I have been fortunate enough to meet some great fly tiers and fly fishermen in my years as as a guide and commercial fly tier. I believe even more fortunate enough to have my name attached to the same company that ties Bob's Flies. I always felt it would be like getting pulled up to Play on the Giants with my idols when I was a kid...I never felt like I belonged on the same team or level as bob. He is and was one of my idols as a tier. I learned more from brief conversations with him then any book, dvd, or other person in the industry.
His ideas were so simple yet so revolutionary. His ideas were the ones that you looked at and totally made sense but never even remotely thought of your self...then there was the patterns bob tied that I was lucky enough to fish that never made it into production...many of these were beautifully tied but looked like a fly exploded and then was assembled back on the hook by a blind man...Then he would explain it and i would kinda see the idea or bug...but oh god did they catch fish. I still tie an emu based hex pattern of his that literally looks like cat puke but catches more fish then any pattern I have ever tried...and people and other guides look at it in disgust and disbelief.
He gave me once when I was a young tier two of the best pieces of advice and two things that I live by today as a tier.
1) Bugs are thinner, trimmer, and smaller then you think. Don't over dress your flies
2) With regards to fly design...get the silhouette and movement of the fly right first, then add the fish attractive elements like flash, color, beads, what ever...but nail the silhouette and the movement of the bug.
I can't over state his influence on me as a tier he had. I would not consider myself one of his close friends or even really a friend at all...more an acquaintance. He will live on for as long as people fish with flies in the smiles of the faces of people hooked up on his bugs. What a great way to live on once you are gone.