If you have not noticed I like to make big flies. Firstly my eyes are no good but my new bifocals are on order. Mostly I have a problem tying because of how bad my hands shake. There are days although that I’ve been steady and tied some size 20 hooks. Give me a 3/0 or anything as small as a six and I enjoy creating. That is my therapy zone and why I joined Project Healing Waters in the first place.
Even at those sizes, it is hard for me to follow patterns. I can, but I get bored quickly; or worse frustrated when I do feel physically limited by my shaking hands.
Today I worked on solving one problem. Hairs to close to the eye (or feathers etc.) that need to be trimmed. Nicole, from Quilted Tyler and my tying instructor at Healing Waters is amazingly motivating. She doesn’t let me get frustrated even when I would at home. She just tells me keep trying, you’ll get it. There is a bright side to anything to her! I was tying something with a beaded head, wire body and some sort of hackle that ripped off right at the end. She saw my frustration and said “cool, you made a brassy!” I was like what the hell’s she talking about and then she showed me pictures. She wasn’t lying to make me feel good.
When I’m at home I don’t have experienced people to hold my hand and guide me. In fact, I have nobody but my dogs here with me. Once in a while I talk to the mail lady and then there is social media. I do have people I can text like Nicole and my friend William at Eastern Trophies and lately since I have started rod building, Brian from Ye Old English Fly Shop but they are not waiting by the phone to help me. I have to wait for them to get back to me (sometimes a day or two) or figure something out for myself.
Back to the eye of the hook. I was trying to trim some red dyed buck tail from around the eye. I got close but it needed more trimming and I gave up. I thought if I took a lighter t to it quickly it would burn off without damaging the fly. No such luck. All of the buck hair cought. I came up with an idea that worked when I tried again so I wanted to share. What I did was heat the bodkin and clean in and round the eye that way. If you already sealed the thread and led it dry, it won’t hurt to touch it either. In the video you can see that my hands are not shaking as bad as usual but I demonstrate what I’m talking about because it is easier for me and probably other shakers like me.
I hope you learn and enjoy:
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