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Salmonfly.Net Salmon and Steelhead Fly Tying Guide  In Memory of Yuri Shumakov 

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Tying Flies to Catch Fish First
Mark Willigar

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Mark Willigar With a Nice CatchI am a retired welder, 47 years old, and I live in Northern Nova Scotia. I have been fishing since I could walk and have fished Atlantic salmon since the age of eight. I am a fly only and 99% C&R fisherman, I have been tying flies since I was around twenty, and enjoy the great Brown trout, Speckle trout, and Atlantic salmon fishing in my area. I also fish the great Margaree River in Cape Breton, N.S.  After years of selling several dozen each year to local anglers in the 80's I stopped selling flies for years, recently however have started producing flies for sale again, and have my own website, but wish to keep it an art form and share my patterns by submitting patterns and photos to several fly fishing websites and communities.

That epitomizes the fly fishing brotherhood for me, the sharing of information. Known as "quite a character" in my area, my website and forums are starting to get quite a following, and we have a great group of members in our river enhancement group, and a group of friends who tie flies one night a week. I have been involved in river enhancement for many years, and now am part of a group trying to get a salmon hatchery up and running in our blessed river, The Philip, in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.

"I do not tie Classics as a rule, because of the expense of materials, my effective patterns for catching fish, are tied hair wing style, and more use of fur and feather. Although I have a few patterns I tie, that I've never seen before, most flies are influenced somehow by the great patterns that have been around for 100 years. I have developed a philosophy of tying flies to catch fish first and foremost, but to still be pleasing to the eye of the novice or the accomplished fly tier. I believe the flies an individual ties is a reflection of his/her creativity and artistry, and therefore they create with their "style".

I have been influenced by some of the greatest tiers, and by some that are great tyers, but just remained anonymous, catching fish with their creations. I also have had most of my best patterns by listening to my father, who never tied, on his advice of what they would take. I have done, and am in the process of doing some writing on fishing, with a personal developed style, and philosophy on tying flies for and catching Atlantic salmon. I hope that you enjoy and can make use of  some of the following patterns and methods and share some of the success that I have had with them.

The Flies


Mark Willigar

Mark Willigar lives in Northern Nova Scotia and regularly fly-fishes well known rivers like the  Margaree and the Philip. His expertise at the tying bench and behind rod and reel is only enhanced by his flare for writing about it, so we are fortunate to have him as a guest author and  contributing fly tyer.  If you are interested in seeing more of Mark's flies or in purchasing them, visit his website Nova Scotia Fly Guy and read future issues of Salmonfly.Net where Mark will be a regular contributor.



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