Brian Wise interview!

Brian Wise of fly tying video fame, was nice enough to do an interview for FrankenFly! Brian has some of the most entertaining, if not the best, fly tying videos out there. You can always see what’s new with Brian at his blog, Fly Fishing the Ozarks. I first enjoyed Brian’s fly tying when I was learning how to tie Mike’s Meal Ticket. A fly created by Mike Schmidt of Angler’s Choice Flies. Since then I have watched all of Brian’s videos. Below you will find out a little more about the man in front of the camera sitting behind that Peak Vise!
Brian Wise tying
How did you get into fishing?

I gear fished a lot as a kid, but as I got into high school, sports and girls kind of took over my mind.  After high school I met a gal that fished a lot and she got me back into gear fishing.  A couple of years after that I was getting bored spin fishing and the same gal said “Why don’t you try fly fishing”…………yeah, I married her.

Did you begin fly tying when you started fly fishing? How did you begin fly tying?

Tying was something I started almost immediately after I started fly fishing.  I thought it was a necessity as I was a completely broke college student.  It turns out my art teacher in high school is a phenomenal fly tyer so he kind of took me under his wing and helped me get started…….then I spent a ton more money on materials than I ever dreamed of spending on flies.

What was the first fly you tied?

The good ol’ Olive Wooly Bugger.  It had a dubbed squirrel body that was about as proportional as Shaquille O’Neal on a skateboard.

Do you guide full time?

I guide on the North Fork of the White River in Missouri.  Basically, we are the river that is ABOVE the dams on the renowned White River and Norfork River in Arkansas.  We are a freestone stream that has wild rainbow trout (not stocked since the mid 60’s) and some awesome streamer-eating brown trout.

What is your favorite river?

I am lucky enough to say that my home river is without a doubt my favorite river.

Do you have a favorite fly?

I am a total streamer freak.  I really kind of bounce around with streamers, I will have a favorite for several months and then come across another that I just HAVE to fish.  For the last several months though, my go-to has been Rich Strolis’ Hog Snare…..crazy sexy fly.

Do you do any commercial tying?

My one stint as a “commercial tyer” was when the lodge I guide for ordered something like 13 dozen Olive Wooly Buggers.  I finished the order and then made a video of my tying an Olive Wooly Bugger — and then I burned it.  Haven’t done much since then.

If you could only take one fly pattern with you fishing, what would it be?

Like I said, I am a total streamer freak.  Even though the Hog Snare is my go-to right now, I have to say that Galloup’s Sex Dungeon has hung more big fish for me than any other fly.

Could you name some of your favorite fly tyers?

I am a huge fan of Kelly Galloup, Mike Schmidt, Nick Granato, Charlie Craven, Brad Bohen, Rich Strolis, and Thomas Harvey.  Pretty much anyone that has ever designed an awesome streamer — I like them.

Have you created any of your own fly patterns?

I have messed with some nymphs of my own over the years, and actually have a pretty nice stonefly….but when it comes to streamers, I leave it to the pros on designing them — and then I copy them.

Your fly tying videos are well received on the Internet. How did you get started in making your own videos?

I actually started making some tying videos several years ago.  I didn’t want to do the boring voice-over type of step-by-step stuff so I set some videos to Weird Al and Stephen Lynch until I lost the desire to do that at all.  Then a Musky fishing trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota with a couple good buddes got me fired back up.  We knew we were going to be shooting video while we were up there fishing so I thought I would make a “teaser” video and tied Brad Bohen’s “Hang Time”, sped it up to a 5 minute tie…..that video ended up getting twice as many views as all of the Musky fishing videos did put together (probably because we were blanked).  So I thought I would stick with it and see if I could keep it up.  I never really liked the usual tying video with someone explaining what I already knew how to do(not that they don’t have their place), I found them boring and ended up speeding them up to get to the parts I wanted to see so I decided to make my videos with a little bit of instruction (be it very little) and some entertainment.  Like I said, I don’t design streamers myself, but I also knew that there were a lot of VERY competent tyers out there that kind of wondered how to tie, specifically, the Galloup line of streamers….so I started with a Galloup “Series” of flies, and moved on to Mike Schmidt’s streamers after that.  I kind of call myself the “Cover-Band” of fly tying videos.  When a cover-band does a show they obviously cover a certain band, with their own flare and I usually do the same with my videos.  I tend to add tiny little touches or changes in the flies but still not disrespect the tyer and totally change THEIR pattern.

People, including me, love the music in your videos. What is your favorite kind of music?

It’s kind of funny, but I catch hell for the music in my tying videos quite often.  Like the comedian Mitch Hedberg said the people either “love it, hate it, or they think it is ok”.  When I am driving, running, or anytime I am listening to music it won’t be the dubstep type of music like in my videos.  I am more of a grunge guy.  Give me Pearl Jam and Nirvana and I am a happy dude.

I notice that you like to use Gamakatsu B10s Stinger hooks quite often. (You have me using them now as well.) What is it that you like about the Stinger?

Stinger hooks are everything I look for in a streamer hook.  Specifically the B10s.  It is CRAZY sharp and has a bend that has so much holding power and gap that if you hook a fish–you ARE going to land it unless you screw up really bad.  I tell people that if you look at a B10s wrong you will bleed.

Do you have any advice for fly tying beginners out there?

New fly tyers have so many tools to use for learning how to tie.  I just did a quick youtube search of “fly tying” and it pulled up almost 50,000 videos so that is a GREAT resource for new tyers.  But I still don’t think there is anything better than being able to sit next to a seasoned fly tyer and have him or her helping.  Fly fishing and tying clubs are probably the easiest way to find these people, so go out and join your local fly fishing club for sure.

Is there any fly tying products that you use that you truly love?

I honestly think Clear Cure Goo was the biggest game changer I have ever witnessed in fly tying.  I wasn’t around when the Beadhead came into play in the tying world (what in the 1600’s?) but in my eyes Clear Cure Goo has had as much impact as the beadhead itself.  I am also a big fan of Schlappen, craft fur, and pretty much anything that is involved in tying something gnarly.

Do you mainly stick to tying streamers or do you enjoy tying other types of flies? If the latter, what types?

I ‘am’ a guide, and although I do get a lot of “hero or zero” style streamer trips the VAST majority of my trips are standard fly fishing trips so I tie a TON of nymphs per year.  I always kind of dread sitting down to tie a bunch of nymphs but after the first 1 or 2 it all comes back to me and I start having fun.  Having a ballgame on and some good beer helps too.

Are you planning your next video yet? If so, what will it be?

YES!  I am always on the lookout for new streamers to tie in these crazy videos.  The list is growing all the time.  For now, I want to keep going with featuring different tyers so my next “Series” will be from Rich Strolis and I will be tying the Hog Snare that I have talked so much about.  It is triple-articulated, awesome, and THE fly that I have been really, really wanting to do a video on for a while.

Thank you Brian, I really appreciate you doing an interview for FrankenFly!!
Brian Wise big brown


Filed under Brian Wise, Interview

4 Responses to Brian Wise interview!

  1. Brian’s videos are going to come in very handy in a few weeks once winter hits.

  2. Paul Tootleman

    Enjoyed Brian’s interview. Looking forward to tying
    Strolis’ Hog Snare. Lat year, I learned on the Big Horn how to really streamer fish big streamers. Had a blast. So, I’m hooked on streamer fishing for big fish.

    Thanks for the info

    • Paul Beel

      Cool Paul!
      I’m looking forward to Brian’s video on the Hog Snare myself! Also, I’ll be posting something soon from Rich Strolis, himself! Stay tuned!