Thursday, November 6, 2008

Scenes from the Bench

Now that the hubbub has died down we can get back to business.

Lately we have been voluntarily chained to the bench, weeding out the chaff and getting on with the craft.

Quite a bit of fly tying is mental. Not in the "wear your shorts on your head and fling poo" type of mental - although there are days when a fella flings all kinds of poo-associated words after repeatedly breaking delicate quills - but more of an exercise in ideation, the taking of a basic concept and stripping away all of the unfishiness about it, then building it back up with just the right touches. After mentally tying a pattern thousands of times, the cussin' and sweatin' begins as you labor to reproduce your cerebal imagery with bits of animal and bird.

Our time at the bench seems to be inversely proportional to the time spent fishing in the concurrent frame. Spring and Summer are times of hasty replication of tried-and-true patterns, just enough to make it through the week, with a few of last Winter's crazy thoughts thrown in for giggles. Fall sees less fishing and a little more reflecting on what worked and what didn't, and Winter is the time of refinement...with a little crazy on the side.

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