Tyer's Block

5 ways to get rid of tyer's block

Yes.  That is a dime, and tying like this is NOT healthy

It's the tail end of winter, and midges are a must in my box if I want to be able to catch dry fly eaters this weekend.  I really like to create new stuff at the vise, but all of my creative juices are being used up at the moment with big bulky streamers like articulated complex twist buggers and shiny dangly sliders.  Midges were causing me to get something that we all dread - tyer's block.  Instead of packing it in and watching Storage Wars for the evening, I decided to spin up some #30 bunny midges while I tried to force myself to be more creative.  The result?  Nothing groundbreaking on the midge front, but now I have a dozen tried and true midge patterns to fish with! (and they all fit on a dime.)

Have you ever had a time where you sit down in front of the vise and you lose all motivation or inspiration to tie flies?  I have at times had to deal with sitting at my tying desk and staring at the clutter that has overtaken my work space.  Sometimes I throw a hook in the vise and hope inspiration will hit me betwixt the eyes, but more times than not, it doesn't happen this way and the fly that gets tied is an uninspired piece of junk that gets hucked into a corner of the desk that is the graveyard for junker flies.  See, for me... I HAVE TO TIE.  It's kind of like breathing - so I came up with 5 ways to get that motivation back to turn up the tunes and crank out the flies.

1- Revisit past effective patterns - I like to think back over the last year and think of all of the
patterns that worked for me.  From there I like to tie up more of those patterns along with some slight variations of those patterns.  This will often spur creativity by helping you remember how the fly fished, and possible ways to make it better.  The Stoneflopper is a perfect example of this for me.  I had tied a bunch of them and we did really well on them, but the glue I was using for the foam didn't keep it in place after a few fish.  Glue changed, and now that pattern is basically bulletproof.

Premo Grumpy Frumpy
2- Fill a box - Whether this means going through an old box and purging old chewed up patterns or buying a new box, the challenge of filling it up is always fun and motivating.  Since I got a few of the tacky boxes I made a goal to fill one of them up with my A-Team varsity starter dry flies, and that box came in handy for me more than once.  It's always fun to pull it out and make sure that I'm fully stocked on the yellow-red Grumpy Frumpy tied on an ultra premium hook with cree hackle.  Yep...  That's how my grumpy game rolls - and it's goooooooood.

3- Organize your work space - This perhaps doesn't apply to you OCD  types who know how many
That is a MESS
millimeters of each color of tinsel you have at any given time... For me, it is always a good thing to go through all my stuff and put it away just so I can remember all of the material, hooks, yarn, and used lingerie that I have amassed over the years.  There are times that I'll get a great idea for a fly just by remembering what I have to tie with.

4- Tie for an upcoming trip - Whether it's a trip coming up on the weekend or a trip in a few months, it's always a good idea to visualize the fish you are going to catch, and the bugs that are going to do the job for you.  It can be hard to tie bass poppers in January, but if you get pumped for that trip coming up  in July it becomes a lot more appealing.  It's March, and I'm throwing down a foam bug here and there to get ready for the summer.

Pink Humpy
5- Challenge yourself to learn a new pattern - This is typically what I do if I'm really super stuck.  A few years ago I went on a full grown rampage to tie the perfect Humpy.  I researched and tried all different types of hair and tying styles, and ended up with a nice little collection of fishable humpy pattern.  I wouldn't say they were perfect, but at least they were presentable to the fish.  Through researching and tying one of the old classics, I gained a new-found respect for the tyers of yesteryear who didn't/wouldn't use the comforts of synthetic materials like we have now.  This being said, I'll take foam any day (see the Grumpy Frumpy.)

These tips have helped me many a time, and they have turned a day of sitting and staring at my vise into a productive day of tying flies.

~ Cheech