Friday, November 28, 2008

Vest Or Chest Pack?

There seems to be tons of fly fishing chest packs on the market. I have tried several and mostly found them to by annoying. They are bulky and stick out too much, often catching line and leader at the worst times. I end up feeling like I am trying to shove my Christmas tree through the front door, across the living room and into the stand. Just too much struggling for my liking. My solution was to go back to my tried and true regular old vest. There are pockets for tools, fly boxes and supplies and I don't have all kinds of tools dangling off of me. There is plenty of storage in my vest. A word of wisdom; you do not have to cram your vest with everything you own. Keep it light and keep it simple.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing one and all a happy Thanksgiving. There should be a glut of turkey feathers on the fly tying materials market next week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wild Salmon At Walmart

News travels quickly. I just heard that Walmart is selling wild sockeye salmon. The fish comes from Bristol Bay in Alaska. Maybe consumers will lose their appetite for farm-raised Franken-Fish and realize that wild is better to eat and better for the environment.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fly Fishing Christmas Gifts

So, the countdown is on for Christmas. One month to go. Are you looking for the gift of flies for that angler on your list? Perhaps a box filled with flies that fish will jump for or a Destination Selection would be in order. Are you or someone you know going to the Bahamas to hunt bonefish, for example? This boxed set of flies may be the perfect idea and it ships immediately. Flies tyed on brooch pins are a nice idea and are ready to ship. Why not give yourself a gift of flies? Tired of getting or giving sweaters and stuff you don't need...go with flies! Be unique and select a gift that is made in America by an American. Check out my website at and give me a shout. I need two weeks lead time to fill orders, so don't hesitate and be left with a can of worms as your option. Sorry about the solicitous advertising, but a girl has to make a living.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fly Tying Feathers Available

If you are in need of feathers for fly tying let me know. I have a friend with lots of pheasant, turkey, grouse, goose and duck. Shoot me an email. The feathers are all legal and contain no pests.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

International Fly Tying Symposium

The International Fly Tying Symposium went off with flying colors. Despite the dismal economic situation, there was a brisk showing of attendees coming in to see a wide variety of amazing tyers. A host of international tyers from the UK, Spain and elsewhere in Europe joined in with US Tyers. Every type of fly was tyed from amazing ultra realistics to giant shark flies. My version of the Vladi worm was very popular with tyers and spectators alike. The Saturday night banquet was loads of fun with good food (yes really), good company and splendid entertainment. Chuck played a video documentary film about George Harvey and his legacy of teaching fishing and tying. Dick Talleur revealed his humorous side as did Ted Patlin in each of their stand up routines.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Paul Ptalis Passed Away

Sadly, I report the news of the death of Paul Ptalis. The author of Century End: A Fly Tying Journey and highly accomplished tyer of classic Atlantic salmon flies, Paul died Monday, November 17 of cancer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Greenwells Olive Wet

I just got this picture from Hans Weilennman. The fly was tyed by his 12-year-old daughter. I think fly tying talent runs in this family. Hats off to a fine young tyer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

International Fly Tying Symposium

The International Fly Tying Symposium will be this weekend in Somerset, NJ. Don't miss this one as it is the largest collection of fly tyers and vendors ever. The event will be November 22 and 23 at the Doubletree Hotel and is always a big show. Don't miss it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Changes In The Industry

I have it from a very reputable source that several changes are occurring in the market for fly tying-related products. Apparently Wasatch, maker of fine tying tools, is being sold by Dean Childs to an unknown purchaser. The details are yet to be finalized, so we do not know who will be taking over at Wasatch. My guess is that Dean is retiring.

Oasis, maker of wooden tying benches and other "bench top accessories," will no longer be making their products.

McKenzie will no longer be making vise lights. That's too bad as they make very good vice lights. Mine has worked like a trooper for many years.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Show

Having returned from The Arts of the Angler show, I have to report that it was a great weekend. Jim Krul and the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum put on a very nice weekend in Danbury. It was great to have time to spend with friends and make new friends at this intimate show. I had a chance to spend some time with Andrea and Glenn Van Benschoten, Peggy Brenner, Ralph Graves, Bob Mead, Dave Brandt, Stan Fudala, Bill Newcomb, Mike Hogue and others. Popular items at my table were the Vladi Worms, Bahamas Destination Selection and Brooches. I also taught a class, European Flies for America Trout.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Arts Of The Angler Show

This Saturday and Sunday I will be in Danbury, CT tying at the Arts of the Angler Show. This, smaller, more intimate, show is put on by The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum. There will be classes, seminars, vendors, tying demonstrations, antique fly fishing tackle appraisals and a dinner followed by a live auction. Last year's auction was a real hoot. The show will be at the Danbury Plaza Hotel located just off Exit 2, Route I84 in Danbury, CT. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hardy North America

