The Bob Ross Fly Tying Party

I’m just now finding out about the “Bob Ross Party”. (I don’t get out much.) Initially started for kids painting parties, the Bob Ross party has been adapted for adults for, I guess, COVID relief, not to mention politics. As I understand attendees often imbibe their favorite beverage to Bob’s calming voice and soothing little expressions as they work on their painting. We are all in need of some relaxing recreation… but we just can’t go anywhere, hence the Bob Ross party.

Well, I think fly tying can benefit from the Bob Ross party approach. But, we don’t have Bob Ross! Ah, but we do have the next best thing, the Feather Bender, Barry Ord Clarke. BOC is one of the best tyers in the world and with his quiet British accent, if you’re not careful, you could fall asleep at the vice before you finish the fly. If you don’t believe it, close your eyes and listen to him tie this fly and see what happens:

Of course Barry does not have the little soothing expressions to calm the COVID/politics fearing party attendee, so I’ve gathered some of Bob’s and adapted to them to fly fishing. See what you think:

  1. “There’s nothing wrong with having a fly as a friend.”
  2. “We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.”
  3. “I think there’s a fly tyer hidden at the bottom of every single one of us.” 
  4. “You too can tie almighty flies.”
  5. “No pressure. Just relax and watch the fly happen.”
  6. “Don’t forget to make all these little flies individuals — all of them special in their own way.”
  7. “Find freedom on this hook.”
  8. “It’s so important to fly fish every day, that will make you happy.”
  9. Tying is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can tie.”
  10. “Make love to the fly.”
  11. “Fly fishing will bring a lot of good thoughts to your heart.”
  12. “We fly fishers are a different breed of people. We’re a happy bunch.”
  13. “We want happy flies. Happy flies. If you want sad things, watch the bass tournaments.”
  14. That’s a crooked hook. We’ll send him to Washington.”
  15. “Every day is a good day when you fly fish.”
  16. “I think each of us, sometime in our life, has wanted to tie a fly.”
  17. “We tell people sometimes: We’re like drug dealers, come into town and get everybody absolutely addicted to tying. It doesn’t take much to get you addicted.”
  18. “They say fly fishing looks better with tight loops. But sometimes I cast a tailer, — just to upset the critics.”
  19. Gotta give him a fly rod. Like I always say, ‘Everyone needs a fly rod.’
  20. “See how it fades right into nothing. That’s just what the fish is looking for.”
  21. “If I tie a fly, I don’t want to have to explain what it is.”
  22. “Water’s like me. It’s lazy. Boy, it always looks for the easiest way to go places.”
  23. “In tying, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. You can bend rivers. But when I get home, the only thing I have power over is the garbage.”
  24. Don’t forget to tell these special people in your life just how special they are to your fly fishing.”
  25. “Didn’t you know your vice had that much power? You can move mountains. You can do anything.”
  26. “I like to beat the EP brush.”
  27. “Just let go — and fall like a little waterfall.”
  28. “I really believe that if you practice enough you could tie the ‘Silver Doctor’ with a ten-dollar vice.”
  29. “Make wraps so very light. Be a gentle whisper.”
  30. “Use absolutely no pressure. Or you break your thread.”
  31. “You need the dark in order to show the light.”
  32. “You can tie anything you want to tie. This is your world.”
  33. “You have to allow the hackle to flair to make it beautiful.”
  34. “However you think it should be, that’s exactly how it should be.”
  35. “In nature, dead spinners are just as normal as live duns.”
  36. “You can fish anywhere in the world — once you help everyone around you fish where they want.”
  37. If you tie on too much, it’s going to lose its effectiveness.”
  38. “This is a happy fly; little squirrels and their hair live here and play on this hook.”
  39. “Remember how free feathers are. They just lay around on the bird all day long.”
  40. “We don’t really know where this feather goes — and I’m not sure we really care as long as a fish will eat it.”
  41. If we’re going to have fish around we all have to be concerned about them and take care of them.”
  42. “You can tie any fly here — the only prerequisite is that it makes you happy.”
  43. “Cast under the limb — that’s where the fish is.”
  44. “Isn’t it fantastic that you can change your mind and create all these fish catching things?”
  45. “Anytime you tie, you gain flies in your box.”
  46. “It’s fly fishing. It’s interesting. It’s fun.”

So club members, at the April Magnolia Fly Fishers meeting, no matter how they arrive, they will leave calm and relieved of the pressures of our current Dystopian world. And if you tie the best fly you’ll get a prize!

So that’s the plan for our April meeting, a Bob Ross Party, Feather Bender style. Scott Toller has agreed to be our guest tyer who will tie the fly we choose and will also be our judge to see who ties the best fly. Tuesday April 20, 6:00.



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