Bar Flies at Chi-tie

Most tying groups meet in churches, in a meeting room in a store, or someone’s home or even at colleges. Personally, I always thought it would be best if we could meet in a bar. Good company, beer, tying and food with a never ending jukebox and darts in the background.

Welcome to Chi-tie!

Eric Heckman, from Coren's, who has tied with the group before asked me to venture along with him on Monday night. The group meets the second Monday of the month, starting at 6:30 and they’re currently at Galway Bay Bar.

The February gathering was the largest they’ve ever had. Which is good for the group and good for the bar. I had a chance to catch up with a buddy, Adam Marton, who works with the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, and heads up AM Film Productions. As good a guy as you’d ever want to fish with. And he has a really nice fly tying box that I’ve threatened to steal a number of times. Also there was Nikki, who manages the downtown Orvis Store, and a number of people whose names I’ve simply forgotten and apologize for. Except for Dave, who is the ringleader of sorts of this diverse tying group.

So here’s what you need to know. This is a tying group, that is, you bring your stuff and you sit and tie and you chat and drink beer and socialize and tie some more. You talk about patterns, you talk about materials and you talk about fishing. (And drink beer.) There’s no demonstrations, no videos, and no guy saying, “Well you see, I’m the president of the group and so on…” This is tiers getting together to tie.

So last night, Adam tied a floating crab with deerhair, Dave tied a nifty baitfish pattern, there was a foam frog, a pink clouser, a bugger type fly with a barred rabbit tail, I tied streamers, Eric tied a  chickabou crayfish pattern and there were nymphs and so on being tied.

If you plan to go, and you should, a couple of suggestions.

Know what you want to tie and just bring those materials. The tables are bar tables and so room is a premium. If you have a light for your vise, you might want to bring it. This is a bar not a well lit room, although it’s adequate, some supplemental lighting would be helpful. If you drop something on the floor…forget it unless it’s big and shiny. It’s a bar floor and dark. Tip the bartender, he’s the one who lets you tie there. Thank Chi-tie for putting this together.

Also, parking isn’t easy in the city. If you can car pool or take public transportation, do so.

As always, you’ll meet nice people, if you walk around and chat with other tiers you’ll earn some new things. You’ll find sources of new and interesting materials and as always, discover that fly tying, while it has its traditions, isn’t stuck in the past. The people you’ll meet at a Chi-tie session aren’t tying your daddy’s dry flies.

So here’s to beer and fellowship and a toast to Chi-tie!

See you in a month.

Blog address:

Meeting: 6:30 start time on the Second Monday of the month.
Location is: 
Galway Bay bar
500 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60657