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THE NEW AAPGAI FLY DRESSING SYLLABI by KEITH PASSANT, DIRECTOR OF FLY DRESSING

Our fly-tying syllabi have all had a makeover with the aim of making the assessments more user friendly without losing the level of expectation we as instructors have set the bar at. And that level is high.

However, do not let that put you off. We encourage you to have a look at the syllabi and of course take the assessments. Here are the main changes in the way we will be assessing the fly tying tests.

In the past we have given candidates the option of what flies they are able to choose in each category. That’s fine but some of the flies featured hard to come by materials, and suitable substitutes could also be hard to find. So, we have decided to specify what patterns are to be tied and the materials to use.

Why? Well, the materials are of course key to the pattern. But we are looking for your ability to instruct and to tie the pattern. The actual materials, whilst in some cases being difficult to use, should be looked upon as slightly less important. Only VERY slightly though. They should of course be sympathetic to the pattern. For example, once a fly is tied could you tell the difference between hare or rabbit once on a hook? So as stated we will list the materials for each pattern including at Masters level. This is something we have not done before.

We have added predator and saltwater patterns, and this will mean more patterns to tie at each level. These two areas are becoming very popular styles of fly-fishing and the patterns offer some interesting methods of tying and materials not used before in the assessments.

The Professional level in both Trout and Salmon assessments will have six patterns, the Advanced level eight, and the Masters level, nine. Each level will have a candidate’s choice fly to be tied and in all cases two copies of each fly will be required. We will look at how well tied and consistent the patterns are.

Although we have stated that the materials in the ASSESSMENT flies are slightly less important, we would still expect you to be able to recognise, and use, the less easily available materials which “might” pop up in an assessment. The reason for not specifying them in the flies is both cost and availability. If, however you have been tying for a fair while you may already have them in your collection and be happy to demonstrate the use of them.

Hook choices in the tests will also be on readily available hooks and relevant to today’s hook patterns. Hook choice today is huge with great patterns appearing regularly and at sensible prices. It’s also now common to practice Catch and Release, so if you wish to tie on barbless hooks that is perfectly acceptable.

Modern materials will be incorporated in the flies at all levels. However, there is no substitute for good technique, and we will also include patterns that require you to demonstrate time honoured methods of tying and materials use.

Of course, there will be the written test paper which will include sections on entomology, tools, flies, and their history, and much more besides. We will also include a separate materials identification paper too.
Basically, putting ideas to you that the customers who attend your lessons, or courses, may well throw in questions you are not prepared for. So why not start preparing now?

We are, after all, looking for knowledgeable, well-rounded instructors that further the belief that if you want to learn properly then learn from AAPGAI Instructors.

To help with your research and new journey we have put together a reading list of suggested books that will help now and make good reading in the future. Some are out of print, but they are still out there, and it does not need to be a first edition to give you the required information. Some books are available in paperback form, and whilst not the originals, still have all the required information in them.

We look forward to meeting some like-minded people at our assessment events and if you have any questions regarding the syllabi, please do not hesitate to drop us an email and we will be happy to answer your questions.

 



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