13 July 2011

Fly Tying with Daddy

As most of you probably know, the Daddy here has been obsessed with fly fishing since being just a few years older than my kids are now.  This obsession extends to tying my own flies, and the kids routinely crawl into my lap while I'm tying.  Trinhity likes to tie pink flies with long saddle feathers and lots of flash, but Taison is happy tying almost anything so long as it's yellow.  I suppose it's sorta silly, but I keep all the hideous flies they tie; I'm quietly stocking their flies into boxes, one for each.  Some of their flies would actually catch fish, but I don't have the heart to take any of them onto the water for fear I might lose one. 

I own this peculiarity.  Back off.

Anyway, I recently ordered some fly tying materials to replenish stocks which were running low:  shiny metal beads, 'coneheads' and 'barbells'.  I use that stuff mostly in my big saltwater flies for the coast, but also in 'bugger' patterns used for trout on the big Western rivers.  Last night as I was finally settling down to sort the new stuff (~20 dozen) into some stackable clear plastic threaded canister things, Taison wandered in and wanted to help. 

I was fairly skeptical at first that he'd be much actual help.  As he crawled into my lap, I was working very hard to subdue premonitions of spending an hour picking 3/32" gold beads out of the light tan shag carpet.  But he cheerfully snatched up his favorite pair of reverse-action tweezers and asked what I wanted him to do, and I couldn't say no.  Deep breath.

First I asked him to pull all the big beads out of a box that had commingled sizes.  He reached in with his tweezers, plucked one out and said, "Like this one, Daddy?"  He was right, and I told him so.  He blew through the box hunting those bigger beads.  He did it.  Quickly.  Without dropping any. 

I gave him another container with more commingled colors and asked him to pull out just the small black coneheads.  He did it.  Quickly.  Without dropping any.

Then I got brave and had him dig all the hooks out of yet another bin of random stuff and separate them into a different stack.  I'm fairly militant with the kids about messing with hooks, so this was risky.  But I watched him like a hawk, and he didn't drop any of those either.

Finally we sorted all the packages of new materials by shape, size and color.  He nailed that.  We opened the packages and dumped them into the appropriate canisters.  That was sorta tricky:  it involved removing the stiff paper from the small ziplocks, extracting the staple and putting it into the trash bin, opening the ziplock, and a careful pour into the bins.  I spilled two packages all over the table.  He opened almost as many....and didn't spill a single thing.

I was floored.  It was awesome.  My little dude has HANDS.  Love it.  Love him.

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