Yesterday I drove up to Monroe, Oregon to visit Bob Borden and Marcos Vergara at Hareline Dubbin Inc. Hareline is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of fly tying materials in the world, and they’re located just north of Eugene. I’d been scheming on a way to get into their facility, like Charlie in the Willie Wonka story, and finally got my golden ticket .
For fly tying junkies, this is Valhalla. It’s fly tying materials on a scale that will boggle the mind. Monster-sized rolls of ultra select craft fur hulk in one corner storage room. In another, freakishly huge skeins of crystal flash are piled up on the floor, while every conceivable texture, color and dimension of chenille hangs from the walls in ropes. It’s enough to make a man giddy, to want to knock down a big pile of neon fly tying materials and roll around in it.
During our tour, I interviewed Hareline Dubbin founder Bob Borden. The company actually got started at The Caddis Fly shop back in the late 1970s, when Borden tied flies for former shop owner Bob Guard. Guard asked Borden (one of the shop’s professional tyers) to shear and dye some rabbit fur because he was having problems with his supplier. So Borden dyed rabbit into 24 colors on his wife’s stove and the rest is history. See below:
Next week, Marcos will take us through Hareline’s latest and greatest products and how to use them.