Della Swincher ties a wooly bugger lure at a desk at her law office in Vevay on Friday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/
Della Swincher ties a wooly bugger lure at a desk at her law office in Vevay on Friday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/
It's common for a secretary's desk to be placed in the reception area of a law office, but it is unusual for one to be filled with items used to create fly-fishing lures.

Vevay attorney Della Swincher's fly-tying table has been a permanent feature in her office for several years. Originally created with several spaces to hold books, pens and mailings for business, the desk now holds several items - from string and feathers to wire and books - to create flies.

"I thought I could be one of those bowling alley attorneys, but I chose fly fishing instead," she said.

Swincher grew up with nine siblings, and most of the family enjoyed fishing throughout her childhood, she said.

"I've always fished," Swincher said. "Fishing is just kind of in my blood."

Swincher first learned to fish with a spincaster fishing pole with the bobber serving as the weight when casting into the body of water. Years later, her brother recommended that she try fly fishing, and she decided to sign up for a few classes. She learned how to cast with the line as the main weight and other intricacies of fly fishing. After a few hours of practice, one class took their skills to a river that was well-stocked with trout.

"So then I was hooked," she said.

She still uses a spincaster fishing pole every once in a while, but fly fishing has become her primary fishing method over the years.

"It's still fun, but it's just not the same," she said of the spincaster. "It's a whole different technique."

While classes taught Swincher the techniques for fly fishing, several kits she bought taught her how to tie her own flies.

She also finds new ways to tie flies on the social media site, Pinterest. Still, she purchases fishing flies whenever she finds them in a store.

"I tie them if I'm absolutely out," she said. "There's nowhere close to get flies."

The closest location to purchase flies are Bass Pro Shops, she said, and she doesn't always have time to make a special trip just to buy the lures. Flies for fishing are also available online, but shipping prices aren't always a cost-effective option for flies that cost less than a dollar.

Swincher learned to make her own lures by purchasing fly-tying kits and gadgets instead, and she happened to find a desk she thought would work well for a fly-tying table during a trip to Louisville.

Swincher hadn't been looking specifically for a piece of furniture to use as a fly-tying table when she began shopping for other desks for her new office space. But when she found the secretary's desk with several spaces that would work well for her many fly-tying items, she brought two pieces of furniture back to Vevay instead of just one.

She initially thought she'd utilize her fly-tying table during free time at the office.

"But that never seems to be," Swincher said.

Instead, the desk serves as a conversation piece when visitors ask why a fly-tying table is located in a law office. Swincher also ties flies once in a while during First Friday events in Vevay.

She might also be seen by passersby at her fly-tying table if she's preparing for a fishing excursion later in the day.

"The fish think they're bugs," she said of the lures. "Every fly is supposed to mimic something in nature."

From fly fishing in local lakes like Johnson Lake in Madison and waterways near Brooksburg to other fishing trip vacations across the United States, the year-round sport allows Swincher time to shut out everything else around her. Spending a few hours fly fishing provides the peace and quiet she needs after a long day in the office or during the weekends before a long week of work, she said.

"It looks really cool when you do it right," she said of fly fishing. "It's just something that's a little different."