Published Jul 26. 2016 - 6 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 8. 2020


A couple of weeks ago my Facebook wall started overflowing with great fly photos. I think I should thank David Hise for that.

I go on Facebook every now and then to look for great fishing and fly tying posts. I like to browse fly photos in particular, and about a couple of weeks ago the number of great fly photos suddenly started increasing, and during the last week it has grown from a small trickle to a stream and has now almost turned into a flood.
The far majority of these pictures are tagged in the Instagram style with a hashtag called #‎flypatternphotochallenge‬ (fly pattern photo challenge) and most of them refer to this challenge with a text along the lines:

Day 1 of 5 ‪#‎flypatternphotochallenge‬
Post one fly photo per day for five days and nominate another tyer each day to do the same.
David Hise started this fly pattern challenge in honor of someone in special recovery. Please keep it rolling.
I nominate John Doe to participate in this challenge.
Spey fly
All wings
Popper Minkie
Quill bodied Klinkhamer
CdC Caddis
Some amazing patterns
Christopher Reeves - Alan Bithell - Paul Slaney - Martin Westbeek - Allan Overgaard

I was nominated myself a couple of times, but haven't started posting my streak of flies yet. I just returned from a short vacation and need to get my senses back in everyday mode, but it will come. I too will post five flies and challenge five friends.

So I tried to trace the history and origin of this challenge, and did some searching on Facebook to try to reveal the origin. I also contacted David Hise, referred in the posts, to get the story from him, and he replied:

I began the #flypatternphotochallenge in honor of my wife who is suffering from breast cancer. She just had surgery and will now have to endure 16 weeks of chemo.
She is an artist of a different type but I thought she would enjoy our art as fly tyers.
I didn't expect the attention it is getting. I've been trying to go through the flies on a daily basis from day one and can't keep up any longer.
Now it's on Instagram too. :-)
It is a sight to see in such days of turmoil in our world. Would rather see my feeds filled with flies than all the negative that has been the trend of late.
David Hise
A couple of the flies David posted
David Hise and his flies
Leif Edström - David Hise

David started this on July 12th:

July 12 at 2:19pm · St. Stephens, NC, United States
I thought the photo challenge thingy was corny at first but now I realize that it helps us see things we may not normally get to see. Therefore, I'm going to start my own.
Day 1/5 #flypatternphotochallenge
Post one fly photo per day for five days and nominate another tyer each day to do the same.

From there on it grew, and now it seems that it's spreading like a wildfire.
Already on the 19th David himself noted that it had taken on its own life – and indicated the motivation for his post as mentioned in his reply above:

July 19 at 7:21pm · St. Stephens, NC, United States
The flypatternphotochallenge has blown up. Check it out at ‪#‎flypatternphotochallenge‬. Thank you to all the participants for sharing their art. It's a collaboration of some of the best tyers in the world. I haven't sold a thing but my loved one is recovering fast and is impressed.

And a couple of days later:

July 22 at 3:42pm · Hickory, NC, United States
More outstanding flies to look at on Instagram under the ‪#‎flypatternphotochallenge‬ . Again, thank you all for your great submissions. The response has been truly amazing.

I've been trying to go through the flies on a daily basis...

And he was right. The response was indeed amazing and still is, and following the almost endless current of fly photos by really great tyers and photographers is thrilling.
David posted this on July the 24th:

I've been going through the flies that were submitted to the ‪#‎flypatternphotochallenge‬ for the last 2 hours. I must say, it is quite the collection of styles, ideas and dressings. Thank you to everyone for sending your thoughts and blessings through the art of fly tying. As short and insignificant as it may be, the world has come together through our work at the bench. My wife and I are truly honoured to say the least.
Find the #flypatternphotochallenge posts on Facebook here and on Instagram here.


Great idea!...

This whole fly/photo challenge is a great idea, and my best wishes for a speedy recovery for Mr./Mrs Hise.


Thank you, David! It was awesome!!!


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