“Turning Lures Into Fishing Magic”

Bloomberg profiles tier Pat Cohen.

“My name is Pat Cohen. I design fly tying materials, fly tying tools, and manufacture flies and I sell them around the world to fly anglers and fly shops. There’s three kinds of flies. There’s your raw, basic fish-catching flies, there’s artistic flies, and then there’s a blend of those two where they can be artistic and catch fish. That’s where I try to be.

Creating an artistic, beautiful fly, these things are not just a lure. These things can be magnificent. It’s a little bit of painting, it’s a little bit of sculpture, it’s a little bit of carving. You’re creating something that blends both functionality and art. So to tie a fly, especially a bass bug, the most important thing is to have a vice that will hold your hook as absolute steady and sturdy as possible. You’re putting an enormous amount of pressure on the hook so you need a vice that’s going to stabilize that hook so that you don’t pop out of the jaws, hurt yourself, or break something. The waxed thread goes onto your hook on the tail section. It helps the material stick to the hook. What is important about having flies that look like something. You’re gonna look at food sources in different ways. I would have never thought in a million years that bass eat birds. All these fish are opportunistic, so if it falls in the water it’s fair game. So this understanding of predator prey relationship is very, very important.

To make an effective fly you need to understand what each of those materials does that make it attractive to fool a fish. Let’s say you can use peacock curl. It does things in the water. It throws off color and light in a specific way that makes fish lose their minds. If you don’t have that knowledge and you don’t have attention to those things your chances of catching a fish go way down and then it becomes more about luck than it does about skill. Then we begin our tailing materials. In the case of the bird we use marabou, which is a duck feather. It’s a soft flowing feather….”