Stuart Hardy started tying flies at the age of 15 as a Boy Scout – then took a break of about 35 years or so. He has been tying salmon flies for a little over six years, and his creations now cover the whole spectrum from purist classics to the most extreme artistic flies - drawing inspiration for his colour schemes from many years working on mountains and rivers in his early career as an Adventure Guide. What started as a passion for tying has now become an obsession with collecting, and he has amassed one of the most significant early fly tying and hook collections in the UK. In recent years he has been on a personal crusade to repatriate items from G.M.Kelson’s personal fly tying kit, and he now has a substantial part of the original collection – as well as an enormous collection of historical fly tying paraphernalia, vintage flies and materials.
His creations combine rare materials, with vintage or handmade hooks which he also manufactures - to compliment specific designs, and he is becoming well known among collectors for his 22ct gold ribbed bodies, and thought provoking colour interpretations, particularly with ‘monoplane’ style artistic flies which have an otherworldly presence and character. He is passionate about both the origins of fly tying, and their connection with modern day designs -- and his participation at shows tries to reflect this journey with an extensive display of vintage items as well as his own artistic interpretations.