What's the general appearance of your fly tying area? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What's the general appearance of your fly tying area?

04-06-2003, 12:25 PM
I pose the question because in many of the tying books I own, photos of the author's tying area always paint a picture of overall neatness; this is in direct contrast to my own fly tying area. In fact, on a "neatness" scale of 1-10 with 10 being the neatest, my desk probably ranks in at -22. This is largely because I tie four or five patterns a week and the assorted materials always get scattered around; still, I know where to find what I'm looking for, even if I have to excavate through a mound of stuff to find it. My office is the same, I must admit, but my excuse is that, being a scientist, the more stuff I have piled in various places, the busier I look!:hehe: "High levels of entropy at work"...
Feel free to post a pic of your tying area to show your friends a) how much stuff you've got (on second thought, this might be a bad idea, as some stuff might get borrowed), and b) that you're messier than they are!

04-06-2003, 01:15 PM
Please remove this post before any 'significant others' see/react to same!!!

John Desjardins
04-06-2003, 01:23 PM
Fred I'm already relegated to the basement due to the significant other. :hehe: Besides I thought that you had a secret rod/fly tying closet in your new house. Running and ducking...

04-06-2003, 01:59 PM
often. One of the extra bedrooms was set up for this but "stuff" just seemed to 'gravitate' back down to the family room.

Elves in the night?

04-06-2003, 04:11 PM
My table is such a mess I've been know to lose whole sets of flies for swaps on it.I think I know what I got and sometimes stuff isn't where I remember I left it.:hehe:

04-06-2003, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by ashley
...I think I know what I got and sometimes stuff isn't where I remember I left it.:hehe:

That's because the fly tying gremlins come in the middle of the night and re-arrange everything! :chuckle:

04-06-2003, 04:44 PM
My Bench? I prefer to refer to it as being in a constant state of flux. I'm lucky enough to have taken over a corner of the family room and have expanded to a 8' section. My only problem is when I close the door to the garage, which is right next to my area, it's feather city:hehe:

04-06-2003, 05:36 PM
I had the desk out in the garage, but decided to move into one of our vacant rooms. I have now taken this room completely over, and have my books on one wall, the desk and supplies on another, and my favorite black leather chair with end table when I want to sit in peace and read. Have to keep this door closed, though, otherwise our dogs would have a field day with all the stuff laying around on the desk.

04-06-2003, 06:48 PM
Every time I tie, I just pull out sufficient material for 1 pattern, and tie up a bunch. But the damn material seems to get mixed up with what I tied last (or plan on tying next) and ends up being a mess. Oh, well - just close the door and forget about it until next session!:hehe: :devil:


04-06-2003, 06:57 PM
Mines still messy, but less, I now only bring out the material I am actively tying with, and put it back in storage chest when done. Now the storage chest is a mess with material all over the place unordered. I find stuff I forgot I bought two months ago. Example thought I was out of white marabou, went through the chest drawers and found three packages !!

If I don't put the material away after each tying session the two siberian husky pups will get it. I cover the table with a big old towel, but they manage to poke there nose underneath and occassionally grab something I forgot to put away, like a squirrel tail or krystal hair. They chew it.

Needless to say all hooks are put away for sure each time. I will be in big trouble if one of the dogs gets hurt by a hook I left out.

One killed a field mouse in the backyard today and played with it for an hour before I had to clean it up. I don't think that one will be interested in my fly material today.

Never a dull moment in this house.

PM Out

04-06-2003, 08:45 PM
I voted "quite messy", but only because my tying area is confined to relatively small space. If I had a larger tying desk then I'm sure the mess would expand to fill the available space. Here's a photo of its present state, with the newly tied woolly bugger still in the vise:


04-06-2003, 09:07 PM
What is left over from my last tying session...this all just laying on the floor in my room.

04-06-2003, 09:08 PM
...another shot!

04-06-2003, 09:19 PM
...the scary thing is, this is the cleanest my tying junk has been in months!!!

And to take it a step further...who has the most crap in the back of their fishing rig.

Note: Ignore that one boot in the lower left side of the pic...that is super secret protype Simms boot...you didnt see NOTHIN'! :devil: :razz:

04-07-2003, 10:24 AM
[See posting title :eyecrazy: ]

This is one time I'm glad I don't own a digital camera or scanner :eek: - I'm gonna vote up there with ashley and Q - on a desk with about 7.5 square feet on the work surface alone, I've got maybe - MAYBE - a one-by one-and-one-half foot square 'spot' to work in; the rest is covered with pelts, tails, quills, bottles, hook boxes, plastic bags, books and magazines, catalogs...

and the best part is, it's right next to, and on plane with the cat's window bed - guess who likes investigating all the new 'toys' when I'm not around :whoa:

04-07-2003, 06:52 PM
At this point, 52% of us are certified slobs, with another 29% close in tow! I don't feel so bad the state of my tying area, speaking of which...

04-07-2003, 06:54 PM
And a close-up...

04-07-2003, 07:06 PM

Back in January when I was doing all those fly swaps mine looked like yours. I like it that way, but it was really getting out of hand this winter.

