You might be surprised, but I’ve been known to tie flies while riding in a car. But this week, I’m tying flies in Paradise!

Tying Flies in Maui |

Last fall, it was on the road to the Pendleton Round-up in September. I was able to finish a dozen RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripples.

Tying on the Road to Pendleton Round-up |

Or how about this video mentioned in my post Fly tying – on the road?

I’m in the middle of a little R & R on Maui doing…well, not much.

A typical day you ask? Well, here it is:

  • Get up & have coffee
  • Drink a breakfast smoothie
  • Workout – either the Tabata workouts my wife teaches online ( or a run
  • More coffee on a chaise lounge next to the ocean and read a book
  • BBQ fresh fish for lunch
  • Back to the beach with a book
  • Coffee, beer, or Moscow Mule in the afternoon…I’ve had them all
  • Watch a beautiful sunset
  • Dinner
  • More reading
  • Bed
  • Repeat…daily!

Pheww! That’s a lot of activity for one day…

Well, I have to fit in a little fly tying as well. I thought I might tie a few flies if we got a rainy day or two. Well I did tie a half dozen yesterday!

Soft Hackle Cripples |

I brought over my vise, tools and materials to Maui. Packed them in a suitcase. 

Minimalist Tying Materials |

I thought I’d tie a few flies to finish an order if the weather turned rainy. Well, it’s been too nice. Sunshine…77 to 86 degrees every day. Can’t complain.

But should I tie a few flies? Yup!

I brought materials for a couple flies I always have in my fly box.

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple

RiverKeeper Soft Hackle Cripple PMD |

Sparkle Dun

Sparkle Dun PMD |

Oh, and my favorite searching lake fly…

Dennys Stillwater Nymph

Denny's Stillwater Nymph |

So that’s the plan at least. We’ll see how it is tying flies in Paradise. I’ve got a few days remaining.

Aloha…go fish!

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  1. Hi John,
    I’m glad to see you so dedicated to your fly tying and reading. When I see you in a couple of weeks let me know what the TSA thought about your tying vise and tools.
    On a recent “quick trip” to speak to a club in another state I got all of my “pointed tools” confiscated by the TSA (scissors, bodkins, tweezers, etc.) then had to “check” my briefcase as luggage rather as carry on. You guessed it, my luggage was delayed. Thankfully the “stuff” arrived before I had to demonstrate at the club meeting.
    Love your blog and read it every time it shows up in my e-mail box. Keep the good work. Take care & …
    Tight Lines – Al Beatty

    1. Al

      Thanks for the kind words about RiverKeeper Flies!

      I decided to not test the TSA this trip. The few tools I had were on checked luggage. Since it was a longer trip than yours, timing wasn’t an issue with me. I fact, I thought about mailing them to myself, but alas, decided to check a suitcase and fit them inside.


      1. Hi John! I’m curious about flying to Maui with a 4pc in a rod tube, and a reel.

        I did a survey on several forums with 40+ people replying with their experiences. Conclusion: ship you gear a month ahead of time.

        But I don’t have an address to ship them to, and I would prefer to keep it as a carry on. Any advice would be appreciated!

        Checking them separately in costs about 100$ each way, and often enough the fly rods end up taken out of their rod tubes and broken for some reason. Can I stuff my rod tube in my suitcase to avoid the 3 fees (oversize, overweight and extra baggage item fees apply to fishing equipment)??? When taking them as a carry on: 26″ is maximum for carry on (a 4pc standard tube is 35″) and reels must be unspooled. However, even un spooled reels sometimes don’t make it as a carry on… because they are “dangerous”…(seriouslly?!!!)

        I plan to put my un-spooled reel in its its neoprene pouch, and keep it in a carry-on sized backpack. And my fly rod’s standard plastic tube with fabric wrapping will be with me… Is there any way you can go to the airport and ask some security checkers about your equipment?

        I really don’t want to end up having my fly rod played with and broken in 3 places… Or my reel stolen from my luggage.. Or get stuck with the stuardess on the plane kicking me off since she is scared of my rod tube…. (it happened to other flyfishermen!!!)

        Thanks in advance for any tips.

        1. Sorry, but I can’t be any assistance to you about travelling with fly fishing gear to Maui. I’ve only taken fly tying materials and tools.

          Wishing you luck!


          1. John and “Fly tying”:
            Last fall, after printing out TSA (from their website) clearance on “fragile equipment”, I flew from Redmond to San Francisco to Frankfurt to Milan with 3 reels in my carry-on and 3 rods in a cordura covered, zippered Switch Rod tube. NO problems. Flew back (Venice to Paris to SFO to Redmond) with no challenges whatsoever. Had to show the rods ONLY in Venice (and had pictures on my phone of fish, which drew MUCH more interest). I had heard broken-rod-horror-stories and wasn’t about to let that happen to me. Wife and I carried 2 backpacks (her purse was in one), the rod tube and the collapsable rolling rack that hauled 40# of other fly tackle (bag was checked). I’d say, go for it but have the TSA printout with your tickets.

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