Our very first interview in our Featured Fly Tiers series is Justin Bruce - @justinbruceflies - Justin has some amazing patterns which you can find and buy on his Instagram account.
Bruce is a high school teacher in Rome, Georgia. When not teaching school subjects, he's still teaching!
"I have 10 students that meet twice a week right after lunch and tie for an hour," said Bruce. Bruce also has two young daughters who have started 'tying bugs'.
TH: When did you first begin fly fishing?
JB: My dad taught me to fly fish in middle school. I had been trout fishing for some time before that but I was fishing with spinners. We would take a trip every year to the Tellico River in Tennessee.
TH: What led to your decision to start tying flies?
JB: I had originally decided to start tying flies in college. I have Tourette’s Syndrome and oddly enough anytime I do anything with my hands, I lose the urge to tick. I thought it would be a great alternative to meds and since I loved fly fishing, I could kill two birds with one stone. I never even opened my tying kit. It wasn’t until three years ago when I had a friend who let me borrow his tying stuff because he was in graduate school and didn’t have time to tie. That first night I sat down and looked up and it was 4 hours later. It is safe to say I have been obsessed ever since.
TH: What was the first fly pattern that you tied?
JB: I don’t even know if it was a pattern. It was probably some huge dry fly hackle just tied on the hook with some crazy pink dubbing that was half dubbed onto the thread.
TH: What is your favorite fly pattern to tie?
JB: I love finding any excuse to use my Houdini Weave. I try to incorporate it into as many patterns as possible.
TH: Which fly pattern of yours are you most proud of?
JB: I am most proud of my original Houdini Fly. It is a bead head soft hackle with a Houdini Weave body.
TH: What has been your most memorable fly fishing experience?
JB: A few years ago I tied a pattern I call a Tiny Dancer. It is foam dry fly that got its inspiration from my love of soft hackles and the Chernobyl Ant. My friend Caleb and I ended up having the most incredible day ever catching native Brook trout. We caught every one of them on the Tiny Dancer.