PM Out

04-07-2003, 07:29 PM
I'm REALLY surprised that only 52% of us are "certified" slobs. I would have guessed more like 90%. The TRUTHFUL answer is that 52% of us are truthful, and most of the other guys are lying.:hehe:


John Desjardins
04-07-2003, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by BobK
I'm REALLY surprised that only 52% of us are "certified" slobs. I would have guessed more like 90%. The TRUTHFUL answer is that 52% of us are truthful, and most of the other guys are lying.:hehe:


Bob, one of my favorite bumper stickers is "I Fish Therefore... I Lie". I was impressed that the plot is assymptotic to slobbiness. Most polls end up with a normal curve.

04-07-2003, 09:44 PM
One difference with this poll is that virtually all flytiers I know may be within a standard bell-shaped curve in the rest of their behavior, but all look like slobs when it comes to their fly tying benches, myself included.

Maybe it's a guy thing, but even a couple of fly fishing gals I know fit this mold.


04-07-2003, 10:57 PM
Because tidyness is next to godliness and I need all the help I can get to make it up there!
Besides, this is my tying room and I keep it clean and tidy, just like it was (once) when I took this picture.......

04-08-2003, 01:03 AM
My desk can get unorganized, only because the overhead compartments have misc home stuff (bill storage, check storage, misc. packing supplies) but have a few of those slots for my tying glues, misc. fly tying stuff.

Now, the top of desk is just for show. Have some misc. flies I've tied, and some pics/misc. feathers. But, when you come to drawers below desktop, it's ALL tying. One drawers is just chenilles. One just dubbing materials. One feathers, another furs. Basically everything you see below that desktop is strictly fly tying supplies. It stays somewhat organized that way.

04-08-2003, 01:26 AM
I suppose all those years I spent tying professionally for commercial accounts caused me to have a neat and well organized tying bench. I keep my materials in storage away from the tying bench unless I am tying with them at the time for two reasons: 1) it keeps the bench from getting cluttered up; and 2) it keeps my materials organized so that I can find them easily.

With having a neat and organized tying bench, I have plenty of room to put flies as I finish them, plenty of room to keep the materials and hooks being used at the time on the tying bench top, plenty of room for several bobbins that are in use to tie the fly to lie on the table top with the other tools I am using at the time. I don't have to hunt for anything, and it speeds up tying speed because nothing is in the way and I don't have to hunt for anything.

I typically tie between 1 and 3 dozen flies of the same pattern and size per tying session. Therefore, after they are finished and cement has been applied, they can be either laid on the bench top or hung up on bead chain for the heads to dry. And if they are epoxy head streamers for salt water, they can be coated with 5-minute epoxy and placed on a ratating drying rack composed of 1/2 inch CPVC plastic water pipe covered with foam pipe insulation that is placed into a rod finish dryer. This lets me coat and dry up to 5 dozen epoxy head flies at a time.

Also, I buy material in large quantities. For example, marabou is purchased in 1 pound of a single color. Hooks are purchased by the thousand of a single size and type. Thread by the dozen of a color and size, etc. Since I have so much material come in when I buy it, it needs to be organized in storage containers away from the tying table or I have no room to tye.

04-08-2003, 01:28 AM
SH69 - your desk looks almost exactly like mine - right down to the upper left collection of feathers - except your inside desk is noticeably cleaner than mine! that's why I've got the roll top, to whisk the mess into the realm of invisible for wifey

and Frenchcreek - you've got it bad!!! :p

great stuff!!

04-08-2003, 06:10 AM
Oh, I completely understand the benefits afforded by having a neat and tidy fly tying desk/area; I think we all do, it's simply a matter of keeping it that way! For example, last night having just taken that picture of the area, I thought, "This is abominable, I really should clean it up", and so I did... more or less. The trouble is, it will look trashed again within two days. As has been pointed out previously by other members, so long as I can keep the majority of materials, particularly the hooks, stored away and out of reach of the dogs (and I'm very meticulous about this), I consider the area "clean enough" for me. But of course, tying is just a hobby for me; I can certainly see why professionals such as FlyTyer would keep their desk in neat and tidy fashion, especially with all the materials they have.

04-08-2003, 10:12 AM
I can assure you I am in the 11 who voted honestly, its just impossible to keep all that stuff orderly. Maybe when I am retired like BobK ?


PM Out

04-08-2003, 02:34 PM
Ever since I put up the peg board with the clips on it my area looks kinda neat, not pristine.

An area needs to look worked in, plus a little mess keeps the wife away.

04-08-2003, 03:22 PM
My wife has threatened to throw all my flys, materials, books, etc. out when I leave the planet. I have to get my youngest son into this but he is now tied up in football and track, etc... Other two sons don't have the patience for it I am afraid.

PM Out

04-08-2003, 04:07 PM
The easy fix for this is to just make yhe kids buy their flies with their own money. Amazing how soon they get a good dose of patience!

BobK:hehe: :hehe:

04-08-2003, 04:26 PM
Hey Bobk and Fred E.,

I'm getting close to post # 3,000 shoot me a PM with some ideas for the 3,000th post.

I admire your older and wiser fly fisherman experience and thoughts, etc.... Hope I still have energy to be cyber fishing and on the trout and steelhead rivers when I am your ages.:chuckle: :chuckle:


PM Out

04-08-2003, 06:46 PM
If you don't mend your ways, and soon, you may not make it! :devil:

BobK:hehe: :hehe: