Monday, July 2, 2007

Crafty day -- tying flies and dying quills

Our dear friend Letle (pronounced Let - Lee) came over today for some fly tying lessons. I picked a pattern we may find some use for in small mountain streams (fingers crossed for a few high-altitude hike-in fishing trips this summer) as well as one difficult technique it can teach. I decided on the H & L Variant. Great attractor fly for naieve little mountain stream fish, easy to see and fish, floats like a cork, and you learn how to deal with hair -- both the wing and the tail. We wrestled through a few and by the 4th or 5th Letle was on her way to producing these with aplomb. While she and I worked our way through tying lessons, The Wife was working with porcupine quills.

Quillwork preceded beadwork in North America for obvious reasons -- glass means technology. See some beautiful work and a brief description Here. It seems The Wife and I are stricken by a similar aesthetic problem, we like archaic forms of arts and crafts. Beadwork on leather isn't cool enough, she's got to go Quillwork. Like for me, archery isn't enough I have to make my own wooden bow with hand tools. Don't know what the deal is, but it sure keeps things interesting. None of these techniques and skills are particularly easy, so we sweat through learning new skills all the time.

In a move the total opposite of archaic, The Wife used Kool Aid to dye her quills today. It is well known for great bright colors by fly tiers who dye their own feathers, and it turned out to be great for the quills too. The red and orange colors she achieved really popped, and the purple turned out to be a deep, rich mahogany color that looks great though wasn't what she originally planned. She has to find an alternative dye for green though, because there isn't any green Kool Aid. Go figure.

So fantastic day in The Crazy House as Criddle calls it. Lounging around making messes in the living room and chatting. Perfect summer vacation.

And tomorrow, I fish. I may faint from excitement.



Muse said...

You guys don't have green Kool-Aid? Stock up while you're in Canada!

Bentley said...

I have always wanted to try fly fishing, but never got around to it..

Until then, i give you the above link of neatness. i really like finding these random clips, and always end up posting them in comments on your journal :P

Bpaul said...

Muse, what flavor lime?? We'll have to pick some up at a different store then. Rocking.

Bentley, that rocked.

Muse said...

Yup! At least in Canada, green is lime flavoured.