Sunday Classic / Tying On The Road

4 comments / Posted on / by

Tying Flies in Camp  Photo by Louis Cahill

Tying Flies in Camp Photo by Louis Cahill

When Kent and I hit the road for a Gink and Gasoline outing, among the pile of rods, waders, cameras and Cliff Bars there’s always a canvas tool bag stuffed to the gills with feathers and fur. It’s generally a ridiculous amount of materials. Way more that we could ever use. Everything we need to tie a thread midge or a streamer that looks like something Elton John wore in the 70s.

I don’t care how well you plan for a trip you always need just one more of that hot fly. Maybe there’s an unexpected hatch or maybe a sudden inspiration. In any case that bag of feathers has saved more than one trip.

I’ll never forget a subfreezing night we spent in a fish camp on the White River in Arkansas tying shad patterns. We would tie a fly, bundle up and scramble out to the river to try it out under a flood light. We’d watch how the fish reacted then hurry back to the room to drink whisky, speculate about the fish’s reaction and tie another variation. We got no sleep but we ended up with a killer shad pattern, and a hangover.

I don’t know why I forgot, on a recent trip, to pack that bag of tying materials. We drove to West Virginia to fish for musky and before we went I tied up a half dozen patterns, no two the same. I knew that the friend we were fishing with had some killer patterns and didn’t even expect to use mine, but I can’t go fishing without tying flies. Of course, one of my patterns turned out to be the hot ticket and,of course, I lost it on some structure at the bottom of the river after four fish had eaten it.

We tried again and again to reproduce that fly from our buddy’s materials. No luck. The secret ingredient was a saltwater material that he didn’t have. We never managed another hot fly. “Never again,” Kent told me at least a hundred times.

Get yourself a travel vice and a tool bag from the home depot and spare yourself the grief. There’s nothing as rewarding as catching some bug and replicating it on the spot then tearing up some fish on that new fly. It doesn’t hurt to have some whisky on hand too.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook:

4 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Tying On The Road

  1. My only vice is a Renzetti Saltwater Traveler 2300 Cam Vise – C-Clamp Model SC2303 and it goes on every trip. Sometimes it doesn’t get used. Some trips it gets used every night. There are other times when I will sit down at someone else’s gear and tie some patterns they need or haven’t got so it is a mix for me. BM

  2. So true, Louis. And the farther from home you are the more important your lack of stuff you could have brought becomes.

  3. Louis and Kent, awesome post! I have packed my vise and materials on some occasions but run into the issue of packing room in my vehicle because most of my excursions involve packing the family and their gear as well. Unfortunately the family factor pushes my gear to a minimum. What do you guys recommend packing as a minimalist trying to conserve space? Thanks, and keep up the awesome work. -TC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...