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The Feather Mechanic

Gordon van der Spuy

Fly Fisher, Fly Tier, Actor, Author, Podcaster

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Gordon van der Spuy is renowned as one of South Africa's premier fly tiers, and his passion for the craft shines through in every aspect of his work. For Gordon, the function always dictates the form when designing flies. He doesn’t just follow recipes; he reimagines them to create flies that truly perform. Join us for an engaging exploration of Gordon's innovative approach to tying and fishing flies that deliver results.

Just a few of the questions asked and answered during the interview:

  • What inspired you to write “The Feather Mechanic?”
  • How did you get started fly fishing and fly tying?
  • How did your early fly tying experiences shape your approach to the craft?
  • In your book, you emphasize “form follows function”. Can you tell us how you learned about this and how it has affected your fly tying?
  • How do you become a “thinking fly tier?”
  • How do you approach designing a new pattern?
  • How do you approach problem-solving when a fly design doesn't work as expected?
  • What is your process for testing the effectiveness of a new fly design?
  • Your instructions for tying The Skinny Damsel incorporate many techniques that are used when tying other types of flies. Can you walk us through the steps of tying this fly?
  • What is your opinion regarding split thread vs dubbing loop techniques for placing materials? And do you have a particular place for each or do you regard them as interchangeable?
  • What common mistakes do fly tyers make, and how can they be avoided?
  • What is the domino effect?
  • Can you explain the concept of tying small flies on large hooks?
  • What are the benefits of using CDC feathers over other types of feathers?
  • What role do historical fly-tying techniques play in your modern fly designs?

Gordon van der Spuy
The Feather Mechanic
Gordon van der Spuy The Feather Mechanic




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