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MailTribune.com
  • Flies that bind

    Tiny feathers, thread bind the Senior Staff Fly Dressers' Guild
  • EAGLE POINT — Carol Corbridge wanted to learn how to tie a tiny blue-winged olive fly "Catskill style," and the best place in Oregon to do that is in a small garage in the middle of a flooded Eagle Point field.
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    • If you go
      Some members of the Senior Staff Fly Dressers' Guild will offer free fly-tying classes beginning Jan. 10 at the Medford library on behalf of the Medford-based Rogue FlyFishers Association.
      Class...
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      If you go
      Some members of the Senior Staff Fly Dressers' Guild will offer free fly-tying classes beginning Jan. 10 at the Medford library on behalf of the Medford-based Rogue FlyFishers Association.

      Classes are open to the public and will run from 6 to 9 p.m. each Thursday for six weeks.

      Tying materials are provided. Nine spaces are left in the beginners' group, says class organizer Dan Kellogg.

      For information and to register, call Kellogg at 541-210-0949.
  • EAGLE POINT — Carol Corbridge wanted to learn how to tie a tiny blue-winged olive fly "Catskill style," and the best place in Oregon to do that is in a small garage in the middle of a flooded Eagle Point field.
    The garage's resident fly-tyer, Dave Roberts, holds court over a cadre of fellow feather-philes who were more than happy to show Corbridge how to manipulate tiny feathers and thread to make the fly's divided wing and add the Catskill's signature full hackle up front, ala Catskill.
    "Everything I know about tying flies I've learned from these guys," says Corbridge, 62, a retired landscaper who splits fishing time between Oregon and Montana. "I'm happy they let me hang around. But they're a pain to hang out with sometimes."
    This is the world of the Senior Staff Fly Dressers' Guild, a collection of a dozen fly-fishers who spend Tuesday mornings together tying flies and spinning yarns in Roberts' garage like a bunch of kids hanging out in a tree fort while creating some of the finest concoctions to garner little hooks.
    They are among the top teaching tyers in Southern Oregon, and none are under age 62. Bifocals and hearing aids are as common as the special handmade materials boxes and old vises they fasten to rows of folding tables stretched across the concrete floor.
    They drink plenty of coffee and munch on sweet treats their doctors and wives forbid.
    The guild soon will even have its own cloth patch that members will wear on their tying shirts during tying conclaves.
    "It's a walker with wading boots on the bottom and a tying vise on top," laughs Roberts.
    Their self-deprecation is matched only by their camaraderie, their vast caches of primo tying materials and collective experience in the nuances of their art.
    "It's a lot of fun for us to get together," says Roberts, 64, who ties professionally. "If you want to learn a new pattern or are struggling with one, someone in here has done it and can help you figure it out."
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