For some anglers, fly-fishing is the most challenging branch of the sport. Armed only with an imitation of what their prey might like to eat, they wander the banks of rivers and lakes hoping to achieve the perfect presentation of this ‘tasty’ morsel. Their cast must be controlled, unhurried and achieved on a fly line that has a nasty habit of attaching itself to the nearest tree or bush. As accuracy is key to success, a windy day can seriously complicate matters.

Once the fly fisherman has spotted a feeding fish and executed the perfect cast, time stands still until that golden moment when the fish devours the fly. His skills are almost rewarded, but now he must land the fish. Once in the net, the fish may be taken, or released to fight another day, and the fly fisherman replays the sequence of events in his mind and savours that unique sense of achievement. His powers of observation served him well, his controlled casting paid the dividend of practice and the choice of fly was the reward of constant research.

So here is the question.

Why do some fly fishermen feel a greater sense of achievement than others? What has added that extra dimension to their enjoyment? It is the simple fact that they tie the flies with which they catch their fish! In a corner of every fly tyer’s home you will find the tools and materials of this all-consuming hobby. He continually achieves a rewarding level of satisfaction as he creates the flies that will tempt his prey. He knows that his hobby is not an exact science, and that many of the world’s most successful flies are merely impressions of the real insect and that many believe that the scruffier the fly, the better. The most important aspect of his hobby is that it allows him to complete the circle of satisfaction. Tie the fly… cast the fly… land the fish.

If you have never tied a fly or, you are perhaps a lapsed tier, I would encourage you to tie a fly to catch your next fish. There are many books and DVDs available for both beginner and intermediate tiers. Should you buy a DVD, be sure it has a step-by-step reference book to act as a reminder once you have assimilated the content of the DVD.

Fly tying and fly fishing are the greatest of allied hobbies.

Take your time. Tie that fly. Catch that fish!