Print Fly fishing may be a sport, but tying flies is an art form
Written by Lu Stitt   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 00:00

When it comes to fishing, the best way to go about it is to use something a fish normally eats as bait. For people who like to fly fish that’s, well, flies — not house flies but the aquatic insects with wings that fish will jump out of the water for.

Jerry Brown shows the color and striping patterns on a golden pheasant wing, which he has used in the past to tie fly fishing lures, while talking about different types of flies and the fish they attract Aug. 17. Brown is currently in Idaho fly fishing for steelhead trout.“When these aquatic insects land on the water to get a drink, the fish swim up and swallow them,” said Jerry Brown, a local fly fisherman who ties his own flies. “I started tying when I was about 14 or 15 years old, holding the hook in a mechanical pencil clamp in my left hand and tying with my right.”

Brown still carries the red mechanical pencil in his tackle box, along with his fly tying equipment: a vise, scissors, hooks, tweezers, feathers, different sizes of tying thread, yarn, wire, fiber and many other waterproof materials to create the desired effect.

“I mostly tied woolly worms in the beginning. They look like a caterpillar. It’s the first fly you learn to tie,” said Brown, who grew up in Northern Arizona around Winslow and fished all of the surrounding lakes. “Once up at Big Lake I met a pilot who liked to fly fish. I was rowing in and out to fly fish. He saw me and offered me a tow. He caught a big trout he thought was a record. A woolly worm is what he caught it on.”

Brown said the key is to keep the flies simple, like the woolly worm.

“Probably more fish have been caught on woolly worms than any other fly,” he said.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Sept. 5, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.