My senior year in high school I took a fly tying class from the local fly club, Fresno Fly Fishermen for Conservation, the oldest fly club in California. I knew those good folks had full time jobs and to volunteer to teach me fly tying in their free time was too good to be true, but it was! I listened to every word and had immediate dedication. I asked the veterans to judge my newest efforts for the sake of improvement and soon made some new friends. Now that this hobby was launched, I knew I had to have the right equipment. A process is only as good as its weakest link and I made sure mine wasn’t the vise, so I bought a Dyna King upon recommendation of the veteran tyers.
I was mostly mentored by Clarence Butzbach, who wasn’t shy about critiquing my work. I knew I was on my way when he told me these flies are OK, which meant they were good judging by his standards. I urge young tyers to cherish that older veteran with lots of experience when they run across him or her. Tens of thousands of flies later, I still tie on and trust that same Dyna King vise. A vise holds a hook- yes, but it also provides efficiency, confidence, and allows me to concentrate totally on the fly at hand, without a concern for the vise. The Dyna King does that. I just seem to get into a tying rhythm with my Dyna King that I don’t get with other vises. I love the way they quickly adjust with a positive lock, so secure without smashing or compromising the hook. Truly some fine engineering.
Tying your own flies allows you to customize them for current fishing conditions and the way you fish, I really think that’s important. I tie something nearly every day, from midges to striper flies. My flies have been fished around the world and that is a good feeling, to help people have fun when it comes to their vacations.
As a seeker for fishier and cooler looking flies I was dissatisfied with the variety of colors available in natural materials so I began to dye my own. I now have 20+ years of experience dyeing natural materials. I am passionate about tying and eager to share this passion with others.
Bob’s work has been featured in several books including the Federations Fly Pattern Encyclopedia and Innovative Flies and Techniques. He likes to pay it forward and ties at conclaves and shows. People really learn a lot at these shows, both about tying and fishing, and life in general. Bob urges all tyers to attend these shows that feature demonstration tyers.