The Six Hats- In-depth Post 6

So Garry is getting ready for the hunting and fishing trade show this weekend, but he was able to find some time to meet before I leave for Hawaii on Sunday. We met Wednesday for more of a “discussion” meeting, which was good because I got all kinds of good stuff to transcribe.

We talked about a whole bunch of stuff; what have I done so far, some of the things I’ve learned, and where I want to go next. Although we didn’t tie anything, I still thought it was a really good meeting, a kind of review really.

Here’s a snippet of one of the conversations between Garry and I:

Basically what’s happening here is I’m walking around the shop looking at a bunch of stuff (tools, flies, magazines) and just going over what I’ve learned and what’s next.

Me: So I’ve learned to work rabbit and marabou so far. I know that you have to start with a foundation of thread, and the best way to tie materials in is with the 1,2,3,4 forward and back method. I’ve practiced whip finishing. And dubbing is when you spin stuff around the thread to finish right.

Garry: Yeah, that’s exactly right, you take the fur or whatever you have and spin it one way around the thread. There’s also a dubbing twister tool that you can use to make your life easier.                                                                                           Me: (looking at the fly shelf) These are flesh flies right? Made with rabbit and their supposed to look like a big ball of dead meat floating down the river.

Garry: Pretty much, like dead chum, and dolly’s (a type of fish) love those. Do you remember what kind of rabbit is used for these?

Me: There’s zonker and cross-cut rabbit.

Garry: Yup

Me: And in this case you’d be wrapping it around. So it would be, cross-cut.

Garry: Yes! And why cross and not zonkers?

Me: well… zonker material isn’t made for wrapping because of the way it’s cut, so you use cross-cut and palmer it as you go.

Garry: Yes! Exactly, ’cause otherwise you’d end up with this big fur ball mo-hawk, and that’s the last thing you want.

This section is shows an example of the white hat. We talk about what I know and need to practice. The real hard facts.

Me: I have an idea of what I want to do next too.

Garry: Yeah what’s that.

Me: Well I’m into trout so I figured we could do some nymphs maybe.

Garry: Yeah of course, that’s a good place to move on to. Something like a doc spratley would be an easy transition into nymphs… yeah you need to tie one of those; they call it BC’s number one wet fly.

Me: Awesome, so we can get into that next time we meet. And for like techniques and stuff it’s not really that much different or…?

Garry: Yeah a lot of the stuff is the same, different materials of course, stuff like pheasant hair and deer. But overall their close, just a bit smaller though.

Me: Nice nice, sound good I think I’m ready to move on, ’cause I feel confident with jigs and stuff so…

Garry: Yeah for sure, I think you’re ready too.

This section is more of the black and red hats as we discuss if I’m ready to move on, as well as my emotions (what I want). I didn’t really use the green and yellow hat’s I think though, so that’s something I can work on.

Anyways next time I post it should be about something like the flies below.

Wet flies

two different Doc Spratelys & a Tom Thumb


In-depth Post #4

So today I met with my mentor and accomplished and learned a whole bunch of new stuff. I had been practicing tying jigs with rabbit hair all last week, so this week it was time to move on the working with marabou. The marabou stork is a bird found mainly in central Africa, and is a great fly tying material. It is slightly more difficult to work with compared to rabbit, however you can make some really stunning jigs with it.

Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork

marabou jig

Jig made of marabou

Tying marabou jigs isn’t a whole lot different than tying with rabbit. The principles are the same along with most of the basic skills. However some of the techniques are a bit different. For example, unlike rabbit, you tie marabou from the back instead of the front. Once you get the basics though, it’s pretty easy. Next Garry showed me how to tie a marabou jig, and afterwards he and I talked about some different tying techniques and the different things you can do with marabou, which is where I incorporated some of De Bono’s book. It was important that I was a good listener, because if I was not I wouldn’t have known what to do when it was my turn to tie. So I paid very close attention to the things Garry was showing and telling me, and I asked questions to clarify on anything that I didn’t quite get. At first my questions were mainly shooting questions to help with the tying, but once I got the hang of it I asked a lot of “What if” questions to really push what I was learning further.

Lastly I tied a couple more marabou jigs and Garry and I talked about a few of the things in De Bono’s book including values. Garry told me that it’s good to be different then other people when it comes to tying. It helps with the creativity because a lot of tying is about trying something new and seeing if it works. Overall I thought it was a super productive meeting and I have some new flies to practice tying at home. Unfortunately though, I didn’t take any pictures of the jigs I tied today (which I’m kicking myself for) and I left them at Garry’s shop. So I’ll make sure that I get them into my next post. Anyways, In-depth is still rolling smoothly for me and I’m getting more and more excited about the big night!






In-depth Post #3

I’ve met with my mentor twice since the last post and have been making great progress. Things have been going super smoothly, and seem to be coming along quite quickly. The last two times I’ve met with Garry we’ve discussed how the ideas in De Bono’s “How to Have a Beautiful Mind” relate to fly tying. We talked about how different aspects and types of flies connect to each other. Also the importance of knowing how they flies differ and are used for different things. Furthermore I discovered that “what if” is a great term to use when it comes to tying. There are so many opportunities to ask “what if,” for example using different colors. What if I use black and green rabbit zonkers instead of pink? What if I use a combination of rabbit and ostrich hairs on one fly?  What if I tie off at the back of the fly? The examples are endless.

