NEBRASKAland October 2017

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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Page 45 of 67

A s fall turns to winter, many fly anglers reluctantly put their rods away for the year, dreading the cold winter months to come. Winter means reorganizing their fly boxes, cleaning their fly line, and flipping through the pages of fishing magazines, dreaming of the warmer weather to come. What few realize is that they can extend their passion for fly-fishing into a year-round endeavor and vastly enrich their fishing by learning to tie their own flies. Many fly anglers avoid fly-tying for fear of difficulty, expense or the time commitment they believe it requires. What they find when they finally try it is that, just like fly-fishing, all it takes is patience, practice and a desire to learn. Why Tie? There are many reasons why anglers should tie their own flies. For one, it cuts down on the cost of making wild casts into the bushes. More importantly though, fly-tying completely immerses an angler in the art of fly- fishing. Learning to tie flies leads to understanding how fish relate and react to their environment. A fly tyer can create flies that are more effective and more durable than those purchased from a store. A tyer's flies will vary with their personality. Some tyers use established fly patterns that are highly successful, easily repeatable and quick to tie. These anglers may crank out a dozen flies in an hour, while other tyers attempting to create something new and innovative may take the same amount of time to produce a single fly. Either way, those who discover fly-tying quickly realize there was another half of fly-fishing they had been missing. How to Learn Learning to tie does not involve a tremendous investment of money. For around $100, you can purchase a kit that contains all the tools and materials you need to start. These kits often include books or DVDs that speed up the learning process. Kits usually Fly-tying is the other half of fly-fishing that many anglers are missing. Story and photos by Ryan Sparks Many people think fly tyers only create small insect imitations, but this pile of large musky and pike flies proves otherwise. Fly-tying for Begi 46 NEBRASKAland • OCTOBER 2017

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