May 19, 2022
Cris Jackson is a woodworker, fly tier, and a special-education teacher at a high school in Oklahoma. So what does he do in his spare time? He builds fly-tying tables, of course. Jackson builds Lone Bison Fly Tables to be portable fly-tying stations, whether that means tying flies in the passenger seat on the way to the river, at a family picnic, or in your recliner while watching your spouse’s favorite movie. Each table is upcycled from irregular discards of domestic hardwoods that include walnut, pecan, sycamore, maple, ambrosia maple, cherry, red oak, and white oak.
“I strive to uncover the quirky grains and colors of the woods before starting construction to ensure each table is completely original,” says Jackson. “These are definitely not big box store tying tables. Each table is one-of-a-kind.”
Jackson makes three models, each with a toolbar that holds 24 to 30 tying tools. Magnetized recesses to hold loose hooks and beads are placed appropriately at the front of each table with easy accessibility. Solid brass rods hold spools of thread, tinsel, and wire. The Artisan and Heirloom models are designed for a clamp-on vise, while the new 2022 Heritage model ($285, lonebisonflytables.com) shown here has a locking device for a vise stem so you don’t need a weighted base or a clamp. On the Heritage model, the toolbar is removable to allow for more tying space. It reattaches with strong magnets.
The tables are all 12" wide and 20" long, built with waterproof glue and three coats of polyurethane to ensure the wood is sealed. The back of each table is covered with a nonskid backing to ensure stability. Eight plastic screw lid bottles are included to hold small items like jungle cock eyes, turkey biots, and dubbing. Each table has a serial number and signature to ensure authenticity.