Hopefully this fly tying tip isn’t me telling you something you already know, if this is old news please leave a comment below.
To me this is a great time saver, and keeps me on the right side of Mrs NEFF. I tie my flies on the kitchen table, so unlike you lucky so and so’s who’ve got your own mancave/tying room, I have to make sure there’s not a trace of any material left once I’ve done.
It goes like this, prior to attaching my vice* to the kitchen table I “borrow”
a couple of sheets of A4 paper from the printer. These go down on the table flush with the edge, then the vice is clamped to the table trapping the paper.
From there on in any waste material, hooks, beads etc are placed on the paper to make it easy for me to see (in the case of hooks and beads) and easy to get rid of at the end of the session (for the waste materials). When I’m done I simply unclamp the vice fold the paper over a few times making sure not to lose any of the feather trimmings etc and throw it away. Simples!
The contrast of the bright white paper helps when tying smaller flies too, the wooden table I tie on tends to make everything blend in a bit too much for my knackered old eyes!
The other thing I find the paper handy for, is cleaning my dubbing needle. To get rid of any excess varnish just poke the needle all the way through the paper, all varnish is left on the paper as you remove the needle.
*This vice cost me less than £20 almost 20 years ago. I keep looking at the fancy Dyna-king & HMH offerings, and wonder how much better my flies would be because of it. As yet I can’t imagine they be 10x better so I’ll stick with what I have