I have been very fortunate to have met some truly nice folk over the last few years through BUG-BOND and many have become good friends... and a few have become great friends. One of those is Barry Ord Clarke who is undoubtedly one of the most talented fly tyers. It is not only his ability to tie flies that is impressive but his level of understanding of the materials he uses. Barry's passion as a hunter enables him to be discerning about the materials he uses. Discerning doesn't actually go far enough - it is an intimate knowledge and respect of the animal, whether beast or fowl... its not just deer hair, its whether it is a summer coat or winter coat and how that acts under the tension of the thread. It is that level of attention to detail that impresses me as to how good a fly tyer he is... now link that with his talent as one of the top professional photographers of our time (two of his photos are in the National Gallery) and you'll get to see where I'm coming from!
Barry started a blog recently called The Feather Bender it is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best blogs out there... linking great photographic skills with great fly tying. The blog is inspirational and educational... I have a certain bias as Barry is a member of the BUG-BOND team and my material does feature in a lot of his tying... The photographs do show the results can be achieved when they go under the macro lens of a professional photographer... a fly is a fly until you put it under the lens, every turn of thread that doesn't quite touch is exposed. Next time you tie a fly take a magnifying glass or loupe and inspect your creation under good light... its worth it (Do the fish notice? Maybe, maybe not but I now want my flies to look like lines of soldiers on parade... I am envious of my pals that achieve it... and this is the first step to getting there)
Have a look at the blog and subscribe to it... I guarantee you'll not want to miss a single entry in this blog... even if it is only to inspire you to use part of a process in a creation of your own.
PS they are my photos not his :-)