Tie of the Month 2020 - a summary of the year

iainmortimer

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I am slightly in shock that having agreed, what feels like just yesterday, to take on running the competition, that the year has gone and I am now sat writing a summary of the year. I will admit that it was with some trepidation that I did so especially after Grassy/Knollington had set the standard so high. Coupled with the fact that I had only returned to salmon fishing 12 months before and put a few entries into the 2019 TOTM who was I to lead such a fine and experienced group of fly tying experts in the merry dance around the vice each month!

I needn't have worried though for the work in doing so is no where near as onerous as I thought it might be and the ongoing support of everyone that takes part is not just fully appreciated but to be honest very gratifying - especially as the workload isn't that bad. More importantly though I feel that this competition really makes this forum by encouraging engagement, inspiring new comers to get into this fine art and in the sharing of new ideas and variants to try. There are many examples of that although Clydebuilt's 3rd placed Fly of the Year is for me the best example of that in addition to all the improvisation that took place for April's entries.

It was also great to see the range of entries that went through from the very fishable (and already proven) eventual winner from DrPatrickT to the highly technical and perfect classic fly produced by Ryan Houston to win the August competition. Which brings me to another extremely important aspect of the competition. Who could ignore the number of new comers which were topped by Logan Houston with his consistent entries and a few wins which for any new entrant is an excellent result. That is all the more special though As Logan is a junior which bodes well for this art form tomorrow if perhaps meaning a less certain time for Ryan who clearly needs to watch his back!

Finally we have developed, and continue to build, a brilliant resource for all tiers, new and experienced and so I thank everyone that took the time to add the list of materials alongside their entries for this is sought after by many members of the forum and so on their behalf, thankyou.

I could go on for some time about the banter, encouragement and high standards shown but instead I will move onto some stats before I end up repeating everything already said in each months thread and bore you silly in doing so!

Entries
People entering at least once: 64
People entering every month: 10
Number of flies entered: 244

Votes and Views (as of Jan 3rd, 2021)
Total Number of votes: 711
Average number of votes/month: 64.4
Total Views: 84000 (note that the system only shows in thousands and so this is likely higher)
Average Views per month: 7636

The all important FINAL RESULTS
I'm sure that it will be no surprise to see DrPatrickT at the top of the table which some of you had already worked out. What may be a surprise though is that while I was unable to secure a prize list, a mystery donor has come forward and a fine bottle of whisky will be winging its way in your direction. No less than 7 podium places in the monthly entries plus of course the accolade of Fly of the Year. An amazingly consistent performance that generated a big lead. Congratulations 👏

Second we find Clydebuilt who placed 5 times and gained 3rd place in Fly of the Year. Another consistent performance with some real innovation and precise tying demonstrated well by the fly of the year entry.

In third place we find Ryan Houston who demonstrated what were some of the most technically difficult classic flies to the highest standards which clearly carries though to 'normal' flies. Not only that but his ability to teach others to tie to a similarly high standard is well demonstrated by the young Logan Houston. Ryan can breathe a sigh of relief though as he did manage to stay ahead of Logan - but by just 4 points! I truly hope we see a full set of entries again next year from Logan.

I would also like to highlight two others:
SnapT who put in 4 entries, placed 4 times and gained a top 10 place as a result and Spectrum Shrimp who despite only entering twice, gained 12th place, with both entries in Fly of the Year one of which won 2nd place and the other 5th! Definitely two craftsmen that I hope we see more of next year!

There are so many of you that I could mention but this would become a very long post if I did and so apologies to all those I have not singled out. As I said possibly every month the standard of tying just seems to get better and better and so the fact that you are not singled out for mention is no reflection on your quality of entry or participation.

I will finish now firstly by inviting you all to join in again for TOTM 2021 and to say if anyone should wish to take over the competition then please let me know. However, note that it is not because I want to stand down, I am happy to carry on if you are happy for me to do so. I simply don't want to hog it at the expense of someone else having a go.

