Members of Red Stick Fly Fishers are now invited to participate in "Virtual Tying Tuesday", an online fly tying session held every other Tuesday. VTT was started by the Kisatchie Fly Fishers of Alexandria back in April. In July, VTT was expanded to members of the Acadiana Fly Rodders of Lafayette. Since then, individuals from other areas have requested and joined in on occasion.
The sessions are conducted using the Zoom video conferencing application. Zoom meetings can be attended on a computer (PC or Mac), smartphone, tablet, or other device with internet access. From a participant standpoint, Zoom is free, and fairly simple to use.
The Kisatchie club purchased the Zoom Pro Plan, which has unlimited number of sessions, unlimited time duration, and can accept up to 100 participants. Participants can go directly via the web to the Zoom site at www.zoom.us
. However, it's recommended that they download the Zoom app to whatever device they will use (again, it's free). The Zoom app gives a better user experience.
To join in a meeting, members of clubs are sent an email with the meeting ID and password.
Bill Morrison, VTT Coordinator, has created a couple of videos on using the Zoom application for this meeting. He then created a document with links to the videos as well as other helpful information. You should receive a copy of this document by email, if not already, soon! Tying sessions are held every other Tuesday at 6:00pm or 7:00pm
, depending on the best time for the lead tier. Anyone wishing to lead the group in tying a particular pattern, are strongly encouraged to submit their suggestion to Bill Morrison. As you will see, we need about 4 weeks notice before the session is held.
Because in-person tying allows materials to be handed out, going online presented a challenge to the KFF Tying Committee. The solution has been to mail out sample materials for each tying session, enough to tie 2-3 flies. Bill created a "Materials Request Form
" that allows participants to request materials for future sessions. If you would like to recieve a sample bag of materials for an upcoming fly, please click on the Form link and enter your name and mailing address no later than Wednesday 11:59pm before the session.
Bill states that it was their hopeful intention to invite other clubs, other tiers, once most of the technical issues were resolved and a few learning curves were overcome. One of those "curves" was videography. Bill and Catch Cormier have adapted some simple setups to provide a clearer, closer view of the fly during the sessions. Anyone wanting to learn of these setups, Catch has a video on YouTube.
Another "curve" was recording. The Zoom Pro allows recording of the session. At first, the tying sessions were split into two segments. One with a quick tie that was recorded, and the second segment where everyone followed along and asked questions. It was soon realized that many of the questions were important enough to have been included in the recorded segment. So now, it's back to one session where everyone ties along, and then later, the tier records a video of the fly separate from the session.
The video is then placed on each website. Bill notes it's importance. Prior to Covid-19, Kisatchie was averaging around 30 participants at their monthly tying sessions. The Zoom sessions are only averaging about half that many club members, around 15. However, the videos are getting dozens of hits a week. Many members have acknowledged that, while they've missed the Zoom meetings, the videos have been extremely helpful.
Again, if there are any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. We look forward to seeing many of you online.