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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Northumberland, UK

    Unhappy Guild Award Scheme - Beware!

    Probably about now many of us are hanging up our rods and turning our thoughts to fly dressing and filling our boxes with the latest killing patterns. When all that is done, you may be tempted to have a go at tying the Guild Award flies.

    This is what I did last winter, the Bronze level was fairly easily achieved since I have been tying for many years and it was nice to get the badge and certificate. So I thought I would have a go at the Silver Award flies. A couple of them failed, one I wasn't surprised at, it had given me a few problems so that was acceptable. The other was the hair-wing salmon fly which failed because the wing and the hackle were too short. Unfortunately it turns out that the picture in the Silver Award Syllabus on page 12 is not everybody's idea of the ideal proportions for a salmon fly and despite appealing my flies failed again. I was told that the wing should reach the end of the tail and the beard hackle should nearly reach the hook point.

    The Award Syllabuses are going to be revised and updated but this may take a while, until then beware of that page 12 picture - it is not correct!

    Happy tying everyone!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South of England
    Blog Entries

    Thumbs up Re: Guild Award Scheme - Beware!

    Good point well made! I'm trying to get round to the Silver, and eventually Gold maybe but have hit the wall, personally, not liking my own traditional winging, e.g. on the Olive wet. Hope I get over it soon. Just to add to the debate, however, I do remember very well seeing a framed display of the Guild's flies at a fly fair, tied representing and covering all three levels of the whole award series, and I couldn't help but notice that the 'consistency' was questionable to say the least. It raised a wry smile in me, because at a Grayling Flies workshop I talked to another tier who had a set of three traditional Salmon flies fail the Gold level because the 'thread head wraps were inconsistent', but I couldn't see how or where!
    Perhaps a question of subjectivity? Don't get me wrong, I'm not a 'knocker', a sincere 'big shout out' to everyone who voluntarily helps others.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Guild Award Scheme - Beware!

    I don't or may not know who your branch tutor's are, or for that matter if either of you are "individual" or branch members. As not every branch has a "resident" Gold standard tutor / examiner. I am one, though I do not take part in any of the national judging events.

    There are several of us dotted around the country & a quick email to the national sec. should be able to point you in the direction of one. If you choose to go down that route & it IS worthwhile & although it may cost you a few stamps etc at least as far as I'm concerned, it's a small price to pay.

    I'm not saying you'll win or get placed etc. but you may well stand a better chance of doing so.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Helsby, Cheshire

    Default Re: Guild Award Scheme - Beware!

    Just goes to show the need to have access to an Instructor. At Branch level, should not be an issue. Any steps that need advice with can be discussed with the instructor and a way forward agreed. With our branch all assessments are carried out to NVQ standards as well as the Guilds, this makes it easy to follow what is going on and feedback on each fly submitted, give a path forward to reach the appropriate standard.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Guild Award Scheme - Beware!

    Apologies for coming into this thread late. While travelling in the states the Forums are the last thing on my mind.
    As with anything that is judged by a human there are areas where individual preferences can influence decisions and tying styles do differ. The proportion chart used in this syllabus is one of several available and they are all slightly different, indeed the fly shown in the step by step has slightly longer hackles than that in the proportion chart, this is down to the style of the tyer rather than an error and doesn't detract from the overall balance of the fly. The awards are meant to be about techniques and less emphasis is placed on matching exactly the pattern charts and more on the techniques. That said if the proportions are well off then the fly will fail.
    I know the flies referred to in the original thread were examined by two different gold awards instructors, the second one didn't know they were subject of an appeal and both failed the flies on the originator points mentioned.
    The flies in the frame at the BFFI were one of the first full sets and have been kicking around for a few years. They are not as good as they originally were.
    Another issue we have had in the past is inconsistent assessments at branch level, where an instructor doesn't want to upset his mate and lets things slide by. While understandable this doesn't help anyone and can only bring the awards scheme into disrepute. This is why we encourage all entrants to have their flies independently assessed for the silver award. for gold they must be assessed by an independent assessor.
    Yes, we are re-doing the awards booklets, David Taylor has taken this on as part of the role of Awards manager. Project such as this take an awful lot of time and effort. We are happy to receive constructive criticism and open to suggestions to improve the syllabi. Contact David directly through the FDG website.
    If anyone wants to discuss a particular fly pattern or technique with an instructor David will be able to put you in touch with someone who can help. Many of our gold and silver instructors are mentoring individuals both here in the UK and abroad who have no access to a branch.
    If any member of the FDG wants to become an instructor or assessor, please contact David or myself
    And finally, (thank God I hear you say) The FDG are hoping to have a question and answer session on the Saturday afternoon at BFFI in one of the theatres. (Subject to confirmation from Bridgette!) We will probably be the last act for the day but committee members and the awards manager will be there to take any questions.
    Chris REEVES
    Hidden Content

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Northumberland, UK

    Default Re: Guild Award Scheme - Beware!

    Thanks for your input on this Chris. I have one or two ideas for improvement which I will forward to Dave soon.
    Meanwhile, have a great Christmas everyone!

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