I have kept busy over the past year, with the fly-tying class at Straid Fishery which I run jointly with Joe Stitt, one of the masters of Irish fly tying. It is great fun and everyone showed remarkable progress in tying some pretty complex patterns and techniques.
The highlight of my year came just before lockdown when I got through the examination to become an Advanced instructor with APGAI Ireland – a strangely humbling experience considering the quality of the other tyers who have got to that standard. Hard work but worthwhile and a great learning experience for me. If you would like to consider membership visit the APGAI Ireland website and look at the syllabus at apgai-ireland/fly-dressing-syllabus
So, a good many hours were spent at tying over the early days of the lockdown to pass the time and I enjoyed doing a few more complex patterns. Normally I do not bother with classic salmon flies as I would never fish with them, but there is great satisfaction in trying to master the techniques, particularly getting the correct proportions for the bigger flies.
The Cow Dung Fly by Trevor Greene
In preparation for the APGAI Ireland examination I resurrected a successful pattern which I had designed recently to represent the Cow Dung Fly. The pattern uses a Wally Wing laid flat over the body which is a fair imitation of the natural.