Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Vocab Series-WHIP FINISH.

Welcome to the next installment in our New Vocab Series!
It's a fun one!

Below is a cell phone video of Sully performing a WHIP FINISH on a fly he was tying. Tying flies is the other half of fly fishing where you create artificial bugs to use as bait that mimic the real thing when under, or resting on top of the water.

The cinematography is very poor so you can't really see how neat of a move this is. If you know any fly fisher-folk, ask them to show you up close sometime. Can you tell how careful and precise he was being though? I am amazed. Amazing. Marveling out here...

Anyway, the WHIP FINISH is the preferred method of finishing a fly and creating a head that is secure. There is also a HALF-HITCH finish which I read is not as reliable.

Some folks perform the WHIP FINISH by hand which I want the boys to try at some point, but for now they love using that little, twisted metal do-hickey. Sully was happy the video cut off when I asked what the tool was called because he didn't know. It's only been referred to as a "whip finishing tool" in our copy of "The Art Of Fly Tying". Cool book.

As is "The Encyclopedia Of Fishing", and all these other tools and gadgets that are strewn about the living room most days. And nights. We are short a vise or two now that we have three flytiers in the house. Must remedy that promptly. (Is it "flytier" or "fly tyer" or what? I see it all different ways and I don't know which is correct. Smart friends out there, input?)

The only thing I don't love about the new hobby/art form/sport, is all the animal fur and little pelts and stinky, sneezy things that are used to create the mini masterpieces. Unfortunately, the boys like to hold up small sections of deer skin, complete with fur, and yell "deer butt!" while chasing me or holding it up to my face.

Mothering boys never gets old.

Ahhh, but how can I argue when these sweet fuzzy, bright colored bugs are the result? And when it's my young sons (and daughter soon, I am sure) that are creating them.

Most of the bugs that are made right now are just out of Sully's head. Soon they will be asking around and chatting it up with other local fly anglers to see what works and what doesn't out on the rivers.

BONUS -The completed flies are so much fun to photograph! Look at them all tightly finished, thanks to the trusty WHIP FINISH! Sully has them so beautifully organized and ready to be taken out for that first cast. I will have my camera ready for that too.

I am off to sweep up feather bits and fur clippings.

Have a great night!


  1. Whip Finisher
    Fly Tying
    Fly Tyer

    Looks like you tied a bead head egg sucking leach pattern... ?
    Good job Sully. Tying your own fly's is a great time and fly fishing is fun.

  2. Thanks for clearing that up! (is that you Ken?) It's an amazing art... :)

  3. That is just too awesome that he is tying his own flies! Are there tools for that? My parents fly fish and it would be fun to get a few tools for them for tying their own.

  4. Yes there are neat little tools! Any fishing/sporting good type store will have them. Mostly little scissors, a special bobbin (not sure of the proper name) and a vise are the basics, along with thread and tying materials. You can find little starter sets, with everything you would need to begin for 30 bucks and under. The kids out here just love it! They used their Christmas money to get their very own stuff. :)

  5. Honey,
    You and Jeff have the most amazing children!!
    I am a very proud Grammie!

  6. They should be able to catch lots of reds with those. Great job! Both of my boys tied flies. They loved it. N