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My Tying Space: Joel Walker’s “Sanctuary”

It’s always interesting to connect place and person. We influence the spaces and places in which we find ourselves. Similarly, the spaces and places we inhabit even for a short time influence us. Same with the fly tying spaces that fly tyers create. Joel Walker captures this sense in the relationship between his tying space and the people in his life.


Joel gives credit to Rick Murphy, long-time Angler’s Covey guide, friend of the shop, and retail staff member for launching his tying efforts now spanning a dozen years. 

“Rick Murphy gave me the inspiration and instruction to tie my own bugs. He loved tying so much that he told me, “I fish so that I can tie.”  Well, that laid the foundation and now I love it, too.”

On the wall above his space, Joel includes a piece of art, a gift from his sister, that inspires him each time he sits down at the vise. If you have read the previous blog about Joel, you know that he has been a minister for many years.  It’s no surprise, then, that he describes his tying space as a sanctuary. This blend of mentor, family influence, and art adds up to a place that is, in Joel’s words, “therapeutic.”

Order out of Chaos

The photo of Joel’s tying space is evidence of his orderliness. Looking more closely, though, you can see the number of scissors he owns. “I know this sounds a little obsessive, I am absolutely inspired by very sharp scissors. Call me crazy! By the way, I have far too many scissors!”

Joel says that the most important piece of tying equipment is the vise. “Buy a quality one.” 

He also suggests that people new to tying should, “find a mentor to tie with, have somebody evaluate your patterns, and challenge yourself with more complex patterns.”  And for anglers and tyers in Colorado, “learn to tie excellent midges.”

A Sanctuary

When Joel considers what makes his tying space special, he says it is “the quiet. The sun that shines through my window in the afternoon, the confidence that I can tie just about anything, the hope that a creative tie will work the next day!”

Evidence of Joel’s obsession with sharp objects.

Interested in tying? Angler’s Covey offers classes on Saturday mornings  — the free 101 class and the 201 class that elevates your learning a notch. Our Open Tie Nights every Wednesday offer a chance to laugh and learn with others as you spin up some flies.

1 Comment

  1. […] blog, check out guides Neil Luehring‘s tying room (a whole room dedicated to fly fishing) and Joel Walker‘s tying […]

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