Next, when reading Ms. Mulder’s post 3 description, I realized that I had already been using the different techniques of furthering a conversation. Now I’m not sure if I was supposed to do this yet, but it happened so I figured I’d write about it. First I noticed that asking for clarification on something that I am unclear about happened a lot, especially when it came to the different knot types. Also when discussing about some of the local flies I was able to support and elaborate on one of my mentors points thanks to the research I did for the integrated essay. Lastly sharing stories, something any fishermen is familiar with, was bound to happen. Each time Garry and I meet we share different personal stories and experiences, which really deepens the conversation.

Finally, in our last meeting, Garry gave me a bit of “homework” per say; he tasked me with mastering the jig. So for about a week or so now I’ve been practicing tying different jigs, and I’ll keep doing so until our next week or so next week. Once I’m confident with tying jigs and get Garry’s approval I will move on to tying the next type of fly. And with that week four of In-depth comes to an end with a lot of fun still in store!

In-depth Post 2

Let’s start off by saying that I’ve gotten a lot done in just two short weeks.

So I had my first official meeting with my mentor Garry today, and long story short it was great! I started off by asking him the appendix questions from my integrated essay, which he answered super thoroughly. He gave me all sorts of insight on all of the things I couldn’t find during my research, which really helped. In our previous meeting he explained to me that the best way to begin to learn fly tying is to practice it. So today, after he showed me a basic knot or two and some different patterns, that’s exactly what we did.

I tied my first fly!!!!!!

After about 20 minutes Garry told me that I was ready to tie my own fly. So with the use of his instructions and my newly learned skills I created my first ever fly! Technically it is a jig, used mainly for steel-head and salmon fishing. Jigs are a very good place to start, as they are relatively simple and you can be very creative with them. Garry also got me started, by giving me some of the basic tools for me to take home and practice on my own for the next time we meet.

Also here’s how I incorporated the first three aspects of “How to Have a Beautiful Mind” :

How to agree: So far it has been very easy to agree with Garry. Mostly because he’s a super laid-back guy, but also because he knows a ton about tying. Also because Garry has been completely open to letting me have my freedoms; like being able to tie the type of flies I want to tie.

How to disagree: I haven’t really had anything to disagree about so far. However, if there was anything I disagreed with my mentor about, I wouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or state my opinion. This is probably because I’ve gone to his store for so long that I know him quite well, so there wouldn’t be any tension.

How to differ: It’s seems kind of crazy to say, but there honestly aren’t that many places where Garry and I could differ. I already know that we both like steel-head jigs, and that we share the same interests in color combinations and types of materials. Down the road I think there will be points where Garry and I differ. Fly tying is hugely creative so being different is actually a good thing.

So that’s pretty much all I’ve got so far and I am looking forward to sharing my progress in another couple weeks.

In-Depth 2015!


Wow, In-depth 2015 has officially begun! However I’ve been giving it some thought for quite a while now. With so many great ideas to choose from it was really hard for me to decide which was the right one for me. It took me a while to decide what to study, and in the end I found a topic that I’ve almost always been fascinated by. So for In-depth 2015 I have chosen to learn to tie my own fly fishing flies. See, a lot of times when I tell people this they’re like, “What’s that?” Basically what fly tying is is the process of creating an artificial fly, or really any other insect or fish prey, using various threads and materials. It’s actually quite a complex art dating back to the 15th century.

Fishing has always been a part of my life, from the time I was born I’ve always been around it. My Dad was born in a fishing village in Fiji and was raised learning to fish, so he sort of passed it down to me. I caught my first fish when I was four and I’ve been hooked ever since. Now I fish all the time, and wherever I go. I’ve caught all sorts of different types, sizes, and colors of fish. Anytime we go on a family vacation, I try my hand at the local fishing culture. When I was about 10 I started to take an interest on fly fishing, so in the summer of that year I convinced my dad to teach me how to fly fish. Now I fly fish all the time, but have never learned to tie my own flies, and In-depth is a perfect opportunity to do so.

As for what I am actually planning to accomplish during In-depth this year I really want to learn to tie my own flies. Ideally when all is over and done, I want to be confident with my fly tying enough that I can recreate a whole bunch of different fly variants. However I will settle for just learning to tie a couple of different flies. Through fly tying I feel that I can develop myself further as a person as well. Two things that I think learning to tie will help me with are my concentration and patience. Tying flies is a very delicate process and takes a lot of patience and concentration skill, after all you are working with tiny hooks and threads.

A quick view of fly tying:

Fly 1 Fly 2
Fly 3Fly 4

There is a lot to learn about fly tying, and I really want to explore it, so that’s why I think I’ve found the perfect mentor to help me do so. His name is Garry Elgear, owner of Riverside Fly and Tackle located on Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam. Garry is an avid fishermen and a great community member. This weekend on Sunday, January 11th 2015 he is hosting a river cleanup on the Coquitlam River, that my family and I will be attending, anyone who reads this is welcome to come and help out (more info at the bottom of this post). My dad and I have been customers of Riverside for about as long as I can remember, and Garry has always a great help whenever we have a fishing related question or problem. His shop also hosts a fly tying course that I am looking at taking.

Types of flies
Overall In-depth this years is shaping up to be really, really great. I am so excited to learn about my topic, as well as everyone else’s. I’m expecting it to be a bit hectic at times, but in the end I think I’ll come out on top with a huge amount of new-found knowledge, relationships, interests, and life skills.

Here are some links to Garry’s twitter, as well as to the river cleanup info. As for the river clean up it starts at 9 am on Sunday at Garry’s shop at 2847 Shaughnessy St. in PoCo more info at Riverside’s Facebook Page, or see the article in The Now