Over 20 years ago, Elpheus “Alphons” Ndlovu was a taxi driver in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.
Then, he answered a newspaper advertisement and learned to tie flies. Today, Ndlovu is world-renowned as a fly tier.
“I’m known all over the world ‘cos of what I’m doing—tying flies. But I never thought I would be like this. Cause I just came here in Jo-burg to look for a job,” Ndlovu said.
The ad was for an apprentice fly fishing rod maker. That’s how Ndlovu met Murray Pedder, owner of Fly-Fishers Unlimited.
Pedder taught the former taxi driver to tie flies, and he says that Ndlovu is now one of the best in the world.
Ndlovu says it took him about half an hour to tie his first fly—a clouser minnow, made of pink and white buck-tail. Today, he says he can tie a clouser in five minutes.
Ndlovu also says he can re-create a fly from a picture and make almost any requested changes. He uses natural materials and to imitate the creatures fish feed on.
He’s doing something right, because Ndlovu’s flies have been used to catch record-breaking fish all over the world. Ndlovu also receives many calls and gifts from grateful anglers who have found success with his flies.
He was just looking for a job besides taxi driving when he answered the ad, but through fly tying, Ndlovu has been able to provide an education for his four children and buy a house.