“I’m super-duper Type A,” Kenny Romero, Angler’s Covey Guide, says about half-way through our conversation about his tying space. You can probably tell how this interview progressed. We spent a good amount of time talking about organizing his space and how a good organization system makes tying more efficient.
A Dedicated Space
As other tyers have talked about over the last few months as I have written about fly tying spaces, Kenny has a dedicated place in his home for tying. “The whole room is nothing but fly fishing, really,” Kenny says. Pictures. Mounts. Tying equipment.
“The whole idea is to put myself in that zone. It’s just like fly fishing. You forget about everything else.”
Good Organization Is A System
Kenny credits his dad with his appreciation for organization. “My dad drove that into me when I was growing up, about taking care of your stuff. I clean it up. I don’t like clutter.”
His advice to new tyers is to create a system of organizing materials. “Start off your habits by having things organized. Even if you can’t have a dedicated space, you can organize your materials. Have a consistent place where you put things. A box for thread. Your box of beads. Your hooks. A box for feathers.”
Kenny bought a rolodex-style thread holder. He went to Hobby Lobby and bought a library-looking cabinet. One area of the cabinet is devoted to one specific size of hooks. Another is for capes. Another is for beads. (To help with organizing hooks and beads, check out the Hareline Silicone Mega Fly Tying Pad.)
One theme I have noticed with tyers is that they have a creative mode and a production mode. For Kenny, he leans toward production. “I do not reinvent the wheel. I take what others have done and then might do some experimenting.” Mostly, though, Kenny moves into production mode and this is where you hear his emphasis on organization.
And his organization strategy makes his tying more efficient.
“If I am going to tie Blindsides, I get all the materials ready. I get ice dubbing, ostrich herl. I cut up my wire before I start tying. Hooks are lined up, clear beads, so then I can focus on the flies. I only have the materials out for the pattern I am going to tie. It’s worth the time for me, the five minutes, just clearing things out and focusing on that fly.”
Make sure you like tying before you invest too much. Go to the tying classes at the shop. Pick people’s brains. Explore the idea of tying your own flies. It’s not for everybody. To be honest, “I love to tie. It’s not my favorite thing to do – I’d rather be out fishing. But I love to tie because I know what works and I love to catch fish on patterns I tied.”