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Fly Tying Interview with Ethan Smith a.k.a. fly_science

The next guest in our interview series is Ethan Smith who goes by @fly_science on Instagram. He also has the shop Fly Science.

TH: When did you first begin fly fishing?
ES: I started fly fishing in 2016. I was invited on a fishing trip to Arkansas by one of my work friends and before I left my dad suggested I take his fly rod to try out. Like all the other DIY'ers it wasn't a great experience but the failure inspired me to learn more about fly fishing.

TH: What led to your decision to start tying flies?
ES: I had been fly fishing for maybe 6 months before i started attempting to tie flies. I'm the type of person that really goes all in on hobbies and tying flies seemed like a natural progression.

TH: What was the first fly pattern that you tied?
ES: Bead head caddis nymph. I bought an Orvis Fly Tying Kit and pattern #1 on the Tim Flagler DVD that came with it was the caddis nymph. Like everyone, the first few bugs are always bad, but i kept with it and eventually i was completely enthralled with tying.

TH: What is your favorite fly pattern to tie?
ES: If i had to pick one it would probably be the Epoxyback Cripple. I found this pattern while looking through fly catalogs and it really stuck out to me. They're way over complicated and I love it! I've done a lot of variations on this platform and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon!

TH: Which fly pattern of yours are you most proud of?
ES: I call it the Hardly Trude. @svenddiesel was hosting a stimulator fly challenge on instagram and a cool variation came to me. Its essentially a naked sofa pillow but the elk hair tail is laid over the back and latched down with light wire or thread. The concept kind of took off in the challenge and a lot of other people began tying similar flies. It was really cool to see an idea spread like that.

TH: What has been your most memorable fly fishing experience?
ES: I got married last year and my wife and I decided on a destination wedding to Colorado. I had fished the stream in town every morning while we were there and hadn't had much luck. On our wedding day, I again woke up before dawn and head to the stream. The morning went quick and before I knew it I was getting texts from family members asking when I would be back. Like all good fishing stories, I had decided to only fish a few more minutes. I waded downstream a little further a threw my hopper into what looked like a promising pool. I looked upstream to see if my Dad had moved down also and when I turned back my hopper was gone. After the most stressful fight of my life I had my personal best rainbow in the net, on my wedding day.

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