Avid fly tyer Lindsay Simpson extolls the virtues of creating your own patterns, it’s creative, addictive and for him, most of all therapeutic.

It’s safe to say that I am going through one of the toughest times of my life. The pressure of work and family can wear the best of us down.

I was told recently that you reach an age when you will have a lot of plates spinning, I’m there.

There are several options of dealing with such things. I have known guys find solace by training to near exhaustion. Others find comfort in a good dram or two. We can’t always go fishing at the drop of a hat, but we can turn to our trusty fly-tying vice, the latter, that’s my salvation.

There is nothing (other than fishing) that I enjoy more than sitting looking at a bare hook clamped into my vice and wondering what to do with it.

My two main areas of interest are large stillwaters and rivers. The decision tends to fall down to what I have recently purchased or been sent to play with as to what I tie. With the radio playing in the background and all your worries forgotten you can sit and think about the next greatest fly, the new Killer Bug or the next Shipman’s Buzzer. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination, and that’s why I love it, it appeals to my creative side.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a jar that stands testament to all the ‘not fit for purpose flies’ I have cranked out over the year. When the mood takes me, I spend some time stripping the dressing away to recycle the hooks, sad but true.

The **** flies jar! They can’t all be great now can they!

But and here’s the killer, every now and then though I tie a fly that just looks like it will be a winner, and that keeps me at it!

I also enjoy taking photographs of my efforts and I share these on social media, as it’s always interesting to hear from other anglers what they think of my efforts. I have learned so much from others on Social Media just by applying some of the advice I have been given. Social media such as Facebook. Instagram and YouTube are great places to find like-minded people who are prepared to share their experience and skills.

While at the vice creating the next best thing, my thoughts go to size, proportions and mobility. These are all key areas to consider when tying flies to catch fish, of course there are the flies that catch anglers and I’m as guilty as the next man…….lol, I enjoy tying those too.

As a rule though I am a practical tier and angler and mostly stick to tying patterns that I believe will catch fish. Lately though I’ve been looking at tying saltwater or salmon flies, this is god for any tyer coming out of their comfort zone, as it extends your skill set.
Maybe one day I might want to bugger off to Cuba or a have a week up on the Spey, time will tell, so I’ll keep hold of my experiments!

One of my friends says that fly tying it is an addiction like smoking, maybe, but it is much healthier and you have created ammunition for your next fishing trip.

So, the next time you have a bad day, simply get out your fly-tying vice pour, yourself a decent dram, switch the radio on and drift off to your happy place. You will feel all the better for the experience and ready to face anything.

All a man needs in life really, when he’s addicted to fly tying!

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