Fly Tying of James Lund

I first noticed James when he entered a fly into the J. Stockard fly tying contest. His flies have a certain wonderful style and it grabbed my attention right away. I asked James if he would write a little about himself and his fly tying. You can read what he wrote below followed by photos of some of his flies. If you want to see many more and follow James’ work, you can follow him on Instagram here:

“I am a fly tyer from Sweden who ties almost everything from large articulated streamers to small dry flies. Mostly it’s about trout flies because it’s trout I prefer to fish. But since I live in Stockholm, have a family and work here, I take what I can get when it comes to fishing. There is not enough time to fish as much as I would like so having fly tying on the side is great. At the vise, I can create in peace and dream away. I like to put a little extra love into my flies because it’s at the vise that I have plenty of time.

A perfectly tied fishing fly should be an organized chaos. Chaos might be the wrong word, but I like irregularities that together still form something unified. Of course it hopefully has to attract the fish but I also want it to be a treat for my eyes. It gives me pleasure to tie a, in my eyes, beautiful fly on to the leader. Pleasure and confidence.

Natural materials are what I like best to use. Nature is full of irregularities that nevertheless create the most beautiful shapes. Deer hair, CDC, snowshoe hare, chamois, Coq de Leon and various other feathers are my favorite materials when it comes to dry flies and they are amazing to mix and often marry beautifully. Both in terms of function and appearance. A fly should imitate life and movement, something I learned from the Italian style of tying. For me, a fly with a perfectly wound hackle (stripped on one side) and other sharp edges is often completely uninteresting. I don’t mean it’s necessarily wrong, other people love it and their flies may fish great but it’s not my thing. I find it hard to put my finger on what it is that makes me like the look of a fly. I just know when it feels wrong and when it feels right.

In addition to that, I enjoy photographing my flies and this has given me a burning interest in photography. I love to spend time trying to find interesting ways to do justice to my flies and I like to make it into a narrative if I can. In the beginning, it was a way to stand out from the crowd and a bit to chase “likes” on social media. Nowadays I don’t care so much about flies going viral, I do it for me because I enjoy it and it gives me nice memories to look back at. That’s why it might take a while between my posts on Instagram, the joy has to be there and if I don’t think my pictures or my flies are interesting enough I don’t bother posting. The vast majority of flies that I tie are just for house use and they end up directly in the water (or in a tree) instead of making a stopover on the internet. Other times it’s only for the internet or for a frame or something. Tying display flies is a great way trying to perfect a certain technique or challenging yourself. 

I used to sell flies to people who wanted to buy, but I’ve stopped doing that too. Just like the pressure that social media can give you, it made me lose the joy of tying and I need to keep that. Tying flies must be fun for me! Unless it’s panic because you’re going on a fishing trip and realize you need a certain pattern. Then just sit down and tie! It happens every year when the season starts.”

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