It has been six months since we announced our search for Fly Tyer magazine’s first annual Fly Tyer of the Year. It has been a fun experience, and during the process we learned about a lot of really terrific tiers. This brings up an important point: What should it take to be named the Fly Tyer of the Year?
The Fly Tyer of the Year should do more than tie nice flies. This outstanding crafts-person should also be a good ambassador for fly tying. They should have a solid record of sharing what they know with fellow tyers and encouraging new participants to take up the vise and try their hands at tying flies. They might also have a record of publications, videos, and more.
This is the first year we have given the Fly Tyer of the Year Award. During the selection process, we received messages from several hundred of you nominating your favorite tyers. In the end, you took the decision out of our hands. An over-whelming number of you chose Barry Ord Clarke as our Fly Tyer of the Year!
Barry is English, but he moved with his wife to her native Norway 27 years ago. Barry says he lives 30 minutes from the sea, 30 minutes from the mountains, and 45 minutes from the fifth most productive Atlantic salmon river in Norway. He enjoys fishing for freshwater trout, sea trout, as well as salmon, and he also finds time to hunt.
Barry has been tying flies for close to 40 years. In addition to being a regular contributor to this magazine for 10 years, he has written for almost 20 other fly fish- ing magazines around the world, includ- ing Italy, Germany, Holland, England, Finland, and Australia. Barry has published a dozen wonderful fly-tying books, including The Feather Bender’s Flytying Techniques and Flytying for Beginners.
He says his next book will be a magnum opus dedicated to deer hair. In addition to describing everything we need to know about every type of deer hair we might find in our local fly shops, this book will include step-by-step instructions for creating 50 useful patterns, and Barry will post videos showing how to tie each fly.
Oh, did I tell you Barry makes fly- tying videos?
Many of the nominations we received from you mention his terrific videos. Barry’s YouTube channel contains about 500 instructional videos and has almost 40,000 eager subscribers!
Barry is also one of the most sought-after speakers and teachers for fly-fishing shows and clubs. He regularly appears at events across Europe, and he is planning to visit the United States very soon.
If you’re a regular reader of this magazine, you already know the high quality of Barry’s work. His writing and instructional photographs are first rate, and his flies are amazing!
So, let’s return to the beginning. First, the Fly Tyer of the Year must make exceptional flies. But, to receive this prestigious award, this talented tyer must do more than that. Barry Ord Clarke: fly tyer, magazine and book author, photographer, videographer, speaker and instructor, and, now, Fly Tyer of the Year!