Fly tying fascinates me. Everything about it. The variety of patterns, the brilliant constructions, the traditions but also the exuberant and disciplined innovation that goes into shaping the killer fly. And then there’s the philosophical talk too, about what works with fish—realism, naturalism, impressionism, generalist flies and specialists.
As a painter I stick to the ‘realist’ school of thought. Not sure why. I like to see the fly presented with precision to the eye, front and centre. I paint in watercolour because it’s very direct—there’s almost nothing between you and the pigment. I’m an artist returning to the art of the trout fly after a long absence for no good reason. The fascination is still there.