guy or gal. Especially in the winter. The freestones and alpine ponds/ lakes we covet so much read as cold as a 1970s Soviet Science fiction novel. Cody is an exception to the general notion of a Wyoming winter. Mild and temperate are my experience and with the Shoshone tail water running through the outskirts of town, its influx of thermal springs, prominent midge and BWO hatches; winter fishing is always productive. But for those of you who are not as lucky as I am there is always another past time to fill those fishy needs during the solemn winter months. Fly tying.
The winter can be the best time of the year to replenish you fly box. Tying your most used, lost, stolen, or borrowed flies during the cold months can not only help to pass the cold times but also save some big bucks come spring and summer. And besides, what else would you be doing if you’re not fishing? Even though I get to fish (often) in the winter, I still like to take the opportunity to break out the vise and restock my N.F. Specials, San Juan’s, Wooly Buggers, Adams, Clousers, and other commonly used flies depleted through the year.
But what if you are new to fly tying or even fly fishing? Where should you begin? Your local fly shop is sure to be the spot. Here in the Cody winter months North Fork Anglers is the place to get your tie on. Every Saturday from November until….. run off is over (????) we have a free tying class from 9 AM to Noon. Besides being a great place to up your tying game, its a great way to socialize with area veterans. My first few classes were warm and welcome and by class three folks were spilling the beans on some of their favorite local gems. A few of which have become my new favorites.
So, you’re not in Cody? You may be asking yourself what your local community or fly shops offer. The best way to find out is to ask. Many fly shops will host similar weekly (or monthly) evening and weekend events. Its a good way for the shop to keep the sales going in the winter months. But the only way to find out is to visit or call you local shop. Another good avenue to seek out fly tying groups is the website Meetup.com. You will find local groups like the Boulder-Flycasters club who post regular events and social gatherings centered around tying flies. I hear tales of a local Boulder group who meet up at a Boulder brewery for “Thursday Night Beers n Bugs”. First beer is free. But you have to find the beta on your own. In the PNW? Westfly.com has a list of fly tying clubs and the who, what, when, where its happening (click link for more). Basically, where ever there is water to fish there will be people who tie. So….. your done reading this. Get on Google and find a club or group that meets up and get some winter tie on.