I was born and raised in Charleston, SC. I have always had a love for the outdoors. Whether it be chasing trout as a kid in the Blue Ridge Mountains while staying with my Grandparents or fishing from the bank here in Charleston, I have always been drawn to the water. I have been tying flies for about 6-7 years and I was never taught how to do it. I learned by trying stuff outand failing...a lot! I just felt the urge to tie my own flies because I wanted the satisfaction of having a fish eat something I made myself. So I bought my first vice. I picked apart store bought flies to see how they were made. I watched videos to understand thread wrapping and how each material was used. As I began to get better and learned more about tying, I started to develop my own patterns. The best qualities from multiple flies I would combine to create super effective patterns.
As I became more adept at tying I began to find my own style. I have been told that it seems to be a combination of classic ideas and new age techniques/materials. My flies can be flashy, but most of them are also simple. I feel that the more simplistic a fly can be, the better. Flies tied with 7 or 8 materials might catch the fishes attention too but when looking at the legendary flies that we all know, one would ask why we use so many now? I also pride myself on tying flies that can be used in fresh or salt water. I’ve thrown many of my patterns in the lakes in Northern SC and in the marshes around Charleston in the same week!
Here’s a few tips;
I think less is more with most things in tying. A few good thread wraps will hold better than 7-8 bad ones. When tying in materials on a baitfish fly use sparse materials because most bait in the water has some translucency to it. The best weed guard to me is the loop guard. It holds up better and lays down easier for a better hook up ratio. If I had to recommend one thing to use in all flies it would be UV epoxy. It easily creates a well finished head and allows for a faster finishing time for most flies.
A couple things I would say to anyone that wants to listen. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to not know something! Most of my patterns have been tooled over and reworked with guides and industry pros to create the final design. None of us know everything and the more people that you consult and have help you the better your will become. Get the knowledge from the people out there the most. Be humble guys! None of us were the first in this industry and we surely won't be the last.