Welcome to Tie of the MonthIntroduction
The format of the 2022 Tie of the Month competition will remain the same as it was in 2021 with no changes. As ever prizes are not guaranteed but with or without them this is a very friendly competition that is open to everyone regardless of your ability and a specific newcomer's section for which a prize is available to reflect that. So please do join in by submitting your flies and engaging in the banter because your tying will improve and so will your general feeling of happiness!
To encourage a bit of exploration and challenge, the tying competition will have a different theme each month. Every day is a School day so try something new or unfamiliar, as well as the things you know you are good at. It is worth noting that often it is not the neatest, most skillful or most complex tying that wins but the fly that the voters feel is most likely to catch a fish or is simply the most inventive or witty (see the winning entry from mc andy in the April 2020 competition
There is also no pressure to enter every month but do note that points are awarded just for entering each month. Just enjoy the challenge and improvement in skill that will result from producing patterns that you may not otherwise have considered tying!
Please also note that the flies you tie are used as a reference by many people and so your posts are creating a great reference section for everyone. I therefore ask and encourage everyone entering to include a list of the materials used with each photo.
Clearly photography plays a part in this competition and many (possibly most) photo's are taken very successfully using a phone camera. A few tips to help though:
- As much as possible try and take the photo in natural daylight
- On many smart phones tapping the screen to select the point of focus can result in the camera focussing on the vice or another large solid object near the fly. If that happens, try taking the photo at a greater distance from the fly without selecting the point of focus and then crop it (also note rule 7 below)
- Be careful of the background for both clutter and background colour can make it harder to see, or with a good choice, highlight the fly.
Note a few updates to the rules that are now posted as a separate thread HERE
TOTM May 2023 - Au Naturel
So this month we have the coronation of King Charles III. A man who in his fairly early years found a passion for salmon angling taking fish from the North of Scotland and as far south as the River Test in Hampshire where in the Longbridge hut on the Broadlands Estate remains a photo of him with a large salmon. He was also known to extend his stays at Balmoral to gain a few extra days on the River Dee much as was the Queen Mother's passion.
King Charles was also an early advocate for environmental improvements and was often ridiculed as some sort of crank as a result! Roll forward to today and we know how right he was with the National Geographic carrying the following paragraphs as an opening to a much longer article that was printed 23 Sept 2022:
'It’s not so much the robust tone and unprincely language that is striking – “We are faced at this moment with the horrifying effects of pollution in all its cancerous forms” – but the date: February 19, 1970.
Long before Greta Thunberg – before Greta’s mother was born, even – His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (his official title at the time) addressed the Countryside in 1970 conference, and did not pull any punches. “There is the growing menace of oil pollution at sea, which almost destroys beaches and certainly destroys tens of thousands of seabirds,” he said.
“There is chemical pollution discharged into rivers from factories and chemical plants, which clogs up the rivers with toxic substances and adds to the filth in the seas. There is air pollution from smoke and fumes discharged by factories and from gases pumped out by endless cars and aeroplanes.” '
We can choose to ridicule him given the mode's of transport he still has or for a myriad of other things but ultimately he was right with his foresight as most people now recognise.
I therefore decided that rather than resisting the obvious option of picking a theme based on the Coronation, I would embrace it. However, I did choose not to do the very obvious of setting a theme based on picking a fly with 'royal' in the name or some other link to that position but by taking inspiration from the KIng's environmental drive. That brought my thinking to the natural world and ultimately to this months theme of 'Au Naturel' which in the literal French translates as 'in the natural state'. For our purposes I have translated that as the principle that no synthetic materials may be used and that all materials should be just as nature intended i.e. undyed. There are however a few exceptions as below but definitely no modern fluorescent or glo-brite colours will be accepted.
Specific Guidance on materials (not all have to be used!)
I accept that I may need to make a call on some materials and so if in any doubt ASK BEFORE POSTING YOUR ENTRY for if disqualified there is no re-entry. I will post any questions and my answers under the below points.
Fly Pattern: free choice, may be a known pattern or your own invention
Format: Hook or Waddington Shank
Cones: not allowed
Thread, silk, floss: Whatever thread you normally use is acceptable BUT while it may be coloured it must not be fluorescent or glo-brite and must not incorporate glitter, UV or other synthetic materials
Tinsel or wire: silver, gold or copper; flat or oval, NOT holographic.
Flash: Only tinsel may be used as above. No crystal flash or other modern materials
Body Material: must be natural (or of thread or silk as above). May be coloured but not fluorescent or glo-brite and must not incorporate glitter, UV or other synthetic materials
Tail, Wing, hackle, throat or cheeks: must be natural and undyed.
Use of Substitute Materials: Dyed or synthetic materials specifically designed to appear like the natural version are acceptable. e.g. goat dyed black as a Monkey sub, plastic 'seals fur', fake JC nails or hen hackle dyed black. Please do not push the boundaries with this allowance for I will not accept that a scarlet hackle is a sub for natural red game or that bucks grow blue tails!
You could of course all tie silver stoats but with the level of innovation normally displayed I suspect there will be a large variety of dressing on offer! Enjoy...