The Feather'd Hook: An Introduction to Fly Tying and Streamside Entomology Winter 2023

Class Details

For over a thousand years anglers have imitated the insects upon which fish-most notably trout and salmon- feed by tying bits of feather, fur, and other materials to their hooks. Over time the practice has developed into a minor art, with its own tools, techniques, aesthetics, and competing theories of animal behavior. In this course students will learn the gentle art of fly-tying, concentrating on imitations of the various distinctive stages in the life cycles of the three main insect orders on which trout feed: Ephemeroptera, Neuroptera, and Diptera (mayflies, caddis flies, and midges). We will in particular focus on the imitation of species most likely to be encountered in New England trout streams. Course Requirements: Attendance at all classes is mandatory. As your principal project for the course you will prepare the presentation of a fly pattern (or series of patterns if you like) to be given before the class in the last week of classes. A presentation should consist of: a description of the historical context of the fly; of the insect and stage of development imitated by the fly (as appropriate); of the materials and techniques used to make the fly; of the preferred presentation of the fly; of the theory of attraction according to which the fly was designed; and a demonstration of how the fly is tied A number of books will be placed on reserve in Sawyer Library. You will also have available the Chapin Library’s collection of classic piscatoriana. Choose a pattern early! Some of the more elaborate patterns – especially classic salmon flies – not only require a great deal of skill to tie, but also call for exotic materials that may be difficult to obtain. I’ll try to help you as needed, but I will not be able to do much if you wait until the last minute.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 12
Expected: NA
Class#: 1043
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Final project or presentation
Prerequisites: no prerequisites
Enrollment Preferences: no preference
Materials/Lab Fee: $88
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses

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