Fly tying extraordinaire
December 18, 2006 9:18 PM   Subscribe

These are not your father's fly tying handiwork. Anglers have been fooling fish with feathers for generations. Graham Owen takes fly tying to the next level with flies that catch fish, and some that even catch more flies.
posted by caddis (24 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Nice post, and eponysterical too!
posted by Eekacat at 9:49 PM on December 18, 2006

With a picture of the poster.
posted by Cranberry at 9:51 PM on December 18, 2006

wow, those are astonishing! How the hell does he do that?! Amazingly artistry. The dragonfly is awesome.
posted by nickyskye at 10:05 PM on December 18, 2006

*amazing artistry
posted by nickyskye at 10:06 PM on December 18, 2006

Pretty amazing. I don't fly fish though it's definitely on my "wouldn't mind doing" list...but I used to sell fishing flies. I've never seen anything like these. Wonderful.
posted by maxwelton at 10:09 PM on December 18, 2006

Should this be considered a self-post?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:11 PM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

Those are magnificent.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:24 PM on December 18, 2006

The wasp with the stinger/hookpoint was nice
posted by Iron Rat at 10:30 PM on December 18, 2006

Wow, incredible detail. I don't fish much personally, but my granddad has a lake on his property and has amassed a unique collection of strange old lures. Nothing nearly as impressive as these, though.
posted by Spike at 10:31 PM on December 18, 2006

I do fish, and would love to fish with those flies! Great post, makes me long for spring and summer.
posted by mosk at 10:46 PM on December 18, 2006

Stunning! And that last link is just so cool - the ultimate compliment to his work, what a kick that must have been. Great post, caddis!
posted by madamjujujive at 12:00 AM on December 19, 2006

As a formerly avid fly-fisherman and fly tier, my advice to you if you want to actually catch fish would be to avoid fly fishing entirely. You catch far fewer fish and spend much more money than you might do by simply putting a plain old grasshopper on a plain brown hook. I would say I landed one fish with flies / fly rod for every two dozen I landed without.

And I challenge anybody to try the same experiment for themselves.

If you are into fly fishing for 'the challenge' or 'the balletic dance of fish and man' then that's great. Have fun. But if you want to haul fish, just don't worry about it.
posted by Sukiari at 12:21 AM on December 19, 2006

Nonetheless these are very very cool, and I may try tying a few of his anatomically modeled designs and trying them out just for shits n giggles. Who knows - they may work much better than the classic 'that looks nothing like a bug' flies.
posted by Sukiari at 12:23 AM on December 19, 2006

These are prolly the most beautiful flies in the world.

But, it's true; you can't beat a worm (or cricket) on a hook.
posted by wsg at 2:35 AM on December 19, 2006

Some of these are as icky as the photos of real creepy-crawlies that gross people out around here. Amazing work, and it's worth looking at the step-by-step instructions where there's detail I wouldn't have noticed from the pictures of the finished product.
posted by nowonmai at 6:37 AM on December 19, 2006

OMG the photos of real dragonflies, ahem, interacting with the fake flies under the "catch more flies" link are wonderful.
posted by nowonmai at 6:41 AM on December 19, 2006

Wow, from the last link.... "I was back the next day, with my realistic replica orange dragonfly"

He tied that orange dragonfly in a DAY. Whoah. I figured those things would take like a week each.
posted by Malor at 7:02 AM on December 19, 2006

Who was the most dominant athlete of all time? If athletes include fly tyers then... oh, nevermind.
posted by bpm140 at 9:11 AM on December 19, 2006

Malor : He tied that orange dragonfly in a DAY.

That's exactly what I came away with as well. A day? Holy hell, not only is he accurate, he's really quick.

I love that the dragonfly was at first interested then hostile at the replica:

Stupid fly, how the hell did he have such a good grip on that branch... Hey, what's this? Hellooo honey, you new to the branch? Hey, why are you ignoring me baby? Look at me, I'm orange and as all the ladies know, orange is sexy.

Come on, nothing? You aren't even going to look at me? Fine, I'm outta here.

[moments pass]

Oh WTF? How did she get that fly? First she totally ignores me, then she takes my lunch? No F'ing way. It's on bitch!

posted by quin at 10:18 AM on December 19, 2006

Didn't look at the great page on exactly how he does do what he does. He's so generous and humble in his explanations. Really nice. I like his passionate interest in his art/craft and his hilarious, mischievous telling about how he got into doing the exquisite dragonflies. The pic of the real ornage dragonfly courting the realistic one he made is very funny. (quin, Enjoyed your unrequited love among the dragonflies dialogue).
posted by nickyskye at 11:44 AM on December 19, 2006

Very cool. I really liked the last link. I started just looking at the pictures, but then had to start reading as it was so cool.
posted by OmieWise at 11:51 AM on December 19, 2006

This summer I took a class in identifying freshwater macroinvertebrates (caddisfly nymphs, stonefly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, etc.) and these images are good enough to study from. They're unbelievably accurate.
posted by nekton at 12:54 PM on December 19, 2006

Absolutely amazing. Any idea on what the legs of the camel spider and body of the dragonfly are made of?
posted by grieserm at 3:18 PM on December 19, 2006

They look like lobster or perhaps crayfish legs to me, but who knows.
posted by caddis at 5:55 PM on December 19, 2006

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