Around the start of Fall last year I took it upon myself to tie a Classic Atlantic Salmon fly. I set out with the Jock Scott in mind, purely from a memory I had as a boy, of a book my father had with a Jock Scott on the front. I went about researching and purchasing materials, and finally got them all together and sat at the vise.
This is what came out
I retied it a couple weeks later and came up with this
Proud as all hell, I proceeded to post the flies on various forums, including the Classic Fly Tying Forum, where, while generally well received as a new comer, I was told to take a step back, learn some techniques and tie simpler flies.
I then started tying classic wet flies and some streamers, all the while reading, watching, and asking questions of those better equipped to tie great flies. Slow progress was made initially with the salmon flies, while the classic wet flies flourished as I was pretty much tying them every night for 3-4 months.
I tried a simpler salmon fly, the Thunder and Lightning from Pryce-Tannatt on 2/0 hook for a swap on a different forum
These were ok, not great, lots wrong in the wings etc, and the roofing of mallard was left off in some.
I did one more for my nephew for his birthday in March, which I was much happier with, but still had lots to work on
My next step was to try a whole feather wing, the Black Ranger from Keslon 4/0. Another good effort with some improvement from the T&L
All the flies above were posted on many forums and all the feedback noted for improving my tying. Last week I saw a Silver Secretary for the first time and really like it, so last night, about 6 months from my first Jock Scott, I tied her - From Maxwell on 4/0 hook.
I'm pretty happy with this one! Still not perfect, but a true reflection of the progress that can be made in tying these difficult flies, when you are persistent and not afraid to take a knock or two to your pride and ego along the way.
Thanks for checking in. I hope some of you get inspired to give these flies ago. But I'll say this. Don't start with a JOCK SCOTT; as Dave Carne told me on CFTF - start simple or you'll frustrate yourself out of tying them.