Ryan Jordan

Simple Pleasures

Photo: Ricoh GRD

I am challenged by the complexity of solving neat problems, and get a lot of satisfaction out of it, but some days, I love to do really simple things.

Like tying flies.

I used to be a commercial fly tyer. In part, that’s how I put myself through graduate school. I recall one Montana winter, a particularly cold one with temperatures outside diving to 40 degrees F below zero – and that was without the wind chill. We lived in a 395 square foot apartment, but we had heat!

Stephanie and I would tie flies together, she would bead hooks, I’d tie on one of my soft hackle patterns, she would finish and seal.

We tied 550 dozen flies that winter.

Once I graduated, I also retired from commercial fly tying. It was the earliest retirement ever.

I also didn’t tie another fly for at least five years!

But now, with Chase learning to tie, I’m loving it again. It gives me a chance to teach, him a chance to learn, and the both of us to engage in a really simple pleasure.

I will be working on a project at GruntWorks next week, where I’m sure that feeling the simplicity of tying a fly will be missed in lieu of the complexity of outfitting Marine rifle brigades with lightweight gear!