Hardy, maker of premium rods, reels, lines and some alluring advertisements, will establish its own distribution center in the United States. Hardy North America has been created due to increased sales on this side of the Atlantic. After a seven-year distribution partnership with Cortland Line Company, Hardy has assumed its own North American distribution. The new facility opened October 22 in Lancaster, PA. With the recent plunge of the American economy, Hardy may regret this new plan. I predict, with a fair amount of certainty, that the adverts will still be popular, however.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nymph-Head Tungsten Beads

Industry newsflash: Beginning in 2009, Orvis will add the full line of Nymph-Head Tungsten Beads to their fly tying catalogue. Nice work for company president Martin Bawden. These are the beads that look back at you while you tye...they have eyes that can be colored for a little extra realism. The eyes also add about 12% more weight than traditional tungsten beads. Check out the Nymph-Head website at:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

United Fly Tyers Celebrates 50 Years

United Fly Tyers will be holding a gala 50th anniversary dinner and live auction on Saturday, March 21, 2009. The event will take place at the Holiday Inn Select in Woburn, MA and promises to be a big party filled with lively personalities and a few trips down memory lane. Save the date now and be there to celebrate 50 years of fly tying with one of the finest and oldest fly tying club in the US.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fish & Fly Magazine

News update from the fly fishing publication world: Fish and Fly magazine will resume publishing with the January 2009 issue. The magazine has been purchased by the British group Fish and Fly, Limited.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Crabs aplenty at the tying bench. These are size 4 Puglisi-Style weighted crabs getting ready to head to the Caribbean in your fly box. These ankle-biters are also available in size 6. Of course, they can be tyed on many sizes of hooks to suit your needs, as well.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Dog? Cat? Who knows? I say dubbing. Check out those baby blues.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jack Gartside Has Been Ill

Jack Gartside has been ill recently and is in the hospital having some tests. If you are so inclined send him a card:

Jack Gartside
14 Beach Road
Winthrop, MA 02152

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michelle Obama Fly

I was inspired by the dress Michelle Obama had on last night and I crafted up this fly.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I have been experimenting with the new colors of tungsten Nymph-Head Beads and brass Real Fly Color Beads that are put out by This fly, Peacock, is sporting a Caddis Green brass bead. I selected the brass bead because the brass wire already gave the fly some weight and I think tungsten would have made this small fly too heavy. The beads are available in some other nice colors such as Baetis Green-Olive, Stonefly Black-Nickle and Mayfly Brown in addition to the usual cast of characters, gold, silver and copper.

Monday, November 3, 2008

George Grant Dies

On November 2 the fly angling world saw the passing of George F. Grant. He was 102 years old and lived his life in Butte, MT. The Butte chapter of Trout Unlimited is the George Grant Chapter. Mr. Grant was the winner of many awards including the Federation of Fly Fishers' Buz Buszeck Award for fly tying in 1973. He was a well-known tyer at FFF Conclaves, having shared the bench with other luminaries such as Polly Rosborough, Doug Swisher, Carl Richards, Art Flick and Dave Whitlock. He was known for his stonefly patterns, most notably the Black Creeper (1937). He was a kind, generous man and an outspoken conservationist. Mr. Grant was the author of two books: Montana Trout Flies and The Master Fly Weaver.

While traveling in Montana last summer, I came upon a a shop in Butte called Fran Johnson's Sport Shop. The store has quite an extensive collection of George Grant flies and memorabilia. The Fort Missoula Museum also has a collection of his flies.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Catskill Fly Tyers Guild Rendezvous

The Catskill Fly Tyers Guild Annual Fly Tying Rendezvous will be held Saturday, April 18, 2009. It will be from 10am to 3pm at the Rockland House in Roscoe, NY. We invite tyers of all types of flies. If you have tyed in the past please join us again. If you would like to tye email me at More details to follow later in the month.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fly Tying Shows

November marks the beginning of the show season. This month I will be in Danbury, CT (Plaza Hotel) on November 15 & 16 for the Arts of The Angler Show. This is the second annual event presented by The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum. On hand will be an array of fly tyers as well as vendors, guides and a nice collection of classic tackle, books, antiques and fine bamboo rods. For more information go to

The following weekend, November 22 &23, I will be in Somerset, NJ (Doubletree Hotel) to tye at the International Fly Tyers' Symposium. This is the mother of fly tying shows. The theme this year is "The British Invasion." If you are a fly tyer, this is the show to go to. Information is available at