Monday, September 17, 2012

The Joys of Fly Swapping

Swapping flies is as old as fly tying. It probably started between ancient Greek folks fishing for fishes of a speckled hue on fabled Astraeus, but it was greatly improved with advent of the Internet.

I am a great fan of swapping flies, active on several internet forums. These couple of flies are for a swap on Czech site

Having finished this bunch of tiny flees (#20 Eagle Owl mayflies) makes me think a bit on what is the most fun part of swaping. I have come up with several answers:
  • The first and most obvious is that fly swaps let me see patterns and tricks of other fly tiers and learn from them.
  • The second is that preparing for a swap makes me think hard about what pattern to select; it has to be something unusual to be interesting, and yet it has to be a pattern that I know well.
  • The third is that tying dozens of identical flies is good for the soul of fly tier; it polishes the  techniques.
  • And finally the fourth reason is that it builds relationship over the fly tying community.
Looking at my collection of some hundreds of labelled flies I wonder which of the four reasons matters the most to me. It will probably take some more fly swaps to fully understand :)