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Fly Tying Interview with Garren Wood

Our latest featured fly tier is Garren Wood, a.k.a. garrenwood on Instagram. Garren is very passionate about tying and you can tell by his work!

TH: When did you first begin fly fishing?
GW: I started fishing when I was pretty young - probably around 10.  I don't know the exact age as I was fishing a lot younger than that and as I got older my dad would let me cast his fly rod or reel in a fish after he hooked it. I got my first fly rod around the age of 11 and was able to fly fish on my own around that age.

TH: What led to your decision to start tying flies?
GW: Growing up, my dad would tie the flies that he fished with. He had a fly tying kit in a tackle box and would bring it out to the kitchen table before a fishing trip to tie flies for the trip. I would watch him tie flies and loved the different materials that he used to create I received a fly tying kit for my birthday and really took off after that.  In middle school and high school I would tie flies for a few teachers to earn money for materials.

TH: What was the first fly pattern that you tied?
GW: I can't really say - it was either a woolly worm or an ant pattern. I remember tying a lot of ant patterns because all I need was thread and a little bit of hackle. I also remember tying woolly worms when I was new to tying. Most of my tying when I was growing up was dry flies including elk hair caddis, humpies, and adams. My dad would fish mainly fish dry flies and that influenced my early tying days.

TH: What is your favorite fly pattern to tie?
GW: I would not be able to pick one pattern - I really enjoy the art of tying. I also really appreciate the art and innovation of other tyers. Here are some of styles/patterns that I enjoy:

  • Parachute flies - I tie a lot of parachutes for local guides. These aren't "pretty" flies but I tie them to last for many fish and to float all day long. I think this comes from my early days of tying dry flies as well.
  • Woven body flies - these are usually stoneflies, but enjoy woven flies in general.  I learned how to tie these in college by a tyer named Joe Ayre who mentored me in the art of woven body flies.
  • Steelhead flies - in particular half-pounder flies for the Rogue river.  Shortly after moving to Oregon, I was befriended by Al Brunell who I came good friends with and he taught me how to tie steelhead flies which I continue to tie for the Rogue River.
  • Kumihimo woven flies - I started experimenting with Kumihimo about 15 years ago.  The Kumihimo that I use in fly tying incorporates 16 strands of floss to create intricate bodies. Quill body flies - this is somewhat a recent venture.  I enjoy searching for different materials that can be used for synthetic quill bodies and ways of coloring them.

TH: Which fly pattern of yours are you most proud of?
GW: It would probably be the Kumihimo steelhead patterns. They are culmination of many years of tying and the friends and mentors that helped me get to where I am today with my tying.

Kumihimo Golden Demon

TH: What has been your most memorable fly fishing experience?
GW: It would have to be the trips that I took with my family growing up fishing.  We would spend a week on the river as a family fishing, playing games, and just hanging out.  It was all catch and release dry fly fishing where there were plenty of fish for everyone to catch. It was being in the mountains and camping and enjoying the whole experience.

1 comment

  • Chris WIlliams

    Great interview! Garren is one of the most passionate and innovative tiers I know! He also takes his position within this discipline very seriously, and is more than willing to pass on information as well as help others learn the art of tying.

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