Fly tying is an art form that has been around for centuries. From the early days of using only feathers and fur to modern-day synthetics and cutting-edge materials, fly tying continues to evolve. However, one thing has remained constant, the human element of creativity and experience. We all have been drawn to this aspect of our sport and that will not go away.
We believe AI is here to stay and is going to impact every industry including ours. With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), fly tying is set to enter a new era. AI technology has the potential to revolutionize fly tying by assisting fly tyers in creating new patterns, providing innovative material ideas, and incorporating unique design elements into their creations all with the click of a button.
One of the most interesting aspects of creativity AI is pattern generation. Using multiple AI tools we have extensive knowledge on pattern generation. Every image on this blog is created with AI and it is frankly terrifying. However, at this moment it is not as good as we are when it comes to creativity. Through machine learning, AI can analyze existing fly patterns through photo uploads, prior knowledge or descriptions and create new ones based on similar design elements. This means that AI can help fly tyers create new patterns as well as introduce new variations of classic patterns. Here is an example of a simple more classic style shrimp pattern I created in AI then asked it to provide variations.
In addition to pattern generation, creativity AI can also provide innovative material ideas. With access to a vast database, AI can suggest new materials to use in fly tying based on the intended target species, fishing conditions, and desired presentation. This means that fly tyers can experiment with new materials that they may not have considered before. All of this without having to read the past literature on these fisheries, blogs like this that we write, or even without watching the YouTube videos we all love. AI will do it for you.
Finally, AI can assist with incorporating unique design elements into fly patterns. By analyzing existing patterns as well as real insects identifying successful design elements, AI can suggest new design variations that may be more effective at attracting fish. This means that fly tyers can create patterns that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also more likely to result in a successful catch. We are a bit skeptical on this but time will tell!
However, despite the potential of creativity AI in fly tying, there is no replacement for the human element of experience. The joy of catching a fish on a pattern that you created, tied, and cast is a feeling that cannot be replicated by AI. The passion and creativity that fly tyers bring to their craft cannot be replaced by technology. At Spawn we believe AI will only bolster what we do, it will draw people to more real experiences like tying a fly and catching a fish without the assistance of AI. We know our hands on experience creates not only a product we love but a truly human relationship with what we created.
AI isn't going away but either is the creative fly tier.