Secondly, thank you all again for your support of the competition, encouragement of myself and everyone else and for the genuinely good natured banter that often ensues for to quote Jacob Kindleberger, 'Don't knock your competitors. By boosting others you will boost yourself. A little competition is a good thing and severe competition is a blessing. Thank God for competition."

Happy New Year,
Iain

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Andrzej

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Congratulations for the Winners, DrPatrickT, Clydebuilt and Ryan Houston 👏, but also for Logan who finished on high 4th place, very well done! Many thanks for Iain who kept the competition running, with interesting and diverse themes 👍 Glad to see quite a lot folks taking part in the TOTM. Can't wait for the new opening!
 

mc andy

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Fantastic review iain! Thanks for taking the time for such a detailed description of our years tying. A worthy winner in Dr Patrick, very well done sir 👏 👏 👏 also to Clydebuilt and Ryan in runners up position.

At times I've really struggled to follow the forum, had it not been for the tying section that has really kept my interest. So long may it continue. And as always iain a massive thanks for your time organising and keeping the whole totm fresh and interesting.

Best wishes to all for your 2021 season.

Cheers andy
 

Woodsy

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Thanks Ian for running this. As someone who has just returned to tying and a bit late to TOTM, it has given me so much inspiration and it has tempted me to experiment a little on flies I've never tried before... even an Irish shrimp with 7 wound hackles!

You are doing a fantastic job and I would love to see you continue this year.

Well done to all the winners and all the participants who shared their photos and the tying patterns.

Seán
 

ryan houston

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thanks to Iain for organising the comp logan asked yesterday what he had to tie for January he will be over the moon with his results and it definitely helps to compete with the nintendo for attention

well deserved DrPT on the overall and the TOTY

congratulations to everyone that won came second tenth 20th etc i think a bit of competition helps drive everyone to succeed and improve

nobody should feel intimidated to chuck in the odd entry through the year i have tried to talk a few others into entering and hopefully they continue, it is not a true tying competition per se as people also vote for what catches their eye or they would fish with so everyone stands the chance of a few votes and if the perfect combo appeals you could win a month quite easily so to all the lurkers out there lets see some flies in 2021

Aodhan should only be allowed to enter from september onwards to give the rest of us a chance this year lol
 

DrPatrickT

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Thanks Iain - and to everyone who voted. I think we’ve all had a rubbish year. So to actually achieve something like this feels great. There are so many good tyers on here - most of whom don’t enter the comps but tie amazing flies. The fly tying section is a distinct heart of SFF. There are flies that never placed that are some of my favourites. There are flies in the general fly tying section that are stunning.

I was rubbish at tying when I started - half head, merged into some lopsided hackle etc. But the likes of TOTM force you through a learning curve. So if you want to up your game - TOTM is definitely the way to get a ‘breadth’ of tying styles and experience.

Well done ClydeBuilt - one of my favourite tyers (and why I now attend ripple ice flash anonymous) - always lovely blends of colours and beautiful flies - always something different and Well done Ryan - far better tyer than i am- your tying is off the scale.

I wonder how different the comp would have been if Aodhan ( Spectrum shrimp) and Nathan ( SnapT) had done the full year. Wow. And of course a special mention for Logan Houston. If you didn’t know, he’s 8 yrs old and won Totm (aug) with his great Calvin. To win a comp like that is some achievement - and place 4th overall - shows consistent good skills - so well done Logan.

Again a big thank you to Iain, who volunteered to take the job on as TOTM lead - his own free time to manage this - and has done a great job. So, cheers Iain - not too shabby on the tying front either!

Tight lines for 2021.

All the best, Patrick
 
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PerryPoker

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Many thanks for running the competition this year Iain. It is always good fun to get involved with and to put your wits against some amazing tiers. Will look forward to the next comp. Dr.P has raised the bar yet again to give us all something to aspire to.
 

Handel

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Great spectator sport watching all this. Well done Iain. When does 2021 start?
 

AlanT

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Brilliant effort Iain, it takes a surprising amount of effort to organise something like this.
And well done the winners and everyone who took part, some cracking flies 😎
 
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