Published Feb 10. 2000 - 22 years ago
Updated or edited Sep 29. 2021

Bobs Garage

There is a story behind "The Garage". Not too long ago my wife and I were renting a two story house that had a tiny little room upstairs with no closet. Since we already had a spare bedroom for family visitors, this room was quickly claimed as the "Sports Room".

It looks big and heavy, but it is light
One of my favorite containers in the garage is filled with woodduck flank feathers.
Articles in Bob's Garage
Spey hackle
Woodduck Flank

Bob's Garage? Huh?
Ok - I'll admit it - it's a pretty lame name for a section on the Global Flyfisher. Martin already had "The Lab" and Steve has his "Bench". Heck, Raske has an entire geography to himself. The kitchen is a favorite of mine, but it's not really appropriate for a web site devoted to fly fishing. That's ok - I like the garage. It's cool and dry, has good lighting, a decent radio, and it's all mine.
There is a story behind "The Garage". Not too long ago my wife and I were renting a two story house that had a tiny little room upstairs with no closet. Since it was just the two of us, and since we already had a spare bedroom for family visitors, this room was quickly claimed as the "Sports Room" - the place where all my fly fishing and fly tying stuff was stored, along with anything else not suitable for public viewing.
That room was both a blessing and a curse. It was nice to have a place that was mine and mine only. I had to keep the door closed to keep the cats out, so it really was an oasis in an otherwise ordinary home. There were days where I couldn't turn around in the room without crushing something underfoot. It was tiny, but cozy. The downside was that it was uninsulated and the heat register didn't seem so free flowing. In the summer it was a sauna and in the winter it was a deep freeze. I wasn't about to complain, however, as I had my own little place to play that wasn't subject to our normal house rules.
Along came my daughter Erin, a new house, and before you could say "mortgage payments" my sports room stuff was been banished to the garage. It's a three bedroom house, but now our "extra" room is the guest room since Erin has a room to herself. With another on the way, it may not be too long before I rename this area "Bob's Shed", but we'll play that one by ear.
Gone are the days of having a dedicated spot to tie flies. You know what? I tie more now than I did before. It's a bit of a pain to setup and tear down every time I want to tie, and I hope to remedy that situation before too long, but being able to set up shop in the family room while my wife and I are relaxing for the evening certainly has increased the time I can devote to tying.
No longer is tying time spent away from the family. That has made a big difference and far outweighs the nuisance of working out of a tool box on a foldup table.

With that long winded explanation of the name behind us, let's talk a bit about what the section is all about. Like most fly tyers, I am a materials scrounge. Anything and everything is considered a fly tying material until proven otherwise, from my mother's bathroom rug to the gook in our dryer's lint trap. All my materials are stored in the garage in various tubs, crates, organizers, bags, and sometimes just tossed on a table or the cement floor.

I thought it would be fun to talk about some of that stuff. While my focus will be materials, we'll touch upon tying techniques where appropriate as well as presenting representative patterns that make use of each material.
Please don't think that I'm claiming to be an "expert" in fly tying materials. All I can do is relate my experiences and maybe we'll all learn a thing or two in the process. Writing forces me to think about things in a different way, and to do a little research, so I'm definitely learning with each article.
It is my sincere desire that readers will write in with their own thoughts and ideas on the materials we discuss. I would be delighted to update these features with information sent in from our readers. I don't know many fly tyers that aren't a little nuts about materials, so talk to me. I want to hear what you think about what I write and I want to know if you have other uses for these materials, even if your thoughts contradict my own (maybe especially so). You find me here.
With that - the garage is open. C'mon in - the coffe's almost done. I hope you don't mind the country music.
February '00



Good Morning Bob! ...

Good Morning Bob!
First I'll start by saying no, I don't mind the country music, in fact I welcome it. All though I'm partial to the older classics such as Jennings, Cash, Skaggs, and Monroe and the rest. Lol. One of the best things I'll always love about Fly Tying in general is I'll never stop learning. No matter how old I get, which I'm only 31 now, I'll never be able to say, "Hey, I know more than you, or that's not the "correct" way." Lol. Every Tyer has his or hers own way. Who are we to judge? Some ways are easier for certain applications, I'm just stating how do we know it's easier for that particular Tyer? I'd love to learn more about materials. But mostly, better quality CHEAPER materials. I've never been a man of great means, and now with Twin Boys on the way I have less. Lol. I've really developed a skill for being "unconventional!" For instance, I'll NEVER buy dyed black Ringneck Pheasant tail. When I'm tying a pattern(black Stonefly) that calls for black PT, I'll just opp for the naturally colored black Vulture Feathers I've found in fields and such. Sure, the fibers aren't as long, but I make do. A little head cement, by the way my head cement is Salleys Hard as Nails, lol, and the fibers hold strong. There are a ton of other applications for such materials that I can "side step" or for lack of a better term, CHEAT with. But there are of course some that are impossible, or at least I haven't found em yet. Two examples, long Rooster neck/cape hackles. Particularly the #14's-#24's and up, and the elusive CDC feathers. Anyways, I just thought I'd stop by and see if you'd ever like to chat more on any topic of Fly Tying and maybe share some knowledge with me. Hope you have a great productive day. Nice meeting you.
- Justin


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