Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fly Tying - Zen of the RS2

Walking into the local fly shop recently, the customer paying at the register looked familiar.

It was Rim Chung, inventor of the RS2, picking up some odds and ends, talking about TMC 101's and tying 100 RS2's without messing up a single tail.

I still remember tying my first RS2's.  They were terrible as I messed up the tails and just about everything else.  Bulky, misshapen bodies.  I didn't have any microfibbets so that was substituted for something else.  No CDC either.  Plain and simple, they were poor imitations of a classic South Platte fly.

After those early attempts, I knew for the time being I would be buying my RS2's.

But the fly has done well for me and I was already planning to try and tie some of these versatile patterns again.  This chance encounter with the fly's inventor spurred my motivation.  It started with the purchase of 25 Size 20 TMC 101 hooks, a package of microfibbets, some CDC puffs and some finer thread.

Much better than my initial attempts years ago, I quickly realized that these deceptively simple flies will still require close attention to detail and that I will need more practice to be consistent.

I started with the size 20's in both grey and black then, after the initial practice, downsized to some size 22's.

The RS2 can definitely be a fun, quick fly to tie, but the simplicity requires focus.  Tying this fly is a good reminder how important it is to perform each step of a fly as properly as possible before moving on to the next.  It reminds me of some Zen lesson I read in a book about Zen guitar years ago about focusing on the immediate task at hand and performing that task, purposefully, to the best of your ability.  Apparently, I am still learning that lesson.

If there is a Zen lesson to be learned from tying an RS2, then Rim Chung is the Zen master.  Watching him tie, he effortlessly creates his masterpieces focusing on the importance of applying each material just right.  I will try to focus on all aspects of the next set of flies I tie, but I've got a lot to learn and need a lot of practice to be as smooth as this fly tying (or Zen, if you prefer) master.

I wish you good luck in your fly tying efforts and am looking forward to using my flies out on the water the next chance I get.