O.k…. Here I go. Firstly let me start by saying I am not naming and shaming and this post is not directed anyone in particular but more a statement about fly tying and more to the point people advertising, selling or showing off patterns as their own when in fact they aren’t. They may have copied and tied the pattern, but the idea of the pattern and the original creation comes from someone else.
Fly tying is a funny beast when you compare it to other industries where royalties and intellectual property are identified and often fought over. With fly tying and indeed the fly tying industry it seems to be fair game, open slather to do what you want. I am o.k. with that and in fact applaud the fact that it happens as I am sure there are many many patterns that would never have been created if someone hadn’t stirred the creative juices by putting out a pattern to be copied, changed and reset with differing materials etc etc. In fact many great patterns could probably identified as just that – take the Whistler from Dan Blanton and the various patterns that have somehow spawned for that. Pink Things, Black and barred & many of the collared flies we use for cod etc etc. The hundreds of variations of the humble (or not so) clouser. Kate and Bill Howes Flashy Profiles and the many variations that has seen over the years.
I am not advocating that there should be I.P associated with these patterns either, but more that people should acknowledge where the pattern originated and not change the names of patterns that are obviously copies of someone else’s, renamed and sold under a different title. You can look around a number of websites and see examples of this…. crikey Facebook is full of them. The tyers that look for their few minutes in the limelight but do so using someone else’s pattern with zero mention of that fact. They basically claim it as their own.
Anyone that has watched some of my tying videos will notice that I always try to mention the person or the place that the fly originated from. NYAPs from the guys at Alphonse, some of the shrimp patterns like Peterson’s Spawning shrimp, Dron Lee’s cicada’s and other fine foam creations. Shannon Kitchener’s SK Shrimp. Morsie’s Whiting Popper and the list goes on. In most cases the people have spent countless hours thinking about, trialing, fishing and then revising these patterns to get them to the stage they are today for us to copy and use.
By all means take kudos for the fine job you have done in tying the fly, but please at least acknowledge that the pattern was indeed someone else’s. Sometimes we don’t always know who originated the pattern and that is fine, but when you do make the effort to acknowledge them.
In these days of social media where likes, hearts or re-tweets seem to be ruling the world I still think it’s important to be honest and informative. it’s not hard and I can assure it’s painless and in fact you may find that the person that originated the pattern may also be pretty impressed and that’s nothing to be sneezed at. Try it you might like it 🙂