Anchored Ep. 195: Writing and Tying Flies with Skip Morris

Skip Morris Interview on Anchored Outdoors
Table of Contents

Anchored Podcast:

Skip Morris is quite literally the guy who wrote the book about fly tying. If you tie flies, you may have picked up one of Skip’s books when you were first learning the craft. In this sit-down interview, Skip and April discuss writing, tying flies, and old ways of fishing vs. new ways of fishing. Don’t miss out on hearing the number one fly-tying trick that Skip shares with his workshop participants. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [5:15] Skip has always wanted to tie flies and write
  • [11:13] Why is a love of music common with anglers?
  • [13:27] How did he get the idea to write books?
  • [19:22] Why didn’t he take a more public role?
  • [25:12] What makes Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple so special?
  • [30:42] What is his number one trick for tying flies at workshops?
  • [46:34] Are we losing older, tried and tested methods of fishing?
  • [52:32] Rapid fire questions
  • [59:00] There is a need to come up with something new and call it innovation
  • [1:03:35] What’s next for Skip?
  • [1:04:56] Is there a particular bug that fascinates Skip?

Skip always wanted to write fly tying books

Skip Morris grew up in Washington state, but as a kid he always wanted to live out in the country. From the time he could hold a rod, Skip loved fishing. He started tying flies at age 10 and knew early on that he wanted to tie flies and write books for a living. The success of Skip’s first books opened the doors to a career in fly fishing so that he could live out his childhood dream.

Skip has a passion for writing

With Skip’s extensive collection of 21 published books, his reputation is for being the guy behind the pages. Since he is used to getting up on stage and performing musically, he has the personality and the charisma to be in the limelight, but his passion is for writing and researching. While he’d be a natural on camera, he wouldn’t enjoy the self-promotion that comes with that lifestyle. Skip’s career has allowed him to take on new challenges, improve his skills, and do what he loves.

What makes Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple so special?

One of Skip’s first books, Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple, is on its 26th round of publication. He attributes its popularity to the way he tested the instructions. In the book, he’d write out the directions to tie a particular fly and then have a novice test it and document any questions or concerns they had throughout the steps. Then he would rewrite the instructions and have another novice tyer try to tie the fly and repeat the process. Skip believes this process helped him ensure that the instructions were straightforward and easy to follow. 

Will Skip branch out into other genres?

You would think that there is only so much one can say about fly tying after writing 21 books, but Skip has discovered that there is always something new to learn about tying a fly and that there are infinite possibilities on how to tie a fly to a hook. 

Most of Skip’s work is instructional, but he has also written and published a book of essays called 500 Trout Streams. He’s worked hard to improve his writing skills over the years and is even contemplating dabbling in fiction in addition to continuing to write essays and fly tying books.

Listen to Skip’s views on old and new ways of fishing and you might even hear tips on fly tying that you hadn’t thought of before. 

Resources mentioned on this episode

  • BOOK – Trout by Ray Bergman

Connect with Skip Morris

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Anchored Outdoors

Anchored Outdoors is an ever-growing network of fly fishing experts who’ve been brought together by podcaster and fellow outdoorswoman, April Vokey.

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